LAFF 2012 Announces First Three Gala Screenings, Including ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World’ and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

With the Tribeca Film Festival in full swing, it’s time that Los Angeles’ own Los Angeles Film Festival pipe in with still more of its lineup, all the better to get left-coasters pumped for their own festival. Earlier this month, LAFF announced that Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love will open the festival, and that announcement is now followed by the release of the first of three of the festival’s Gala titles. Those Galas will include Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild, the World Premiere of Lorene Scafaria‘s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and Ava DuVernay‘s Middle of Nowhere.

Beasts was considered the break-out hit of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, so its appearance at another large festival is not a surprise, but it sure is a pleasant announcement for Los Angeles (the film was recently picked to play in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes). The film also made it on to our Most Anticipated Movies of the Summer list, as it will open on June 29. You can check out Kevin’s review of the film from Sundance, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World also popped up on our Most Anticipated list for the season, and the film will open in theaters on June 22. Middle of Nowhere, though the lesser known title, also won at Sundance, with writer and director DuVernay picking up the the Best Director Award for the film, which is described as “a portrait of a woman struggling between two worlds and two men in the search for herself.” It will release on October 12.

Now celebrating its eighteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival will screen over 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries for this year’s festival, along with continuing on with “signature programs” such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Poolside Chats, and Coffee Talks.

This year’s festival will again be centered in downtown Los Angeles, with its central hub at the sprawling L.A. LIVE complex. The fest will run from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 24. Passes are currently on sale, and general admission tickets to individual films go on sale on May 29. Keep your eyes peeled for more on-the-ground Reject coverage of LAFF as we creep ever-closer to downtown’s best summer event.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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