The Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off Thursday night with "Bernie," Richard Linklater's quirky faux documentary about an effeminate mortician played by Jack Black. That film's setting is a small town in eastern Texas. But many of the movies that will play in the festival's coming 10 days are shot and set in Los Angeles, from the Ryan Gosling-starrer "Drive" to Amber Sealey's marital drama "How to Cheat" to Chris Weitz's gang-inflected "A Better Life" to Nicolas Ozeki's Latino family tale "Mamitas."
The L.A. Times is a presenting sponsor of the festival and on Friday at 12:30 p.m., we kick off our series of free lunchtime talks at the downtown festival's Filmmaker Lounge by discussing some of these hometown movies with their directors. (You can watch the chat live on The Times' website.) Ozeki, Sealey and Kat Coiro ("L!fe Happens") will talk about their films and L.A. cinema in a discussion moderated by The Times' Steven Zeitchik. Free lunchtime panels about documentaries, family films, gay themes and other topics will be held throughout the festival; please visit this section of the LAFF website for more details.
Below, a clip from Coiro's "L!fe Happens," about a group of young Silver Lake women (Krysten Ritter, Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth) who decide to raise a baby after one of them gets pregnant.