Programs Thu 4.18.2024

Applications for 2024 Fast Track Are Open. Here’s What 2023’s Participants Say…

Not everyone thrives in your typical industry-networking type environment. This can be particularly true of introverted right-brained creatives: there you’ll be, just  awkwardly standing there against the wall in the chain hotel lobby  bar during the mixer, your adhesive name tag clinging to the fibrous tendrils of your cardigan as you spend four hours maniacally nursing the same club soda on the rocks. Sometimes, a little structure and formality can sweep out the cobwebs of social anxiety and help clear the way for you to fully express your storytelling ideas and precognition of their eventual triumph. 

Since its inception, Film Independent’s Fast Track Finance Market has been a powerful ally to filmmakers, providing a structured-and-stacked space within which to pitch projects to independent media’s most adventurous advocates. Each year, Film Independent selects up to 10 fiction and five non-fiction feature projects to participate in an intensive film finance market that takes place over four days in November.

Designed to connect producer-director teams with industry leaders and put projects on the fast track, the market consists of meetings with top executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizations and production companies. 

Applications for Fast Track 2024 are now open, with a non-Member deadline of June 3 (Film Independent Members have until June 20). But don’t take our word for it–here are some testimonials from some of last year’s Fast Track Fellows: 



“Pitch me… quick!”

“Fast Track was an incredible opportunity to meet, network and gain invaluable support and insight from the independent film industry for our feature film! Our team gained confidence and feedback on the strengths and weaknesses in our pitch and project from our meetings and we feel inspired that we have met future collaborators for our film!” –Sonia Malfa, It’s Always Sunni 

“To meet with the people who I did at Fast Track, on my own, would have taken 10 years. The Film Independent team brilliantly curated a wide range of meetings that felt particularly suited to our production stage.” –Nancy Degnan, Feral

“The program honed our team’s ability to pitch to a variety of audiences, and most importantly it connected us to brilliant minds who are active players in the industry. We got both story/creative notes and tailored insight into strategy on financing, sale and festivals.” Nicolas Lopez-AlegraiAlegria

“Fast Track was a career changing opportunity which allowed to be heard and seen by the true tastemakers of independent film. It was absolutely thrilling to spend a whirlwind 3 days pitching my heart out to the people and companies I have always dreamed of working with. We learned so much about our pitch and our project along the way!” –Janey Feingold, Mallie Adams is a Dyke

“Hollywood’s best-kept open secret. A market connecting you with the biggest and warmest names in the business and opening doors that could otherwise take years.” –Nihaarika Negi, Feral

“Film Independent’s Fast Track program was an invaluable opportunity. We got immediate access to an incredible array of supporters across the industry, and connected with a fantastic cohort of other filmmakers. I would heartily recommend this program to anyone making an independent film.” Amanda Pike, Untitled Marjolainne Grappe Film

Fast Track at the 2017 LA Film Festival

“Film Independent is such a supportive team and fosters a true sense of community amongst its fellows. I feel so lucky to be a part of the film independent family. The Industry network that Film Independent creates for Fast Track is unparalleled. 60 meetings in three days is insane in the best way.” –Lexi  Tannenholtz, Thirty Grand

“Fast Track brought our project in front of a diverse group of executives and allowed us to share our passion for ASCO and our unique project. Prior to the forum we were asked who we were looking to meet with and what specifically we were looking for. Film Independent helped facilitate meetings that delivered on that. Travis Gutierrez SengerASCO: Without Permission

“I thought I knew my project, but being a part of Fast Track made me examine it on a whole new level. Not only did we have a chance to practice and get notes, but during the pitch days themselves you get a bootcamp to sell your project. I feel a much deeper understanding of the project and myself as a creator. And a much better understanding of how to pitch in an effective way. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of the program.” –Tulica Singh, Curses! 

“Fast Track is an incredible opportunity to grow your network while also spreading the word about your current project. At the end of this program I had honed in my pitch for a feature and met a ton of new potential industry partners.” –Cole Smith, Silo 

“Fast Track’s curation went beyond my expectations. The programming was thoughtful from beginning to end and the connections fostered continue to evolve. This program will not only uplift your project, but put you in the room with industry partners that may launch your career forward. Every filmmaker should apply” –Shireen Alihaji, Blue Veil 


Previous Fast Track projects include Bing Liu’s Academy Award nominated Minding the Gap;  Raven Jackson’s All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt produced by Maria Altamirano, which premiered at the Sundance and was released by A24 in 2023; Saim Sadiq’s Cannes Un Certain Regard and Spirit Award Winner Joyland produced by Apoorva Charan;  Nicholas Bruckman’s documentary about activist Ady Barkan, Not Going Quietly; and Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection produced by Chester Algernal Gordon, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated in three categories at the 2023 Spirit Awards.

Other notable filmmakers who have participated in the program include Ana Lily Amirpour, Sean Baker, James Ponsoldt, Tina Mabry, Lana Wilson and Chloé Zhao. 

For more information on Fast Track or any of our Artist Development Labs and the projects that have been developed in them, please contact us. Additional information can be found at filmindependent.org. 

For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. 

Film Independent Members watch nominees and vote for the winners of the Spirit Awards. To become a Member of Film Independent and make your vote count for next year’s 40th Annual Spirit Awards, just click here. To support our mission with a donation, click here. 

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