Los Angeles Festivals

Los Angeles Festivals

LA Film International Film Festival (the big one- AFI)

AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival or more commonly known as AFI FEST is the premier film festival in the U.S, where the best filmmakers, studio executives in the industry and tinsel town collect and meet in the beginning of November, to manage deals and assess films. Held at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood and other venues around Hollywood Boulevard, and the adjoining famed Cinerama Dome, it is LA’s most prominent and largest film festival.

The festival is the best way to catch up with international cinema, highlighting international contenders for features, documentaries, independent and short films in 35mm, 16mm, and video, and a wide range of regional highlights. With prizes for new writers, directors, actors, cinematography, there is an Audience Award in every category and a Grand Jury Prize.

With ten days of meetings and screenings, AFI has nightly red-carpet gala premieres, with the streets filling with excitement and magic every night, as glamorous stars arrive in their limousines to appear at the premieres. AFI FEST offers a crucial avenue of exposure to the entertainment community, besides providing appreciative audience, a festive atmosphere, and the best of world films right in the center of the film capital of the world.

The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars, are the best known, oldest, most prestigious, and famous film awards presented every year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. The awards are given away; six weeks after nominees are announced, at a live telecast ceremony, in a grand function, during the months of February or March, as per the calendar year.

The award ceremony is an elaborate extravaganza, comes with ample excitement, with stars and guests walking up the red carpet in their own glamorous style, and is given to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including actors, directors, camerapersons, technicians, and writers. The Oscar gold-plated statuette, the most recognized trophy in the world, stands 13.5 inches tall, weighs 8.5 pounds, and has been awarded to the greatest filmmakers in history since 1929.

The Venue is Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, which is the permanent home to the award ceremony since 2002, with many attractions in the theatre including restaurants, retails, nightclubs, and a six-screen cinema. Celebrities exhibit the creations of the famous fashion designers at the ceremony, and though the most common outfit for men is the Black tie dress, many prefer not wearing a bow tie.

LA County Fair

LA County Fair is the largest county fair in the U.S, held at the 543 acre of fairgrounds called Fairplex in Pomona, is host to more than a million visitors each year, providing the surrounding communities a collecting place where people can relish traditional food, entertainment, activities and learn about California’s heritage and culture.

Held each September, the LA County fair is open for 17 days, employing 10,000 people annually, has around 2,000 vendors serve food and beverages, besides the humongous grounds, which include thoroughbred racing, carnivals rides for all ages, large and small historic trains, informative field trips for children, parades, performing dogs, and virtual trip to Hawai.

Visit the largest carnival at the Fair that featuring more than 40 challenging skill games and 70 thrill rides, including an expanded kiddie’s carnival, besides the scrumptious snacks like snow cones, cotton candy, caramel apples, and popcorns. A must for kids is a visit to the Bark Park, where they can see the Splash Dogs, Canines Stunt Dog Show, or shop for the latest fashion accessories for their pets or visit the world under the sea, get nose-to-nose with a fish, and explore a kelp forest, all in America’s Kids.

Orange County Classic Jazz Festival

Orange County Classic Jazz Festival was formerly known as LA Classic Jazz Festival, and is held in the month of August at Costa Mesa, California. Produced by John A. Dieball and Connie & Larry baker, the festival is located four blocks from Disneyland. It has jazz music from great bands like High Sierra Jazz band, Paco Gatsby, Fryer/Barnhart International Jazz Band, Tom Hook and the Black Dogs, Independence Hall Jazz Band, the popular Midiri Brothers Sextet, and many others, which make it a fun stop for Mickey lovers and jazz fans.

The festival is held from Thursday to Sunday and has various other performances like Anna Barnhart playing at Ivory & Gold, is great on the flute and as a performer, Jerry Krahn with his archtop guitar. With a long history in the festival circuit, Chet Jaeger and his Nightblooming Jazzmen are best known for their Sunday hymns. Expand your horizons and listen to Tom Rigney’s electric guitar that offers a change from the usual fare at the Classic.

Enjoy the final evening of wonderful music on Sunday night at the After Glow Party buffet and concert featuring Fryer/Barnhart International Jazz Band and Stephane Seva of Paris Washboard.

Watts Summer Festival

The Watts Summer Festival, since 1968, is amongst the oldest African American cultural festivals in the U.S, including music, parade, fashion show, a child-oriented area, and various performances. Moreover, it is a tribute and memorial to the thirty-four community residents, who lost their lives during the Watts Revolt in 1965. Created by members of the community to work together for the development of the Watts community, it has brought family and friends together to have a good time.

