LA SKINS FEST annually showcases works by indepedent Native American filmmakers that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of Native American people. The festival helps filmmakers show their work so audiences of all ages and interests can enrich their experience and understanding of Native American cultures.
Interview with Festival Director Ian Skorodin
Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
We offer great venues, a great audience and, most importantly, we offer great support for our filmmakers. Our support system includes additional programming that includes development initiatives that offer career opportunities at the network and studio level.
MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival next year (2017)?
Attendees can expect to see the best movies from Native America as well as meet several talented filmmakers. This year, we are having an opening night event at the comedy central stage featuring a sketch comedy showcase of native american actors. We have several development workshops for adults and youth in partnership with networks and studios. Our mixers host the largest urban collection of Native Americans in the US located here in Los Angeles.
MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?
The LA SKINS FEST requires that films be by Native filmmakers or about Native America.
MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
Film festivals are a competitive field and not every film fits into the festival circuit.
MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
We are motivated to showcase Native American writers, directors, actors, and producers. We feel there is incredible talent that has not entered the mainstream marketplace. We want to address that absence and offer a genuine opportunity to be a part of the entertainment industry.
MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?
The festival has grown in the amount of films we show and the level of our venue. This year we are opening at Barnsdall Art Park Gallery Theater and continue through the weekend at the Mann Chinese Theater. These are great venues with a long history in Los Angeles.
Our sponsors have also grown to include numerous studios, networks, art organizations, the City of Los Angeles and Native American tribes. This has been crucial in growing our festival and offering the best showcase for Native American filmmakers.
MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?
in 2020, the festival will offer genuine distribution opportunities for Native American cinema. The LA SKINS FEST will showcase new Native American movies that can be used to find distribution and new opportunities for its participants.
MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?
Once Upon A Time In America.
MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?
Strong characters with purpose offer the strongest cinematic experience.
MT: How is the film scene in your city?
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world and is very much on the minds of everyone here.