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whats up at Silver Lake fest

Opening Night: National Premiere of United Artists' "The Yes Men" and Gala Party
Thursday, Sept. 23, 7:30 pm; tickets $48
"The Yes Men" follows the real-life group of prankster-activists () as they gain worldwide notoriety for impersonating officials of the World Trade Organization. The film is directed by Chris Smith, Dan Ollman and Sarah Price, the filmmaking team behind acclaimed Sundance Grand Prize Jury winner "American Movie" A special appearance by The Yes Men themselves promises to make this not your average red-carpet Hollywood premiere event. Gala party to follow at The Sunset Room.

Centerpiece Gala: An Evening With Laura Dern and Mark Ruffalo -
2004 Recipients of Spirit of Silver Lake Awards
Saturday, Sept. 25, 7:30 pm, tickets $25
The 5th Silver Lake Film Festival awards its highest honors to two independent spirits in the film industry: Laura Dern and Mark Ruffalo. Following their awards presentation, the festival will screen the Warner Bros. Release "We Don't Live Here Anymore." Gala party to follow immediately afterward (location to be announced). Earlier in the day, examples of the early work of Dern and Ruffalo will be screened.

Politics of Film: The Election Year Battle For The Silver Screen
various times/dates
A seven-part series of new political documentaries, most of them L.A., U.S. or world premieres, that tackle today's hot-button issues. Films include "American Jobs," "The World According to Bush," "The Fourth World War, " "This Ain't No Heartland" and "WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception." A panel of filmmakers and political observers will explore the explosion of political documentaries and their rules of engagement.

Farewell To An L.A. Diva: A Film-Performance 'Retrospectacle' of Multi-Media Artist Vaginal Davis
Saturday, Sept. 25 9:30 pm
On the eve of her departure to new digs in Berlin, L.A. veteran performance artist Vaginal Davis presents a retrospective of her underground films, complete with live commentary and, of course, a kick-ass party to follow.

Tina Modotti: A Picnic, And Movies, In The Park
Sunday, Sept. 26, 7:30 pm- Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd. - FREE
As part of its Silver Lake Heritage Series, the festival will host a rare screening of the silent film "The Tiger's Coat," starring Tina Modotti, the enigmatic Hollywood actress-artist-political revolutionary. The screening with live music accompaniment will be held outdoors at Barnsdall Art Park and is free to the public. The program also includes the world premiere of "Tina Modotti: Putting Art Into Life," a documentary about Modotti's life, and a lecture by Patricia Albers, one of her leading biographers. The public is encouraged to bring picnic dinners and enjoy the beautiful views from the newly re-landscaped park prior to and during the screening.

Curtis Harrington Tribute
Wednesday, Sept. 29, screenings at 5:30 pm and 7:45 pm; award presentation at 7 pm
Few horror filmmakers manage to make the "A" list with both fright film fans and movie critics, but Curtis Harrington has achieved just that. The quintessential independent film spirit who nevertheless succeeded in the studio system, Harrington is the 2004 recipient of the festival's Filmmaker Award for lifetime achievement. Program will include the screening of "Usher," his new, never-before-released tribute to the Edgar Allan Poe story, and his 1973 cult classic "The Killing Kind."

5 Nights In Bangkok: New Thai Cinema
various times/dates
Every year the festival focuses on the cutting-edge cinema of a different nation for its international series. Last year's focus was Korea. The exploration of new Asian cinema continues with this year's focus on Thailand. "Five Nights In Bangkok: New Thai Cinema" will present seven films from a new generation of Thai filmmakers who are increasingly playing to an international audience as well as an increasingly sophisticated hometown crowd. The large Thai community in Silver Lake/Eastside makes this one a natural for the festival. In fact, one of the features, "Province 77" refers to the 76 provinces of the kingdom of Thailand, the so-called 77th being Los Angeles.

Music Doc Series
various times/dates
A benchmark of the festival's programming over the years has been its musical documentary line-up. This year's program lives up to the promise with an eight-film series that includes the world premiere of "Critical Times: Fishbone's Hen House Session" about one of L.A.'s most influential bands; "Edgeplay: A Film About The Runaway," ex-Runaway Vicki Blue's insider look at the rise and disintegration of punk's first all-girl band, and the Los Angeles premiere of "Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music," which documents the rise of South Asian electronic music in the U.K. in the Nineties.

ALT/SIL Art Installation
Sept 24-26, 11 am to 11 pm - THE ZONE at the ArcLight Cinemas - FREE
A three-part, site-specific installation incorporating video, ALT/SIL revolves around the concept of the urban neighborhood and takes the form of the reconstruction of Silver Lake's West Sunset Blvd. Curated by Saskia Wilson-Brown and Sonik Mercury.

LIVE MUSIC SHOWS
The festival's annual showcase of independent music goes political this year as bands gather together to inspire the undecided and raise funds for MUST VOTE (www.mustvote.com).

" Friday, Sept. 24, 9 pm - The Echo, 1822 W. Sunset Blvd.
An evening of punk, gothic and glam rock entertainment with featured performers including The Skulls, The Stitches, Igor Spectre and Prima Donnas.

" Saturday, Sept. 25, 9 pm - THE ZONE at the ArcLight Cinemas
Visions and sounds of avant music makers, including Lou Barlow, King Straggler, David Garza, Azalia Snail, The Moves and Bedroom Walls.

PANELS
" The End of Surburbia - Friday, Sept. 24, 7:45 pm - The changing urban landscape in the face of dwindling fossil fuel supplies is explored on film and by a panel of energy, urban planning and environmental experts.

" Music and the Independent Film with the screening of "Pony Boy" - Friday, Sept. 24, 7:45 pm - In this two-part program, an example of the effective use of music is presented in a low-budget indie feature. Then a panel of experts that includes filmmakers, agents and songwriters will discuss how incorporating good music into independent filmmaking is easier and less expensive than most think.

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