Notes from the LA Film Fest – Final

Owl and the Sparrow (2007)

On Sunday July 1st, Owl and the Sparrow (Cu va Chim Se Se) (USA, Vietnam 2007) won the audience award for narrative feature at the 2007 LA Film Festival. Set in Vietnam, Stephane Gauger’s drama tells the story of 10-year-old Thuy who runs away to Saigon and lives on the streets there. The LA Film Festival website describes it as combining equal parts Charles Dickens and Wong Kar-Wai. Official website

The documentary award went to Greg Whitely’s Resolved which explores racial and economic bias through a study of high school debate.

The award for international feature went to Stephen Walker’s Young@Heart.

Following the awards announcements, the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival closed with the gala screening of Sunshine, Danny Boyle’s sci-fi film scheduled to open July 20, 2007. Set 50 years in the future, the film stars Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh as four members of an eight-man crew sent to reignite the sun before it burns out, dooming mankind.

My own citizen’s eye view of the festival wrapped up a bit before Sunday since I burned myself out and real life intruded a little bit and kept me from attending the final few screenings I had scheduled. Everything I skipped is scheduled to receive at least a brief release in L.A. in the very near future so I will catch up to them later.

Despite being cut a little shorter than I’d originally planned, I really enjoyed the festival and for me, it was a success. Even the couple of duds I saw seemed worthwhile in retrospect. I think I’ll be a little more prepared for the AFI Film Festival coming up in November. I’ll start planning earlier than I did for LAFF and I’ll try to spread my viewing out a little bit so I don’t feel quite so rushed and hopefully I’ll do a better job of writing about it.

Though it didn’t win any official awards, the big winner for me was Syndromes and a Century (review). It was a strange and difficult but remarkable film. I also look forward to seeing narrative award winners August Evening and Owl and Sparrow, documentary winners Billy the Kid and Resolved, as well as the much praised Young@Heart.

Now I need to start getting caught up on some of the new releases I’ve missed. First on the list: Ratatouille.

LAFF part 1 here
LAFF part 2 here
LAFF part 3 here
LAFF part 4 here
LAFF part 5 here

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