Last year’s DTLA Film Festival (Oct. 17-21, 2018) brought in record crowds for the festival, and an increased awareness by the industry. Six months later, films premiering at the festival have secured distribution deals, won additional awards on the international film festival circuit, and been featured in the press.

“It’s gratifying to see the filmmakers whom we showcase at the festival go on to enjoy success,” says Karolyne Sosa, Director of Programming. “Our focus on diversity, our location in L.A.’s new creative nexus, our longevity and most of all the, the quality of the films all work together to make ours a singular film festival among the hundreds produced each year.”

“Holy Lands,” which screened as the Centerpiece Film at last year’s festival, was picked up earlier this year by Cinedigm for all North American rights. Director-screenwriter Amanda Sthers, who wrote the eponymous novel on which the film is based, won last year’s Best Adapted Screenplay award, and Best Cinematography honors for Regis Blondeau. The films stars James Caan, Rosanna Arquette (who was honored last year with the festival’sIndependent Film Pioneer Award) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. More:

Filmmaker and actress Angela Matemotja won last year’s festival’s Female Pioneer Award for her documentary “Elevate,” a drama intertwining stories about people who must fight to overcome their struggles with homophobia, food addiction and racism. Earlier this year, Matemotia went on to win Best Director at Rainbow Umbrella Film Festival in London and earned an official selection at Rapid Lion: The South African International Film Festival in Johannesburg. More:

Last November, DTLA Film Festival alum Karen Gillian and David Dastmalchian were featured in an article in The Hollywood Reporter about the new found clout of indie film veterans after appearing in Marvel Studios’ big-budget studio releases. Gillian, who starred in last fall’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” co-starred with Dastmalchian in the indie feature he also wrote and directed, “All Creatures Here Below” — which won multiple honors at last year’s festival including Audience Favorite Award.

As the article noted, Marvel has always had a symbiotic relationship with the indie world, relying on indie directors to power its creative engines. In turn, when its talent returns to independent filmmaking, they come back armed with tools from the Marvel Universe. More:

Most recently, director Michael Medoway’s “El Gallo” — which won Best Cinematography | Short Films — was picked up for distribution earlier this month by DAZN. The documentary takes us on a visceral journey through the life of Juan “El Gallo” Estrada, the former Flyweight champion of the world and one of Mexico’s most famous boxers. More:–138129

Finally, director Teo Franks “Underdogs” — which nabbed last year’s Best Music Documentary award — has been picked up for international distribution by Trace Global Distribution.

Congratulations, DTLA Film Fest alumni of 2018!