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Lisa Cholodenko named guest director of L.A. Film Festival

The Academy Award-nominated writer and director Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right," "High Art") will serve as guest director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, organizers announced Tuesday. The festival takes place June 11-19 in downtown L.A.

Festival director Stephanie Allain said in a statement that Cholodenko's work "exemplifies our mission of supporting artists who are diverse, innovative, and have a unique point of view."

Cholodenko is currently in post-production on "Olive Kitteridge," a four-part HBO miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The series stars Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Bill Murray.

Past LAFF guest directors include David O. Russell, Kathryn Bigelow and Alfonso Cuarón.

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Festival organizers also announced that the Spirit of Independence Award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to artistic independence in film, will be given to Tom Bernard and Michael Barker for their more than 20 years as co-heads of Sony Pictures Classics.

Returning to the festival is the Master Class series, in which prominent film artists take part in moderated conversations about their creative processes. This year's series launches with Oscar-winning musician and composer Atticus Ross ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "The Social Network").

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's postapocalyptic sci-fi film "Snowpiercer" was previously announced as the festival's opening film.

Presented by Film Independent and sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos from more than 30 countries.

The full festival lineup is to be announced May 6.

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