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The Los Angeles International Film Exposition, also called Filmex, was an annual Los Angeles film festival held in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was the predecessor of the American Film Institute's Los Angeles International Film Festival. After the final Filmex festival in 1983, the founders/organizers of the festival devoted their attentions to developing a new nonprofit cultural organization, the American Cinematheque, which they created to be a permanent year-round film festival in Los Angeles.

Filmex Timeline






  • A Bicentennial Extravaganza opens the spring Filmex '76.
  • Alfred Hitchcock drives up in a Universal tour bus for the premiere of his Family Plot on Opening Night. At the gala ball at the Century Plaza Hotel following the screening, Hitchcock gives a speech in which he decries a line attributed to him that "actors are cattle." That evening, Hitchcock said, "What I probably said was, 'Actors should be treated like cattle.'";[2] He was feted by several celebrities before his speech, including James Stewart. Those who attended were given a clear plastic paperweight with Hitchcock's famous caricature on one side and the Family Plot poster on the other.
  • A Tribute to Cuban Cinema is held, which generates controversy.
  • A Cowboy Film Marathon is held, screening 48 films. George Stevens, Jr. speaks after a showing of his father's film Shane.
  • On December 18, 1976, Filmex holds the world premiere for Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born at the Fox Village Theater in Westwood Village. The stars, including Streisand, are in attendance with a post-event party at Dillons, at the time a new disco in the Westwood area. Ryan O'Neal, Peter Bogdanovich, Marisa Berenson, Alan Carr, Chevy Chase and Funny Girl composer Jule Styne are among the guests. The theme was "A Night in White," with many of the guests garbed in white attire. Streisand, dressed in all black, entered the screening just before the lights went down protected by a "V" of guards who protected her path to her seat at the front of the theater. Gossip columnist Rona Barrett and her husband were in attendance in the back left of the theater. After the screening, guests walked several blocks in a roped off area to Dillons disco in Westwood. The top floor of Dillons was restricted to Streisand and her party. Tina Turner was turned away from gaining access, along with several other guests. Celebrity photographer Alan Light, then a teenager, took several photos of attendees in the lobby of the Westwood Village while standing on a table near the entrance. He and his mother were somehow able to gain access later in the evening to Streisand's upper level restricted area of Dillons.


  • Filmex '77 is dedicated to Rosalind Russell, who had died that year.
  • A 50-hour Movie Musical Marathon is held.
  • Animato by Mike Jittlov
  • Eraserhead premieres at Midnight on March 19th. This was the uncut version, and much of this edit was lost when David Lynch recut the film in response to feedback from this first version.[3]
  • AFI debuts a special section called AFI Critics Choice.
  • Annie Hall is the Closing Night film.





  • Filmex '81, the 10th anniversary, is held at nine different locations around Hollywood in Los Angeles.
  • A Special Section called "Treasures from AFI" is presented.
  • The "Scared To Death" 50-hour Horror Film Marathon is held.
  • Loretta Young is saluted with a Tribute.
  • The founders/organizers of Filmex announce the creation of a new organization called The American Cinematheque with the declared aim that it will eventually build on the work of Filmex and provide year-round film programming of classic and new films from around the world.



  • Several theaters along Wilshire Boulevard are used for Filmex '83.
  • James Mason is honored with a Tribute.
  • Around the World in 80 Days is the final film shown at Filmex.
  • Filmex founders/organizers Gary Essert and Gary Abrahams start the long haul to develop the American Cinematheque into a full-time organization that will maintain the Filmex spirit and philosophy and present films in the context of a year-round festival.



  • The American Cinematheque presents its first program in Los Angeles with the declared aim that it will continue the work of Filmex in the context of year-round film programming of classic and new films from around the world.


  1. ^ L.A. Times, March 17, 1974
  2. ^ Patrick McGilligan, pgs. 210-211, 277; American Movie Classics.
  3. ^ Hoberman, J; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1991). Midnight Movies. Da Capo. ISBN 0-306-80433-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

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