October is a big month for film festivals in Los Angeles – and it all gets started with the Highland Park Independent Film Festival, Oct. 4 through Oct. 6. October is also the tail end of the season for outdoors screenings at local parks, including movies with Halloween and Dia de los Muertos themes brought to you by the Eagle Rock-based Street Food Cinemas. Here’s more on those and other movie events this month.
The 5th Annual Highland Park Independent Film Festival
The Highland Theater at 5604 N. Figueroa St. will host 47 films over three days, including three narrative features, three documentary features and 41 shorts.
Opening night, Thursday, Oct. 4, will begin with red carpet arrivals at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of the 2018 HPIFF Humanitarian Award to Josefina López, a prolific award-winning screenwriter and champion among Hollywood professionals of bringing Latinos to television. The award ceremony will be followed by the opening night film, “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed,” a documentary directed by Windy Borman about female “ganjapreneurs” in the legal U.S. cannabis industry. There will be a Q&A with the filmmaker after the movie.
Screenings on Friday, Oct. 5 start at 2 p.m. with two free-admission features: “Disappearance,” an Iranian film directed by Ali Asgari, and “Awkward Silence” directed by Manny Montanez of Highland Park, followed by seven free-admission short films. The evening feature will be an action/thriller, “Bullitt County,” directed by David McCracken.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, films will be shown in each of the theater’s two auditoriums starting at noon. There will be 34 short films grouped in four thematic categories: “LatinX Voices,” “Sisterhood of Cinema,” “All About #HLP,” and “City of Angels.” There will also be two documentary features: “Blissful at Zero,” directed by Emma Fazzouli and Joe Gasparik, is about a young woman with a rare cancer who discovers ways to far outlive her dire prognosis; “Tales of the American,” directed by Stephen Seemayer, is about the American Hotel in downtown L.A., built in 1905 for African Americans, “home” over the decades to successive waves of outsiders and artists, and now faced with gentrification.
General Admission to the films of HPIFF is $10; student admission is $5. For tickets and more details, visit hpifilmfest.com. To top it off, there will be a free screening of the “Best of the Fest” films from the festival on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Choi Auditorium at Occidental College (1600 Campus Road in Eagle Rock)
The largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States, Screamfest premieres and showcases new work from independent American and international horror filmmakers. The 18th annual festival takes place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood (6801 Hollywood Blvd.) from Tuesday, Oct. 9 to Thursday, Oct. 18. For more information, visit: screamfestla.com.
LA Femme International Film Festival
This annual festival was started in 2005 to celebrate, support and advance films created by women producers, writers and directors. It will be held this year from Thursday, Oct. 11 through Sunday, Oct. 14, at Regal Cinemas @ LA LIVE Stadium 14 (1000 W. Olympic Blvd.) in downtown L.A. In addition to screenings, there are panels, seminars, Q&A sessions and parties. Tickets range from $10 for a single screening to $150 for a VIP all access pass. Visit lafemme.org for more details.
Street Food Cinemas
On Saturday, Oct. 13, the outdoor movie/music/food/fun specialists at Street Food Cinemas will be at Eagle Rock Recreation Center to show the original “Halloween,” the classic slasher film from 1978 directed by John Carpenter and staring Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. Rated R.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, Street Food Cinemas will screen Coco (en Español) at Exposition Park in downtown L.A. (700 Exposition Park Drive). On Saturday, Oct. 27, Coco will be screened in English at Victory Park in Pasadena (2576 Paloma Street). Rated PG.
Advanced ticket prices for Street Food Cinemas: Age 5 and younger, free; ages 6 to 12, $6 to $11, depending on general or reserved seating; ages 13 and up, $14 to $19. (Tickets at the event for age 13 and up are $17 to $22.)
Visit streetfoodcinema.com for details on directions, rules, parking, tickets and the featured music and food trucks for each event.