The twelfth annual LACMA Muse Young Directors Night takes place this Saturday, March 2, at 8 pm. This evening, dedicated to cultivating and celebrating local film, is one of LACMA Muse’s most popular annual events.
More than two hundred films were submitted this year, representing every style and genre imaginable. There were foreign language films, silent films, animated films, and much more—with a thirty-minute time limit, the shortest submission was five seconds long and the longest was twenty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds.
From this incredibly diverse pool of submissions, seven spectacular films were selected as finalists, with seven unique filmmakers from different parts of the United States, all of whom currently reside in Los Angeles as they pursue their respective careers in filmmaking.
The featured films and their directors are:
Boom Box Kids, directed by Taylor Gledhill
A bro-mantic comedy set to the harmonious groove of the 1990s. Boy Band front men Curtis and Jayke must put aside their own solo ambitions lest they tear the band apart. Forever.
Cleaner, directed by Masami Kawai
At a Los Angeles dry cleaner, Jae pursues her desires as her mother struggles to keep the business going in the face of pressure from a crime syndicate. But when Jae decides to put an end to the extortion payments, the secrets of the past come to light.
Skip Town, directed by Banner Gwin
Skip Town is a conceptual visual interpretation of a piano piece written and performed by composer Nico Muhly. Gwin and Muhly collaborated to convey the themes of anxiety, panic, and encroaching doom visually, while focusing only on a single character with no dialogue, thus reverting back to the earliest tools of silent filmmaking.
Teens Like Phil, directed by Dominic Haxton
Inspired by real-life tragedies involving high school bullying, Teens Like Phil tells the story of a gay teen, Phil, and his classmate Adam, who brutally bullies him. The film explores the complicated and painful circumstances surrounding this relationship in an effort to better understand the roots of this aggression.
Sweet, Sweet Country, directed by Dehanza Rogers
Living in a small Southern town, twenty-year-old refugee Ndizeye struggles to support not only herself, but also the family she left behind in a Kenyan refugee camp. Her struggle becomes so much more when her family literally shows up at her doorstep.
To Beauty, directed by Jess Zakira Wise
An ode to Dadaism, To Beauty is a cinematic re-creation of six paintings by German artist Otto Dix.
Paulie, directed by Andrew Nackman
Paulie is a nine-year-old in the seventh grade. Used to being the smartest kid in the room, Paulie aces every test, wins every spelling bee and science fair, and does not lose. So when the bully Tony beats him one day at an essay contest, Paulie refuses to let it go.
After the films screen, there will be a discussion between the directors and the 2013 host panel: Josh Welsh and Maggie Mackay of Film Independent, Ken Jacobson of Palm Springs ShortFest, and filmmaker Tina Mabry, who will guide the conversation and explore the process and inspiration behind each featured film. The audience votes for best in show, and the host panel presents the Art of Film Award at the culminating reception, where complimentary beer, wine, and dessert will be served.
Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for LACMA members, $20 for members of LACMA Muse and Film Club. The VIP ticket, which includes a three-course RED pop-up dinner created by chef Jason Fullilove, is also available.
Meghan McCauley, New Member Manager