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Great Escape: LA Film Festival and Hollywood Fringe Festival Open This Week

It's art and culture's take on Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Both festivals open Thursday.

Who said there's no culture in Los Angeles? Hollywood and downtown L.A. are the sites for two very special events starting this week—the  Hollywood Fringe Festival and the LA Film Festival. Both festivals run from Thursday through June 26.

The LA Film Festival returns to downtown for its 17th year, with the central location being LA Live. It will screen a diverse slate of over 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, representing more than 30 countries. The festival combines emerging talent with industry professionals and gives the moviegoing public a chance to interact with the talent though networking receptions and intimate Q&A's.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Erykah Badu and composer Daniele Luppi are serving as Artists in Residence. Highlights of the festival include a conversation with Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine, stars of the festival’s opening night film Bernie. Screen Gems’ Attack the Block and Lionsgate’s The Devil’s Double are also top attractions.

The Hollywood Fringe Festival celebrates its second year as a stage for the emerging arts. There will be over 200 productions of theater, dance, comedy, music, visual art, cabaret, film,workshops and events at over 20 venues in central Hollywood, with close to 1,000 performances in total, including a number of free and pay-what-you-can shows. There will also be late-night parties, jams, open mics and more. The festival will be located at both traditional and unorthodox venues—from fully equipped theaters, street corners, clubs, bars and places unexpected. Performances are self-produced by local, national and international arts companies and independent performers.

For tickets and information, go to LAFilmFest.com and hollywoodfringe.org.

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