Programs Tue 9.22.2015

5 Reasons To Get Excited About the 2015 Film Independent Forum

The Film Independent Forum is returning for its 11th year, and we couldn’t be more excited about the lineup. From October 23-25 a full weekend of panel discussions, conversations and screenings will be held at the Director’s Guild of America in West Hollywood.

Here are just a few of the events you’ll be able to take part in when you register for this year’s Forum.

Hear from Jason Blum about how he’s changing the distribution game
The company behind recent horror success stories like Paranormal Activity, Sinister, and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit is revolutionizing the way films are released, generating more profit by screening in fewer theaters and being more targeted with their marketing. You’ll hear all about that model and more as Blumhouse Productions Founder and CEO Jason Blum, together with Head of Motion Pictures Couper Samuelson and Head of Casting Terri Taylor, take the stage for our Executive Conversation. And if you’re not a horror fan, don’t fret. Blumhouse is also behind last year’s Oscar surprise and Film Independent Spirit Award nominee Whiplash, and HBO’s riveting docu-series, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

Learn how to make your film viable
You may be able to get a film off the ground, but how do you ensure that it turns a profit? In the panel discussion, Viable Films: Your Budget vs. The Marketplace, producers Miranda Bailey (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and Nina Yang Bongiovi (Dope, Fruitvale Station), together with Jessica Lacy, Head of International and Independent Film at ICM Parnters, will help you determine what budget level makes the best financial sense for your project. They’ve all recently been involved in deals at Sundance and numerous other film festivals; now you’ll hear what they wish they’d known before they went into those all-important negotiations.

Go inside a TV writer’s room
Bridget Bedard (Transparent, Mad Men), Wendy Calhoun (Empire), and Azazel Jacobs (Doll & Em) are among the TV scribes who will take you inside that inner sanctum of the entertainment world: the television writer’s room. You’ll hear about the squabbles, the triumphs, the arguments and the breakthroughs that went into creating some of the most groundbreaking television in recent memory. You may also pick up some tips on how to position yourself to break in.

Get your doc funded
This year, the Forum will offer not one, but two panel discussions on documentaries. In Market Report: Documentaries, you’ll hear from Josh Braun, Co-President of Submarine Entertainment, the company that’s provided distribution advising to heralded docs like Searching for Sugar Man and Blackfish. He’ll be in conversation with International Documentary Association Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, formerly the executive producer of PBS’s long-running documentary showcase POV. In our other documentary panel, Gatekeepers And Enablers: Documentary Funders, you’ll get the inside scoop on how to approach financiers and convince them to get on board with your doc.

What happens at the Forum…
The Film Independent Forum offers off-the-record conversations that you won’t hear anywhere else. IndieLink at the Forum gives you 10-minute one-on-one sessions with top industry professionals. This year’s Indielink includes representatives from Broad Green Pictures, Indiegogo and Brigade Marking. A full list of Indielink participants will be announced on October 12. Between Forum sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to grab lunch with the panelists and each day you’ll get the chance to network with your peers at one of three receptions.

And we’re not done yet! Make sure you stay tuned for more exciting announcements about what’s happening at the 11th annual Film Independent Forum.

Tom Sveen / Film Independent Blogger