You know how I feel about the proliferation of film festivals all over the globe, but as this particular one happens to be in my own backyard, I guess I can make an exception ... this time. Which film festival gets this special treatment? Why, it's the Film Independent Los Angeles Film Festival of course.

According to Variety, the festival announced this week that on October 24 it will start accepting submissions for the 13th annual event, held June 21 - July 1 2007 in Los Angeles. The entry deadline for short films and music videos is Feb. 9, while the deadline for feature-length narrative and documentary films is March 1. And, if you act now (or at least before January 12) you can even get a discount on your entry fees. Not a bad thing considering the minuscule budgets of most of these films.

Some of last years fest winners include Steve Collins, writer/director of Gretchen, who won for best narrative feature and Amy Berg, writer/director of Deliver Us From Evil, (which our own Kim reviewed) who won for best documentary feature. Both winners received $50,000, money they will probably use to pay off all the credit cards they maxed out to finance their films. Oscar-winning actress and producer Charlize Theron, whose indie credits include Monster and the documentary East of Havana, was also awarded the Spirit of Independence Award for her commitment to artistic independence in film at the event.

Especially of note for aspiring filmmakers looking for exposure is that the Los Angeles Film Festival is a qualifying fest in all categories for not only the Independent Spirit Awards but for the Academy Awards' short film categories as well. So indie filmmakers, dust off those scripts hidden in your drawer, borrow your parents' video camera, gather your friends, find a barn and start shooting because the next Academy Award for short films might just go to you. (And if it does, Cinematical wants a spot in that acceptance speech.)