It's that time of year again, when Los Angeles comes together to celebrate a new and diverse slate of almost two hundred films (features, shorts and music videos) at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Hollywood is the perfect place to debut a finished project, but it is also a great setting for many of this year's films. "Beauty Is Embarrassing" and "G-Dog" are both documentary feature films about local LA legends (Wayne White and Father Greg Boyle) from behind the scenes; While "Magic Mike" and "Celeste and Jesse Forever" are more mainstream feature films starring Los Angeles locals like Cody Horn, Riley Keough, and Rashida Jones.

If seeing the movies opening week is for you, then pull out your popcorn vouchers and order your tickets.


All images courtesy of the Los Angeles Film Festival
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  • Beauty Is Embarrassing

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: You may not know Wayne White by name, but you are unquestionably familiar with his work. A guiding force behind Pee-wee's Playhouse, White made an indelible mark on '80s and '90s pop culture by creating some of the decades' most arresting and iconic images. <em>Beauty is Embarrassing</em> chronicles his ongoing struggles to find peace and balance between his work and his art. Director Neil Berkeley captures White at home, on the road and onstage doing his one-man show, resulting in a funny, irreverent and joyful documentary that inspires us all to follow our own passions.

  • Magic Mike

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: An experienced male stripper -- played by Channing Tatum, who once was one --initiates a novice, played by Alex Pettyfer, into the tricks of the trade in Steven Soderbergh's delightfully sexy, disarmingly touching Magic Mike. Matthew McConaughey co-stars, giving an Oscar-worthy turn as their money-hungry boss and fellow stripper. Tatum, whose charm is as impressive as his abs, comes into his own playing a guy who'd rather be designing furniture than peeling off his clothes for squealing customers. And newcomer Cody Horn shines as the sister of Mike's protégé, who's both furious with Mike for dragging her brother into the scene, and trying hard not to fall in love with him. A smart, funny whirlwind tour of a world of easy money, hard partying, eager women and thrills both cheap and pricey, Magic Mike is Soderbergh at his sharp-eyed best.

  • G-Dog

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: Nicknamed "G-Dog" by the residents of the Boyle Heights neighborhood in which his original parish was located, the remarkable Jesuit priest Father Gregory Boyle first founded Homeboy Industries, the groundbreaking intervention program for at-risk youth and former gang members, in 1992. Since then, Father Greg and his devoted staff have built Homeboy up from a single bakery to several businesses, all revolving around the motto "Jobs not Jails." When hard economic times threaten his good work, the heroic Father Greg must fight to keep his programs afloat in this moving and inspiring film from Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Mock.

  • People Like Us

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: The touching directorial debut of blockbuster screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, People Like Us stars Chris Pine as Sam, a fast-talking, headstrong salesman. When his famous -- and famously difficult -- music impresario father dies, Sam returns home for the first time in years, where he is tasked with fulfilling his estranged father's last wish -- delivering an inheritance he believes is rightfully his to the sister he never know he had, played by Elizabeth Banks. Torn between anger at his father and a growing sense of responsibility for his sister and her son, Sam must come to terms with the family he thought he knew in this moving drama based on a true story.

  • Dinner Rush With Michael Voltaggio

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival:</a> A sleeper not enough people had the opportunity to discover, Bob Giraldi's delightful movie, set in a trendy Tribeca restaurant in New York, is like a good five-course meal. Part social comedy, part mafioso drama, part father and son story, it mixes its ingredients in fresh and unexpected ways. Following his award-winning tenure as Chef de Cuisine for The Bazaar by José Andrés, Chef Michael Voltaggio went on to become a national household name after winning the sixth season of Bravo's reality cooking show Top Chef. From there, Voltaggio opened his own immensely popular and highly praised restaurant ink. in West Hollywood, which was named "best new restaurant in America" GQ Magazine this year.

  • Full Out

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: Maddy Miller, a 17-year-old boy, struggles to move to LA in order to pursue a professional dance career.

  • Vampira and Me

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: Before Elvira, there was Vampira, the playfully ghoulish host of a local L.A. late night horror movie show. Camp before camp existed, a Goth before her time, she became a national celebrity in the mid-Fifties, then disappeared, briefly surfacing in Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space. What became of her? Utilizing rarely seen archival footage and delving deep into the layers of Vampira's story -- her friendship with James Dean, her close brush with a murderer, her lawsuit against Elvira, her years in Hollywood exile -- R.H. Greene, who knew her well, has created a loving, personal portrait of the remarkable woman behind the chalk-white mask.

  • Celeste and Jesse Forever

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: Celeste and Jesse are having as hard a time falling out of love as most people have falling in. A Los Angeles couple who married young, they are now going through an "amicable" divorce. Their goal is to remain best friends in spite of this rift, but in Lee Toland Krieger's fresh, delightful romantic comedy, that proves easier said than done. Rising star Rashida Jones, who co-wrote the screenplay with Will McCormack, is the overachieving businesswoman Celeste. Andy Samberg is the witty, underachieving Jesse. Their patent chemistry makes their growing estrangement all the more poignant, as well as funny, in this beguiling and surprising anti-love story.

  • Good Bread

    From the <a href="" target="_hplink">Los Angeles Film Festival</a>: In the kitchen of Homeboy Industries, a former gang member finds a way out.