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LA Comedy Shorts are back and funnier

They’re back! Funnier! Faster! Filmier!

The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, touted the largest comedy film festival in the US, is a four-day celebration of comedic short films and the people who make them.

Held in Los Angeles from April 15th-18th at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main St.), LACSFF introduces the newest and hottest comedic talent to the industry in a fun-packed weekend of uproarious screenings, unmatched parties, hilariously unrivaled informative industry panels and a star-studded red carpet awards event so amazing that we’ve actually run out of adjectives.

“They say laughter is the best medicine,” comments Festival Director Jeannie Roshar. “So with all the uncertainty of our nation’s healthcare, we are literally saving lives here.” Artistic Director Gary Anthony Williams followed up with, “Jeannie is no doctor. She’s not capable of making such a quote. I, however, am a surgeon. What Jeannie just said is true. Now, who wants free X-rays?!”

This year’s line-up features 74 short films in competition, including international entries from Norway, the UK, Australia and Canada, programmed into screening blocks with such subject titles as:

*I’d Rather Be Pissed Off than Pissed On *Mmmm…Tasty!
*Screw You *You Got Schooled
*In Days of Old *You’re Killing Me, Larry
*Age Before Bootie *Men Behaving Badly
*You Kiss Your Mama With That Mouth? *Take This Job and Shove It
Filmmakers and screenwriters will compete for over $30,000 in cash and prizes in the following categories: The Funny or Die Best-of-Fest Grand Prize, Atom.com Best Comedy Short Film (30 minutes or less), Best Comedy ‘Shortie’ Short (5 minutes or less) and Atom.com Best Animated Comedy Short (30 minutes or less), as well as the Audience Choice Award.
The L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival is run in conjunction with The L.A. Comedy Scripts Screenplay Competition, presented by Movie Magic Screenwriter and sponsored by The Write Brothers. The Finalists have been selected as follows:
Comedy Feature Screenplay:
“Stacy of Schaumburg,” written by Heather Huntington & Megan Kellie
“Super Fun Time Happy Pizza,” written by Dennis Xenos & Rob Nardecchia
“Tennis Ball Man,” written by Gavin Cruickshank

Half Hour Comedy TV Pilot Script:
“Dear Reese,” written by Shawn Schminke
“Unicorn,” written by Jenny Hagel
“Upstate,” written by Charlie Robinson

Comedy Short Screenplay:
“Ache,” written by Christine Bartsch
“All For Love,” written by Michelle Beakler
“Cuckoo,” written by Kristin Barnett

Following are just a few exciting details to look forward to:

 Opening Night will begin with a pre-reception at the Downtown Independent Theater, followed by a special presentation screening of shorts by celebrity festival participants:

• Funny or Die will present World Premieres and exclusive vintage shorts, including their first ever Short film, Big Dog, starring comedian Charlie Sanders with Bob Odenkirk, as well as Crisis Counselors with SNL’s Michaela Watkins, directed by Brad Schultz, and more. (not in competition)

• LACSFF Directors Gary Anthony Williams and Jeannie Roshar will present their film “Bun In The Oven,” written and directed by Gary and Jeannie along with Laura Merians and featuring Jeannie Roshar. (not in competition)

• “The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives,” directed by Justin Lutsky and starring Patrick Warburton, who will be in attendance.

• “Russell Fish: The Sausage and Egg Incident” directed by Terence Heuston and starring Chris Colfer (Glee).

• “Reunited” directed by and starring Dax Shepard.

• Afterwards, guests will gather for the Opening Night “Beefcake & Cupcakes” After-Party at the J Lounge.

 Each day will begin with Industry Panels featuring:

• Famous People Talkin’ About Sh*t
Featuring: Bryan Cranston, Julie Bowen, Missi Pyle, Mark Hamill & others

• What…In This Economy? – Giving Management/Production Companies What They Really Want.
Featuring: JC Spink (Benderspink), Chris Prynoski (Titmouse), and others from Generate and Mosaic Media

• But I’m a CeWEBrity! – How to Translate Success on the ‘Net into Success in TV/Film.
Featuring Mike Farah (Funny or Die), Tom Hoffman (Fremantle Media) & others from Atom.com.

• I Write, I Produce, Therefore I Am – Tips on Creating Your Own Product by Comedy Writer-Producers.
Featuring Thomas Lennon (Reno 911, Night At The Museum), Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911, Balls of Fury), Laura Kightlinger (SNL, Lucky Louie), Linwood Boomer (Malcolm in the Middle), Rodney Barnes (Boondocks, Everybody Hates Chris)

 Films will be screened in the afternoons and evenings. See screening schedule at www.lacomedyshorts.com

 Festival guests can gather for late-night after-parties at such downtown destinations as the Kyoto Grand Hotel Rooftop on Friday night and the Lucky Strike Lounge at L.A. Live for “Celebrity Beer Pong” hosted by Pong Mistress, Aisha Tyler and sponsored by Digital College Network on Saturday Night. Daily cocktail receptions will be held at the Downtown Independent Theater.

 The Closing Night Red Carpet Awards Gala will be held at Elevate Lounge on Sunday, April 18. Film Awards will be announced at that time, as well as the presentation of the COMMIE AWARD.

Just a few of the key celebrity players involved include Mark Hamill, Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle), Aisha Tyler (CSI, Ghost Whisperer), Dave Koechner (The Office, Funny Or Die Presents), Patrick Warburton (Family Guy, Seinfeld), Mark Curry (Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper), Missi Pyle (Dodgeball), SNL’s Kenan Thompson and Abby Elliot, SNL alums Michaela Watkins and Laura Kightlinger; MAD TV’s Debra Skelton, Nicole Parker, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s Dana Snyder, Futurama’s John Di Maggio, Austin Powers’ Mindy Sterling, Boondocks’ creator Aaron McGruder as well as Cedric Yarbrough, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Carlos Alazraqui from “Reno911!”

Key sponsors include Funny or Die, The ONION, Atom.com, Write Brothers, Inc., Generate, Benderspink, Ink Tip, Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens, Downtown Independent Theatre, Kubilay Üner, Elevate Lounge, Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant, Uprinting.com, Marker Entertainment, J Lounge, M Street Coffee, Zevia Natural Soda, Kovacs Brothers, Big Man Bakes, Popchips, and A Donkey and Goat Winery.

TICKET/PASS INFORMATION

Advance tickets are available online at www.lacomedyshorts.com up to 12 hours before the start of the event. Prices are $12 for individual screenings and panels; $50 for a Day Pass, which provides access to all screenings, panels and parties for that day; and $149 for a VIP All-Access Festival Pass, which includes priority entrance to all screenings, panels, parties as well as the Atom.com Filmmaker Lounge and cocktail receptions at the theater. A limited number of tickets are also available for the Opening Night “Beefcake and Cupcakes” Party and the Closing Night Red Carpet Awards Gala.

Get ready for the dailies live from the Festival on http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/lacomedyshorts

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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