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Check This Out: Month Long Dance Film Festival Begins Friday!

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A sampling of festival films (Warning: there is a brief 10-second artistic and humorous, yet nude portion at 1:33)

The ninth annual Dance Media Film Festival produced by L.A.'s own Dance Camera West jumps out of the starting gate on Friday with three collections of choice short films. Entitled “ScreenDance: A New Visual Language,” the selected cinematic anthologies are presented over two nights at REDCAT, our homegrown source for cutting edge performing arts. This month long internationally acclaimed event partners with the city’s most prominent venues to offer a host of screenings, installations, and panel discussions with visiting international artists. Entries come from local experimental filmmakers as well as from those who call places as far away as Brazil, Iran and Burkina Faso home. Their works reflect a wide range of relationships between movement, the camera, themes and aesthetics.

A few of the many highlights of this year's celebration include the Weekend at the Hammer Museum (June 12-13) and the closing presentation of Dzi Croquettes, a lively Brazilian documentary at California Plaza/Grand Performances (June 27). In the former, Saturday is labeled a "Pina Bausch Symposium” with screenings of the recently deceased influential woman's work, of a documentary about her and a live Q&A with collaborating director Anne Linsel. Promotional materials call the Sunday program “SurREEL Moves: Weird & Wonderful Experimental Dance Shorts," which is probably a self-explanatory title.

I've always found these films to be enlightening, entertaining and quite interesting. From the high production quality that foreign government support allows to the great variation in definitions of dance, there is something for almost every taste. There's even an installation at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk and an outdoor screening on the west side that reveals the gamut of local talent (established to emerging to student artists from LAUSD middle and high schools).

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To top it off, most of the happenings are free or reasonably priced!