Ha-Has Ahead: LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival

Hilarious headliners and the funny people of tomorrow show their best stuff.

Cinema scholars speak on many important topics, such as the role of the concessions stand in the modern movie-going experience, say, or how a rise in drama reflects the current cultural worries.

But a chief subject for plenty of film profs? How watching movies, specifically comedies, is very much a communal experience. We viewers don't tend to make much noise during a sad movie -- perhaps a sniffle or two -- but we laugh together when watching something funny. And sharing the experience has a way of changing that experience, for the better.

Enter the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, which marks its half-decade anniversary in 2013. Yes, there has been a meteoric rise in the quality of Internet shorts, specficially comedic shorts, but you're usually enjoying that all by your lonesome, in front of a solitary computer screen.

This festival, which opens at the Downtown Independent on Thursday, April 4, is about ha-ha-ing en masse. And there are plenty of ha-ha-worthy things to watch over the course of the four-day fest. Comedy team Key & Peele are set to receive the fest's award, while newcomers will see their works screened (they'll vie for cash prizes, too).

For people wanting to break bigger in comedy, it's a chance to do so outside of LA's improv stages and stand-up. For people wanting to laugh with other people, and not pay a lot to do so, this is a fine chance.

And figure you may spot someone who'll be a star in a few years. That's pretty braggable. And that you saw them in person, and not just while visiting an internet site, gets you an extra gold star.

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