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Film Independent Fri 7.13.2018

Not So Old School: Thirteen Fi Fellows Join the Academy

Inarguably one of deceased comedian Groucho Marx’s most famous quotes, the legendary Hollywood funnyman once joked, in a telegram to the Beverly Hills Friars Club, that he “didn’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” It’s one of the all-time snappy retorts, but the sentiment is much more than just a pithy zinger. Organizations are defined by their membership far more than their members are by their association with the organization. We all remember a painting because of its composition and color—not its frame.

And last month, June 25, the entertainment industry’s premiere gilt-edged industry advocacy group and (per Wikipedia) “professional honorary organization”—the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—took further steps to better reshape itself per a more modern, inclusive Hollywood. Namely, it Academy invited 928 new members to join its ranks. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 49% of new invitees were female and 38% people of color.

But wait! The most exciting part is that 13 of these new inductees are Film Independent Fellows—filmmakers who have been supported in our Artist Development labs and programs or in Global Media Makers.

A (belated) congratulations to all of those Fellows who have passed through our humble indie film room on their way to the tailored-tux glamour—and attendant awards screeners—of the Academy stage. Here’s teh complete list of Film Independent Fellows joining AMPAS in 2018:



Behind-the-scenes at the 2016 Global Media Makers Directing Lab
  • Sean Baker, director/writer/producer, The Florida Project
    • Fast Track, 2011
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
  • Anne Clements, producer, Quinceañera
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
    • Fast Track, 2016
  • Sara Dosa, director/producer, The Last Season
    • Documentary Lab, 2018
  • Justin Simien, director/writer, Dear White People
    • Project Involve, 2010
  • Alexandra Johnes, producer, The Witch
    • Fast Track, 2015
  • Laura Nix, director/producer, Inventing Tomorrow
    • Documentary Lab, 2011
  • Josh Penn, producer, Monsters and Men
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
  • Mohammed Siam, producer, Amal
    • Global Media Makers, 2017
  • Clay Tweel, director/writer, Gleason
    • Grant/award winner, 2011
  • Nanfu Wang, director, Hooligan Sparrow
    • Grant/award winner, 2017
  • Carey Williams, director, Emergency
    • Project Involve, 2017
  • Lana Wilson, director/producer, The Departure
    • Fast Track, 2015
  • Chloé Zhao, director/writer, The Rider
    • Screenwriting Lab, 2011
    • Grant/award winner, 2018

So, great job to all of our Fellows, past, present and future. Here’s hoping you can help make Hollywood a little less old school. Enjoy those screeners!

Upcoming Artist Development Deadlines:

To learn more about Film Independent’s Programs, click here. To learn about applying to our Artist Development labs and programs click here.

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