David Ansen on LAFF’s Dynamic Differentiator

It’s an expensive undertaking. But Los Angeles Film Festival artistic director David Ansen tells David Poland he is determined not to lose the element that he believes makes his annual event so unique.

That would be the annual “filmmaker retreat,” which took place once again this year just ahead of LAFF’s start. From Ansen’s DP/30 conversation with Poland:

“At most film festivals, filmmakers come in from all over the world, they don’t know anybody, they’re in a strange city… They do their thing and they leave and they never really interact. We bring all our feature filmmakers who can come, together, just before the festival starts. We do it up at Skywalker Ranch, which is an idyllic setting.”

“We basically introduce them all to each other, bring in people from the industry for them to mingle with, like William Friedkin. We wine them and dine them, and they feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven. They all bond, so they have a completely different experience of the festival and it’s really fun for them.”

The Ansen interview is well worth bookmarking and watching during this year’s LAFF run. He says he currently sees many more movies than when he worked as a full-time critic for Newsweek.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
A Different Kind of Year for Film Critic David Ansen