The most defiantly independent film festival, DANCES WITH FILMS (DWF:LA), is celebrating 25 years of championing innovation, talent and creativity with a 2022 lineup that founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent declare is “the most dynamic and diverse we’ve ever seen.” The Los Angeles-based indie film event will take place at the TCL Chinese Theater from June 9-19.
The festival will kick off opening night with THE WALK, directed by Daniel Adams and starring Terrence Howard, Jeremy Piven, Malcolm McDowell and Justin Chatwin, a powerful story based on true events about Boston’s 1974 desegregation busing.
Additional titles include ASHGROVE, a pandemic era film starring Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale), THE LATIN FROM MANHATTAN, which follows the wild life of adult film icon Vanessa Del Rio, starring Shane West, Jesse Metcalfe, Taryn Manning, Esai Morales, Drea de Matteo and Dita Von Teese.
Documentary selection WE PAID LET US IN! chronicles the inspiring journey of Chicago rhyme duo, Abstract Mindstate, who reunited after a 16-year hiatus when Kanye West signed them to his newly launched record imprint in 2021. WE PAID LET US IN! also features Common, Coodie & Chike, and Deon Cole. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A PROBLEM? traces the phenomenon of othering in America, how marginalized groups of people are mistreated in a nation that allegedly cares about justice and equality, and features Ed Asner, Danny Glover, Henry Rollins and music by Jackson Browne. Closing out the festival is thriller GHOSTWRITTEN starring Jay Duplass and Maria Ditzia.
Dances With Films, who champions diversity and inclusion has chosen to close the festival on Juneteenth to further shed light on this important legal holiday. Topics highlighted throughout programming include women’s rights, segregation, homelessness, mental health, refugee stories, and sexual abuse.
Festival Founders Leslee Scallon, Michael Trent and Producing Partner Jackie Tepper state “25 years is no small feat in Hollywood, and Dances With Films continues to be about new voices, and new perspectives that help transform the way people see the world through the visual medium. We have always provided a safe space for emerging filmmakers to enhance awareness and understanding of the world through their art. The impact of filmmaking in terms of creating change is undeniable, and DWF:LA is proud to be a part of that.”
In addition to the film screenings, Dances With Films will also host a series of panels and performances. Previous panelists include Academy Award nominated DUNE Producer Cale Boyter, Director Paul Greengrass, Producer Michael London, Lord of The Rings Executive Producer Mark Ordesky, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and Casting Director David Rubin, and more.
You can check out the entire film slate on the Dances with Films website and follow @danceswithfilms on Instagram.
The 2022 Dances With Films Festival is sponsored by PRG, Simple DCP, Filmmaker Magazine, Fandor, Lucas Bols, The Loews Hotel Hollywood and Josh Cellars.