Old enough to buy a beer but still young enough to be sorting out its identity, the
The nine-day fest based at the Regal Cinemas downtown will kick off with writer-director Paul Weitz's dramedy "Grandma," starring Lily Tomlin as an acerbic septuagenarian poet helping her granddaughter (Julia Garner) get an abortion. Tomlin is to receive the festival's Spirit of Independence award before the screening.
Having debuted to strong reviews at Sundance this year, "Grandma," from
In a recent interview, Weitz spoke to the Los Angeles Times about writing the unconventional protagonist with Tomlin in mind.
"The stereotype of older people being less hip than younger people is so inverted at this point," he said, adding of women Tomlin's age: "Their experience is so much more explosive than somebody who is 18 years old. I thought it was interesting having the explosive character be the grandma."
This year's festival, of which The Times is a sponsor, features 45 world premieres, more than half its feature slate, with more than 80% of the program by first- or second-time directors. Nearly 40% of the films were directed by women, and nearly 30% were directed by people of color.
Check back for daily updates of what's coming up and what's going down at the LAFF.