The Los Angeles Film Festival is currently underway at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles, showcasing new American and international cinema. Produced by Film Independent, the Los Angeles Film Festival is offering an exciting lineup of films this weekend that are open to the public.

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting and supporting independent films and filmmakers, and the Time Warner Foundation is a proud sponsor of Film Independent’s artist development programs, which includes the signature diversity program, Project Involve, dedicated to cultivating the careers of filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the industry. Project Involve selects filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and filmmaking tracks, from writers, directors, producers, and editors, to those interested in marketing or acquisitions. Through the program, the participants receive one-on-one mentorships, participate in a series of master workshops, and work together to create a collection of short films.

This year’s Los Angeles Film Festival features a range of films from former fellows of Film Independent’s artist development programs. The short film, Alaska is a Drag, produced by Project Involve alumnus, Kaz Kipp, centers on a young gay man who stands up to, and fights off a pack of bullies in a small cannery town in Alaska. Life of a King, produced by Jim Young and co-produced by Steak House, stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and tells the story of Eugene Brown, who, after being incarcerated for eighteen years, establishes a Chess Club for inner city high school students in Washington D.C. In the film, Brown resolves to teach young people the fundamentals of chess, but it is never just a game for them. For Brown and his students, chess becomes a matter of survival; “Always think before you move.” Lastly, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee, recounts Boggs’ lifelong work for social justice and equality. Born into a middle class Chinese immigrant family and educated at Barnard in the 1930s, Grace soon noticed the inequities in American society and spent the next eight decades working to change the status quo, becoming an icon of the African American movement. At 97, she continues to educate and encourage Americans, young and old, to work for the changes in which they believe.

To learn more about Film Independent, visit their website.