Guest Curator Larry Laboe to Present Eclectic Films at 12th Annual Mendocino Film Festival, June 1-4, 2017
MENDOCINO, CA – The 12th Annual Mendocino Film Festival will present a trio of diverse films by first-time filmmakers, selected by guest curator and producer Larry Laboe. The films chosen include edgy, Peruvian, romantic comedy Como En El Cine (Just Like in the Movies), contemporary, gritty, American thriller Delinquent and Irish documentary Bobby Sands: 66 Days.
Laboe’s film selections join an award-winning 2017 program slate from 23 countries. The Twelfth Annual Mendocino Film Festival program also features 5 Academy Award nominees, an Academy award winner, 8 California premieres, 8 Sundance selections and 1 U.S. premiere, as well as Q&As with filmmakers and special guests from around the world.
Laboe is a producer, former actor, Co-Founder and Executive Director of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA). He is a faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as president of production at digital production house, SXM, where he has worked with entertainment companies including Disney, NBC, MTV and Comedy Central. His projects have been directed by talented filmmakers such as James Franco, and Joseph Gordon Levitt.
“My passion is film and storytelling,” says Laboe. “A big part of that is to share work by emerging filmmakers.”
In curating this year’s films, Laboe has brought his filmmaking experience to highlight eclectic and lesser-known works of merit to Mendocino audiences. The 3 features he is bringing to Mendocino are all by first-time filmmakers, whom he is eager to make household names for festival audiences.
“I love bringing people together,” Laboe says. “For me that’s what film is all about. It’s about sharing people’s stories and experiencing things you wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.”
He is delighted by the surprise factor for audiences when seeing new movies, as well as the power of effective storytelling.
“I think film opens up so many windows for people,” Laboe says. “They open up so many ways to see the world. Maybe a friend brings you to see a movie that’s not something you were interested in, or you thought wouldn’t appeal to you. Then suddenly you love it, and you understand somebody else’s way of thinking.”
Of particular interest to Laboe is new media, as well as alternative modes of distribution. He has taught a class on New Media Production and Distribution for the last 4 years at the San Francisco Art Institute. For their class projects students make a collective web series.
“It’s very hands-on,” he says. “We cover development, pre-production, casting, staffing, platforms, story structure, pitching, funding and packaging. I choose people from every part of the business to come and speak to the class.”
A native of Monroe, Michigan, Laboe lived in New York City as teenager where he was a singer and actor. He made his first short film, Subdivision, at 18 and then segued to producing films and moved to Los Angeles in 2006.
“I grew out of wanting to be in front of the camera,” Laboe says. “Producing is better for me. I like seeing things come together. I like being the ignition.”
His work for NewFilmmakers Los Angeles, which began a decade ago, calls upon those production skills.
“We’re trying to connect filmmakers with opportunities, as in a development capacity,” Laboe says. “So, it’s like being a development producer and an event producer.”
He is delighted to bring those development and curating skills to Mendocino.
“I get excited any time an opportunity comes along where we can connect our filmmakers with an event that’s going to help them reach more people and build a relationship with new audience members,” Laboe says. “My goal is for them to know that people appreciate what they’re doing, and to give them the motivation to go out and make another film.”
It’s a win-win for all concerned—filmmakers, audiences and festival organizers.
“We’re thrilled to be able to benefit from Larry’s substantial knowledge of film and passionate commitment to first-time filmmakers,” says Claudia Puig, Program Director of the Mendocino Film Festival. “To be able to showcase fascinating films by important new talent is a wonderful boon for the festival.”
LARRY LABOE’S CHOICES:
“These are 3 very different cinema experiences,” says Laboe of his choices. “You have 3 very different films from 3 very different parts of the world, with different points of view and characters who come from very different backgrounds. I think it’s a great spectrum to digest.”
The principal is itching to kick Joey out of high school, and Joey can’t wait to get out. All he wants is to work for his father, a tree cutter by day and the leader of a gang of small-time thieves by night in rural Connecticut. When Joey’s father asks him to fill in as a lookout, Joey is thrilled until a routine robbery goes very wrong. Caught between loyalties to family and a childhood friend in mourning, Joey has to deal with paranoid accomplices, a criminal investigation, and his own guilt. What kind of man does Joey want to be, and what does he owe to the people he loves? The film screens Saturday June 3 at 8 p.m. in Matheson Performing Arts Center in Mendocino Village. Q&A with filmmaker Kieran Valla follows the film.
COMO EN EL CINE
After finding out that his girlfriend cheated on him under his own Star Wars bed sheets, Nico decides to reunite with his true love: the cinema. To accomplish this mission, he brings his old university friends together, with whom he tries to make a low budget short film. They experience absurd situations that range from reality to fiction and will lead to personal questioning of their friendships and where their lives are headed. The film screens Saturday June 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Festival Tent in Mendocino Village.
BOBBY SANDS: 66 Days
Drawing on an Irish Republican tradition of martyrdom, Sands’ emotive, non-violent protest to be classified as a political prisoner became a defining moment in 20th century Irish history. Sands’ death after 66 days marked a key turning point in the relationship between Britain and Ireland, and brought a global spotlight to the Northern Irish conflict which eventually triggered international efforts to resolve it. This feature length documentary exploring Sands’ remarkable life and death, 35 years on from his ultimate sacrifice. The spine of the film is comprised of Sands’ own words, drawn from his hunger strike diary, a unique insight into the man and his beliefs as he embarked on his final journey. The film screens Sunday June 4 at 10 a.m. at Matheson Performing Arts Center.
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ABOUT THE MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL: The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting award-winning, international, and independent films. Over the years, the Mendocino Film Festival has become renowned on the festival circuit, drawing filmmakers and attendees from around the world, while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring special events, filmmaker Q&As, and panels, the program offers the unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in an intimate setting, while enjoying the striking natural beauty of Mendocino, which has inspired generations of artists. Mendocino has been the chosen location for such seminal films as: The Uninvited (1943), East of Eden (1954), The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1965), Summer of ’42 (1970), Same Time, Next Year (1978), Cujo (1982), Pontiac Moon (1993), The Majestic (2001), and most recently, Crabs! (2015).
The 12th Annual Mendocino Film Festival takes place June 1-4, 2017. For more information, including this year’s complete program, visit www.MendocinoFilmFestival.org.