Can comedy sneak up on you? Yes. The inaugural Comedy Ninja Film and Screenplay Festival takes place April 30-June 1 at downtown Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum. In addition to panels, parties and comic Dwayne Perkins hosting the final evening’s Hi-Yah! Awards ceremony, festival director and programmer Chuck Parello promises a non-stop attack of stealthy laughs.
Where did the idea for the Comedy Ninja Festival come from, and how does it set itself apart from other festivals?
My friend, filmmaker Quentin Lee, and I decided to start a film festival a while back, but we weren’t sure what kind of a festival it would be or any of the other details. I am a filmmaker myself and I had been having a lot of fun attending comedy film festivals with a short I made called Dr. 420, so I suggested to Quentin that we start our own comedy film festival. He liked the idea because LA has such a huge comedy community and things just started moving in that direction from that point on. Comedy Ninja is different from other comedy film festivals I’ve attended because it aims to be completely unpretentious and fun. Ultimately our goal is to create a welcoming environment that celebrates funny filmmakers and screenwriters and the gut-busting work they create.
What did the selection process entail? Are there any specific styles, themes or attribute you wanted to highlight?
We received submissions from every corner of the globe and were happy to be able to view so much stellar work. The reason we called our festival the Comedy Ninja Film Festival is because we’re most interested in sly comedy that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. We really aimed to invite stuff that was extremely clever and unobvious, and when I look at our delectable line-up I have to say that we most definitely succeeded in this goal. Our submission team catchphrase was that we were seeking out “comedy with a kung fu kick!”Comedy >