Young Turks

Downtown Film Festival L.A. at Downtown Independent Theater

Online sales are SOLD OUT, however an allotment of TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE at the screnning. Come on down!

Event Details

Young Turks: From 1977 to 1981, multimedia artist Stephen Seemayer took a Super-8mm movie camera and captured some of the artists and denizens of downtown L.A. in their unnatural habitat. He filmed them at work and at play, discussing art and the experience of living amid the gritty alleys and deserted industrial buildings at the city's urban core. A rough cut of the resulting documentary, 'Young Turks,' was screened at a 1981 event called the Downtown Drive-In. The film was projected onto the wall of a warehouse that had been converted into artist studios. Then it was put into storage and never seen again. Newly digitized and fully reedited with additional footage, 'Young Turks' has been re-envisioned by Seemayer, along with film editor Pamela Wilson, with an eye to sharing it with a new generation. In 1981, rents were cheap and life was edgy in downtown L.A. The artists featured in 'Young Turks' discussed their reasons for moving there and how it affected their work. Seemayer also turned his camera on those less fortunate who made the streets their home. He managed to capture an intimate snapshot of downtown at a crossroads, before skyscrapers and the Museum of Contemporary Art, when 'loft living' was more than just an advertising slogan. (95 Minutes)

Stephen Seemayer
Editor/Producer: Pamela Wilson

Plays with the following short:

'Lil Tokyo Reporter' is a short film set in 1935 Los Angeles based on the life of Civil Rights Leader and Newspaperman Sei Fujii. While the country struggles through the Great Depression, the Japanese American community unites for survival. Sei Fujii's law partner uncovers the ill intentions of the local mafia. Fujii must make a decision between the saving face his community and confronting the issue head on. Based on a true story.Background:.Sei Fujii was born in Yamaguchi-ken, Japan. He immigrated to California as a young man in 1903. He graduated from USC Law School in 1911, but was unable to become an attorney and practice law because he was not an American citizen. (Japanese and all Asians were prohibited from obtaining American citizenship by discriminatory laws passed by the U.S. Congress in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.) He teamed up with USC Law School classmate, civil rights attorney, J. Marion Wright, to help the Issei and the Japanese American Community with racially discriminatory legal issues for four and a half decades. (30 Minutes)

Director/Producer/Writer: Jeffrey Chin
Cinematographer: Ryo Rex
Editor: Chisako Yokoyama
Writer: Guinevere Turner


The award-winning Downtown Film Festival L.A., now in its 5th year, will be held this year July 10-20 at the Downtown Independent Theater, the AT&T Center Theater, The Grammy Museum Clive Davis Theater, and alternative venues throughout downtown.

This year’s festival will screen more than 100 films — features, documentaries and shorts — from local, national and international filmmakers. The festival will showcase Los Angeles premieres from other leading festivals including Sundance, Slamdance, SXSW and Tribeca. Winners from the festival’s international digital shorts competition will be presented at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art during the July 11th Downtown L.A. Art Walk. A special showcase of 3-D short films from France will screen on Sunday, July 14th.

Your email has been sent

There was an error sending your message. Please verify the addresses and try again. Note: HTML is not allowed in the subject/message.

Event Location


Downtown Independent Theater

251 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012

Show Map

View 251 S Main Street in a larger map


Coleen Sterritt / Woods Davy / Marc Kreisel / Richard Newton / Andy Wilf