The 18th annual Valley Film Festival (VFF) has announced its feature film selections, including 12 World and Los Angeles premieres, festival sponsors, inaugural film market, and theme: #unitedbyfilm.

VFF returns in full force with a five-day festival showcasing over 75 of the best independent films, from the (818) and from around the world, October 31 – November 4, 2018 at Laemmle NoHo7 in the NoHo Arts District.

United by Film, has been the Festival’s unwritten theme for the last few years and is now front and center, complete with the hashtag #unitedbyfilm.

“As a festival, we see the universal threads in film submissions from all over the world,” said VFF’s founder Tracey Adlai. “From the explosion of cinema coming out of the Middle East to Russia to the 818, and we are very conscious of sharing stories that know no borders and unify our hopes, dreams, conflict, heartbreak, and tragedy.”

The Valley Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, October 31, with the World Premiere of 818, a character driven drama that weaves five stories in one Valley. Directed by Chris Gehrt, Joe Hackett, and Joe Taylor.

Prior to the screening, Academy Award ® nominee and Golden Globe ® winner, Sally Kirkland, will be presented with the Jack F. Murphy Award for Achievement in Independent Filmmaking. Kirkland was chosen for her incredible career spanning six decades in theater, film, and TV, her advocacy of the arts, and her involvement with VFF over the last 18 years: Thank You, Goodnight (VFF02), The Rose Technique (VFF02), Posey (VFF13), and Tom In America (VFF15).

George Michael

VFF18’s Centerpiece Screening is the Los Angeles premiere of George Michael: Freedom – The Director’s Cut. Directed by George Michael and David Austin, this deeply autobiographical film is narrated by the late GRAMMY® Award winner. George takes us through his musical life, his thoughts on public life, and openly into his very private life.

Closing the Festival is the World Premiere of I’ll Be Next Door For Christmas, a comedy about a family that’s crazy for Christmas, except for the 16-year-old daughter, directed by David Willis. Features: Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV), Atticus Shafer (The Middle), Jonathan Mangum (GLOW), Juliette Angelo (Speechless, New Year’s Eve), Beth Littleford (Crazy Stupid Love), and Kirrilee Berger (One Dollar).

VFF is also thrilled to announce the launch of The Valley Film Market, currently scheduled for March 2019. “We’re more than an exhibitor,” said Adlai, “and we’d like to help films make the transition from the festival circuit to a full theatrical or VOD release by facilitating the introduction of independent film producers, distributors, and sales agents in an intimate setting.”

The Festival would also like to thank the following organizations for sharing VFF’s mission of supporting independent film: First Entertainment Credit Union, Concourse Media / I&CO, Cine Gear Expo, iZotope, OWC, New York Film Academy, Creative Handbook, Ink Tip, NoHoArtsDistrict.com, ProductionHUB, Lights Camera Connect, My Valley Pass, Décor Art Galleries, MacMen films, and Shane Mario’s Studio.

Other films with Los Angeles premiers include: Black Site (United Kingdom) directed by Tom Paton, The Browsing Effect (USA) directed by Michael Feinstein, Closure (USA) directed by Alex Goldberg, Daddy Issues (United Kingdom/USA) directed by Laura Holliday, In Our Bones (USA) directed by Alexandria Kimura, Not Your Skin (USA) directed by Ester Brym, San Diego’s Gay Bar History (USA) directed by Chris Cashman, Taranta On The Road (Italy) directed by Salvatore Allocca, Wild Honey (USA) directed by Francis Stokes, and Wonderlus (South Africa) directed by Johan Cronje

The Festival remains fully committed to supporting local independent production by showcasing thirty-nine films made by Angelenos, Vals, and shot in or about the glamorous San Fernando Valley, while continuing to promote diverse films from around the world, with films from Australia, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

About the Jack F. Murphy Award: 
This award was founded to honor the memory of Jack F. Murphy (1947-2013), a film producer and distributor who worked for Seven Arts Productions, Criterion Pictures Corp., and American Cinema Marketing. In 2001 Murphy formed Associated Screen Artists to produce and develop feature films including Havoc. He revived Richard Elfman’s 1980 production of Forbidden Zone as a film festival favorite and cult classic. Jack was a founding member of The Valley Film Festival’s Advisory Board and a lover of independent film. John Putch (Route 30 trilogy, Cougar Town) was the Festival’s inaugural recipient in 2017.

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