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L.A. Film Festival: A focus on Film Independent fellows

June 23, 2011 | 10:28 am


Many people know Film Independent as the folks who put together the indie-minded Spirit Awards and also the Los Angeles Film Festival, which wraps up on Sunday. Yet the organization not only showcases films once they’ve been made but also has programs to help upcoming filmmakers bring their vision to the screen. 

The L.A. Times is a presenting sponsor of the festival, and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the festival’s downtown Filmmaker Lounge we continue our series of free lunchtime talks. (You can watch at latimes.com.) Joining the discussion, moderated by Times contributor Mark Olsen, will be three filmmakers -- Robbie Pickering,  David Nordstrom and Mike Ott -- who have all participated in the programs of Film Independent.

Pickering, director and writer of “Natural Selection,” won an armload of prizes when his film -- about a devout Christian Texas housewife who seeks to fulfill her dying husband's wish to find his illegitimate son (who turns out to be an escaped convict) -- premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival this year. (It's also playing at the L.A. Film Festival.) Nordstrom, writer, director and costar of “Sawdust City,” had the world premiere of his film Saturday at the L.A. Film Festival. The movie, set in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wis., follows two brothers, who haven't seen each other in years, spending Thanksgiving scouring the town's bars for their father. Ott, a producer on “Sawdust City,” won the Someone to Watch prize at this year’s Spirit Awards for his own film,  “Littlerock.”


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--Mark Olsen

Photo: A scene from "Natural Selection." Credit: L.A. Film Festival

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