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The Los Angeles Film Festival - The Big Preview

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The 15th annual Los Angeles Film Festival kicks off tonight at 7:30 pm with the premiere screening of Paper Man at the Mann Village Theater. The full festival begins in earnest the following morning as over 80 documentary and narrative features unspool in venues across the Westside. In addition to that, the festival features panels and seminars, coffee talks and poolside chats, short-film programs, music video showcases, live concerts and free screenings of such beloved films as Ghostbusters, Election and The Muppet Movie.

With so many films to choose from, it's difficult to determine what's worth seeing. Unfortunately, in the early days of the festival, what you end up seeing mostly depends on what film still has tickets available. As the week progresses, though, availability becomes less of an issue and you can typically get into all but the most high-profile screenings (e.g. Public Enemies, Transformers 2: Stupid Sequel). Of course, if you are feeling a little frisky you can still buy a pass to the festival that will get you into virtually anything.