On January 12-24 2021, the legendary L.A. Performance Space and Gallery Highways will present its Second Annual Film Maudit 2.0 festival to showcase and celebrate new outré, unusual and startling films. The Film Maudit 2.0 festival features over 125 works of cinema from 25 countries including films rarely if ever, seen in festivals: works addressing socio-political issues and taboo subject matter that challenges conventional artistic assumptions and sexual mores.
The festival will present virtual, online screenings of 18 feature films, 21 shorts programs, specially commissioned programs, and new film scored performed by artists who reflect the diversity of Los Angeles. Included are a range of narrative, documentary and experimental films that are deliberately bold, extreme, confrontational and unusual.
Film Maudit 2.0 festival is inspired by French avant-garde filmmaker and writer Jean Cocteau who created the original Festival du Film Maudit (literally “cursed films”) in 1949 aiming to celebrate overlooked, shocking and experimental films.
“There is a connecting spirit to all of the works in Film Maudit 2.0, each selected to engage a different facet of the cinematic imagination,” says Festival Artistic Director Patrick Kennelly. “These radical “cinema-sations” are guaranteed to not just entertain, but to challenge the mind and shock the senses. The idea of the festival is changing and we see this as a positive development for independent filmmakers. We decided to really take advantage of this year’s challenges and embrace the potential reach of the exciting new virtual frontier by creating an online experience that is very much an inclusive, interactive and engaged real-time festival experience through the interactive website.” (www.filmmaudit.org)
Film Maudit 2.0 highlights this year include the U.S. premieres of Feature Films: Mathius Marvellous Shop, a Spanish/German surrealistic satire; Kriya, a magical Indian thriller, and the Los Angeles premieres of Woman of the Photographs; a powerful Japanese film about image and reality for a beautiful model; The Columnist, a darkly comic horror film from The Netherlands; A Dark, Dark Man, the Kazakhstan/France thriller just long-listed for the Golden Globes; and Darkness (Buio) the first feature film by Donatello Award-winning director Emanuela Rossi.
Other special programs include a special fundraising screening of erotic art pioneers Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’ Water Makes Us Wet, featuring a live stream Q&A with both; new, original music scores performed live to silent films, and multiple Feature and Shorts Programs that showcase works from 25 countries in 16 uniquely curated categories from ‘Ms. Fear’ to Shattering Form’ – with animated documentaries to experimental works handmade on film; extreme horror to comic surrealism. There is a special focus on works in Film Maudit’s BEHOLD section, which includes NSFW! curated by Planet Queer, Hi Kicks Entrails, curated by performance artist Ironstone, and QLX: the Performance of Queer Latinx.
The festival is funded in part by the California Arts Council, L.A. County Department of Cultural Affairs and the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs CAP Program.
For 32 years, Highways Performance Space & Gallery has been one of Southern California’s most important non-profit alternative cultural centers, encouraging radical artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative new work in various media. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a hub of experimental theater, dance, solo drama and other multimedia performance,” Highways promotes the development of contemporary socially involved artists and art forms.
Under the helm of Executive Director, Leo Garcia, Highways has received funding and support from organizations such as the The James Irvine Foundation, Metabolic Studio, California Community Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, The Warhol Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and The Roy Cockrum Foundation.
Leo Garcia is an award-winning playwright, filmmaker, visual artist and actor who has produced over 800 performance works as Artistic Director-turned-Executive Director of Highways since 2003.
All films at the festival are free and available online January 12 through 24.
Reservations are required and can be made for each program via Film Maudit 2.0’s screening portal
Follow the festival at @filmmaudit2.0.