The event displays the successes and cultural contributions of African American people, providing a source of inspiration for the future generations. The festival includes sixteen programs that are, Carnival, Performing Arts, Art Exhibit, Community Forum, Sports Village, Children’s Village, Spirit of Watts Tour, Concerts, Social Service, Concessions, Senior Citizen Pavilion, Custom Car, Parade, Bike & Van Show, Goodwill Ambassador, Fashion Show, and Film Festival.

Enjoy the tourist attraction, held only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, for its culturally based venue with commercial and recreational activities. With no admission fees for this historical family-friendly event, the major attractions are kids’ delights are the jazz, gospel, hip-hop concerts, which are the perfect musical backdrop for the weekend, besides the carnival rides and Children’s Village, as the kid’s delight.

Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Centre’s mission is to improve and build a community via professional theatrical traditions that are accessible to everyone, reflecting the landscape, history, and the people of Los Angeles. Ever since 1985, Shakespeare festival has been a treasured community, whether it’s for its professional outdoor productions reflecting Los Angeles, nationally accepted youth-and education recognized program, or Crystal Quill, the arts-education program.

Located in Downtown, the festival with all its programs focuses on one common element, the possibility of changing lives by participation in live theatre, whether planned to reach artists, theatergoers, inner-city youth, or the public. Every evening of summers present events that blend the old and new to make Shakespeare accessible to all audiences, especially through programs like the Youth Arts Professional Institute and Will Power to Schools, where artists and educators search groundbreaking means of making Shakespeare exciting and relevant for the youth.

Other programs are Mainstage featuring award-winning performances of Shakespeare plays, Play On an after-school youth employment program, Will Power to Youth that hires youngsters to create and perform Shakespeare’s plays during school breaks, Will to Lead that helps to lead youth to new opportunities, and Will to Work that places youngsters in paid internship positions.

Holiday Events

➢ Halloween Carnival (West Hollywood) - Occurring annually on October 31st, between 6pm and midnight, Halloween Costume Carnival is LA’s second largest event where admission is free, and the visitors attractions are live entertainment on several stages, pumpkin carving contests, costume contests, dancing, and food vendors.

➢ Rose Parade (Tournament of roses) - Tournament of Roses Parade, or Rose Parade, is held annually on January 1 at Pasadena. The free parade is a festival of music, massive procession of floats, marching bands, flowers, dancers, equestrians, and a football game at the Rose Bowl.

➢ Cinco De Mayo (Olvera Street) - Cino De Mayo festivities (2nd-5thof May), on Olvera Street include cultural demonstrations, carnival rides, exhibitions, traditional dance and musical performances, food and drink stalls. Mainly held at the El Pueblo Historical Monument Institute, it extends free cultural and educational workshops.

➢ Tree Lighting at the Grove - ‘Hollywood Christmas Celebration at The Grove’, annually hosted by The Grove on Nov 22nd is a free tree-lighting event, where people come to see the 100-foot Christmas tree adorned with 15,000 lights and 10,000 ornaments, besides live performances and talented performers.

➢ Hanukah Festival - Hanukah, the Festival of Lights, continues for eight days, celebrates the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, a time of lighting candles and remembering the importance of religious freedom. Enjoy creative arts and crafts, storytelling, live music, gallery activities, and special foods.

Cultural Celebrations

➢ Greek Film Festival - The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, held at The Egyptian Theatre and Linwood Dunn Theatre, is dedicated to encourage Greek cinema, by developing relations between Greek filmmakers and Hollywood, featuring documentaries, shorts and feature films.

➢ Jewish Film Festival - The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival celebrates the diverseness of Jewish experience through films. The weeklong event features films highlighting Jewish traditions, culture, challenges, provide programs and encourage dialogue with the Los Angeles community.

➢ Indian Film Festival - The Indian Film Festival of LA sets the path for greater appreciation of Indian cinema and diverse culture, presenting Grand Jury and Audience Choice awards for Best Feature, Best Short, and Best Documentary.

➢ LA Femme Film Festival - La Femme Film Festival centers on women filmmakers displaying their commercial films, desiring equal chance in commercial entertainment, aspiring to develop, transform, or become Writers, Directors, Producer, or Director of Photography.

➢ Latino Film Festival - The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival explores the richness and diversity of Latino culture via its feature films, shorts, and documentaries, highlighting Latino directors from around the world, at various venues in Hollywood.

➢ Los Angeles Film Independent Festival (LAIFF)- The Los Angeles Film Festival, started in 1995, today attracts over 80,000 visitors, featuring more than 70 feature films, documentary, narrative, beside gala premiers, short film programs, live musical performances, panels, and seminars.