Elvis Mitchell new curator at L.A. Film Fest; David Ansen steps down

Elvis Mitchell steps into newly created year-round role as Film Independent curator

Less than a month after the end of this year's edition of the Los Angeles Film Festival, David Ansen is out as the festival's artistic director. Film Independent, the organization that puts on the festival, announced the move Thursday.

Elvis Mitchell, who is currently involved with Film Independent's ongoing series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art including the Live Read screenplay readings, will step into the newly created role as year-round Film Independent Curator.

This year Mitchell, a longtime critic, host and personality on the local film scene, was a programmer of the new L.A. Film Fest section called L.A. Muse. Mitchell also hosts the radio program "The Treatment."

“Unifying the Festival and our year-round programming under Elvis’ remarkable vision will facilitate Film Independent’s mission to support a community of diverse, innovative and unique-minded artists," said festival director Stephanie Allain in a press release announcing the changes. "I can’t wait to deepen our collaboration and am excited about the future of the Festival.”

“I’ve been cheered by the reaction to what I’ve done with Film Independent at LACMA, and the organizational support I’ve received in pursuing it, “ said Mitchell in a statement. "I salute David Ansen for his work with the Festival, and look forward to continuing to follow his example.”

This year's festival, anchored at the L.A. Live complex in downtown Los Angeles, opened with Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" and ended with Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys." Top prizes went to Dave Boyle's "Man From Reno" for narrative and Debra Granik's "Stray Dog" for documentary.

"These five years as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival have given me great joy, and I’m very proud of the way the Festival has grown since our move downtown." Ansen, former film critic at Newsweek, said in a statement. "Now it’s time to turn over the reins to make way for a new vision of the Festival’s future."


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