Dances With Films Festival 2017 – ‘What To See’

It’s June here in Los Angeles and that could only mean one thing – multi-film festival time!  First up for the indie film enthusiast is the coveted and prestigious Dances With Films Festival 2017 (taking place June 1-11 at the Chinese 6 Theaters at Hollywood and Highland – go to www.danceswithfilms.com for more details!) which this year is celebrating it’s amazing 20 year anniversary! (Congrats!)  Notable flicks of the past like Honeyglue, Soledad and Lola’s Last Letter (all featuring 5-star turns by the likes of actors Adriana Mather, Jesse Celedon and Valerie Brandy!) and filmmakers to watch for like the stunning Christopher Soren Kelly (his short Monkeys has pure Fincher aesthetic!) all came out of the fantastic film festival known as Dances with Films.  This year seems even more filled with promise as 2017 boasts more than 160 films to choose from – the odds are most assuredly in a movie geeks favor!  So in gearing up to find the good stuff, I’ve strapped on my movie-watching boots and am hitting the flicks hard to provide you with the most comprehensive cinematic coverage beginning with a first look preview.  And while there are a myriad of fine films to choose from (hey, can’t list them all here!), below is merely a tiny taste of the films that initially intrigued and peaked my possible best of fest interest – an on-screen appetizer for those hungry for more.  So from gals kicking some Wild West ass to docs through the eyes of resilient youngsters here are my first glance picks on…”What To See!”  

Opening Night

“Missing In Europe” – I’ve always been a sucker for flicks about finding missing people and this Taken style story for the strong smart female set may just hit the spot.  Pitting a Cyber security expert mom with a particular set of hacking skills against unknown folks who have abducted her child puts a nice spin on the norm and could produce some great cinema – “good luck!”


Competition Features

“Cassidy Red” – I’m not going to lie – having a determined dame seeking vengeance at the end of a gun is usually cause for cinematic celebration.  But add to that a western style angle, a pinch of passionate romance and daddy issues to boot and you could have a kick ass film with a female lead to watch for.

“Eliza Sherman’s Revenge” – Don’t know exactly what this one is about, but there’s more than enough key words in the wacky description to well warrant a watch.  A supernatural revenge comedy. The space-time continuum.  And a fake birthday party for 80’s heartthrob Richard Grieco?  Nuff said – consider me RSVP.

“Imitation Girl” – A strange sounding tale about a mysterious being arriving on earth, taking the form of a young girl and the adventures that follow (not to mention some world-weary earthly double action!) could be the next The Brother From Another Planet.  But it’s the inclusion of Night of the Comet alum (and one of my favorite actresses!) Catherine Mary Stewart that seals the “see it” deal for me.


Fusion Features

“Devil’s Whisper” – Love anything dealing with mysterious boxes that unleash demonic spirits intent on possession, but throw in some repressed memories, childhood traumas an the fact that the object of the take over is a kid who wants to become a Catholic priest and you’ve got a thriller with plenty of bold back baggage.

“The Scent of Rain and Lightning” – After seeing her wonderful subtle turns in both The Guest and It Follows, only then to play non-existent in the sub-par Independence Day: Resurgence, it’s nice to see actress Maika Monroe going indie again and The Scent of Rain and Lightning sounds like a story she could sink her teeth into.  A troubled gal, murdered parents, family secrets and a possible killer released from jail – Monroe could make this magical.


Midnight Features

“Central Park” – A horror flick with “the sins of the father coming back to haunt sons” story elements mixed with a gaggle of spirited teens as inquisitive protagonists could be a Goonies meets Judgment Night – or maybe something completely different.  We’re patiently parked people…and waiting.


Documentary Features

“Resistance is Life” – With plenty of tales of hope, resistance and fighting to beat ISIS, it’s this endearing doc told through the eyes of 8-year-old refugee camp gal Evlin that has us intrigued – triumph in the face of adversity is ageless.

So for those in the LA area head on over to the Chinese 6 Theaters at Hollywood and Highland between June 1-11 for Dances With Films Festival 2017 and get your indie movie on – we’ll keep you posted!


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

1 Response to “Dances With Films Festival 2017 – ‘What To See’”

  1. Tom Colitt

    Hi Jason

    I was searching for your review of a 2015 Dances With Films entry, Lola’s Last Letter that you did with Starpulse. I was also mentioned in your review and I was wondering if you’d be so kind to direct me to a link with your article or possibly email me a copy?

    Merry Christmas and Best Regards, Tom Colitt