Josh Welsh, Co-President
In 2012, Josh Welsh became Co-President of Film Independent alongside Sean Mc Manus. Prior to that, Welsh spent ten years responsible for the overall design, strategic planning and implementation of all of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs. They include Filmmaker Labs for Directors, Screenwriters, Producers and Documentarians, Fast Track, Project Involve and the Grants Program. Welsh designed the curriculum for all the Filmmaker Labs and has overseen the selection of all Fellows since 2001.
Welsh also ran the Fast Track film financing market that takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival. This highly selective market is open to established, as well as up-and-coming, filmmakers with exceptional projects still seeking funding. Projects that have gone through the program include Amreeka, Burn, Call Me Kuchu, Frozen River, Miss Navajo, Natural Selection and On the Ice.
In addition, Welsh has also served as the year-round industry liaison for filmmakers in the Artist Development programs, connecting them with agents, managers, producers and other industry professionals who can help advance their careers. He maintains relationships with all alumni of these programs, so that Film Independent remains a steady resource as they continue their filmmaking careers. This includes overseeing the creation of the annual Film Independent Talent Guide, which highlights the accomplishments of current and past Fellows in both print and online.
Welsh administered Film Independent’s Grants program, which includes Donor Named Fellowships, Sloan Producers Grants and in-kind grants, totaling approximately $250,000 annually. In 2009-2010, he oversaw the Netflix FIND Your Voice competition, in which one filmmaker was awarded a production package worth approximately $700,000. Josh is currently overseeing a partnership with Fox Studios to create the Fox Writer’s Intensive, a highly selective writer’s initiative that introduces experienced writers with unique voices and backgrounds that reflect diverse perspectives to a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, directors, screenwriters and creative executives. He’s administering the selection of writers for the program and designing the curriculum.
Prior to working on Artist Development, Josh was in Film Independent’s Programming Department where he helped select films for the Festival Buzz, Documentary Buzz, and New Visions screening series. He worked with the nominating committees for the Spirit Awards, as well as the special committees that award cash grants at the awards. He has been a judge for UCLA’s Screenwriting Showcase and the Outfest Screenwriters Competition, a juror for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, served as a thesis advisor in UCLA’s graduate producing program, and spoken on numerous panels and at film schools.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Welsh earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in Philosophy from Kenyon College. He lives with his wife Bonnie Gavel and their daughter Isla, and in his spare time he is lead singer in the alt-country band Meatyard, whose second album, Sweet Old Green Life, came out in 2010.
Contact Josh Welsh: email@example.com