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Dances With Film Los Angeles: Anxiety, Infidelity, Personal Discovery


Dances With Film has been running since 1998 as an independent film fest outside the realm of Hollywood royalty and bringing together independent film makers. This year’s DWF runs from June 22nd to July 2 at TCL Chinese Theaters, with shorts, features, docs and more that are stirring, heartfelt, funny, and offbeat.

BIBI, written and directed by Christopher Beatty,  is a gripping psychological thriller that delves into the unraveling mind of Vivian Ashwood, a grieving mother struggling to cope with her tragic loss. Haunted by her past and tormented by a mysterious stalker, Vivian's grasp on reality begins to slip as she battles her anxieties and dependencies on prescription medication and alcohol. Vivian's world blurs as her routine nightmares merge with her waking reality, leaving her trapped in a disorienting web of fear and uncertainty.

Katie’s Mom, is a comedy influenced by The Graduate, but told from the perspective of a protagonist inspired by Mrs. Robinson. Directed by Tyrrell Shaffner, Katie’s Mom is about Nancy Rosenfeld (Dina Meyer), a nurturing mom and recent divorcée, whose beloved Jewish/Christmas mashup holiday celebration with her adult children is derailed when she falls for Alex Rojas (Aaron Dominguez), her daughter's charming new boyfriend. Their electrifying affair upends her status quo and sets her on a path to becoming the woman she was meant to be. 

Heightened, from director Sara Friedman, is a comedic story about facing the hardships of anxiety. Following a mental breakdown, social anxiety and OCD-riddled Nora (Sara Friedman) returns to Maine to live with her emotionally distant parents (Sarah Clarke and Xander Berkeley). While she undergoes court-ordered psychiatric treatment, Nora’s world is further upended when she is assigned to volunteer at a local state park. Her awkward assignment actually shows promise when her anxiety subsides in the company of her new supervisor Dusty (Dave Register), who is dealing with crippling issues of his own. Maybe Nora and Dusty can help each other overcome the obstacles their socially complicated world presents to them.

Check the festival’s website for more info on additional films and events around the Dances With Film fest.

To learn more, go to:

Dances With Film Los Angeles
June 22 - July 2, 2023

TCL Chinese Theatres
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

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