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LA Film Festival Thu 5.26.2016

Ready for Culver City: Fellows Make Their Presence Felt at the LA Film Festival

As touted elsewhere on this blog and throughout Hollywood in general, this year’s LA Film Festival filmmakers are a diverse and innovative bunch, with remarkable stories to tell in innovative and surprising ways.

Many of this year’s Festival Class of 2016 are also, not for nothing, veterans of our myriad Film Independent Educational and Artist Development labs and programs. There’s even a fair amount of overlap with our amazing and talented Member pool, whose presence at this year’s Festival is—as we’ve noted before—similarly strong.

And while prior participation in Film Independent labs and mentoring programs is by no means a guaranteed ticked to the auteur side of the LA Film Festival dais, it’s nevertheless a thrill to see so many members of our extended filmmaker family joining the illustrious ranks of our Festival lineup.

So with Opening Night just around the corner, we thought it might be nice on this hazy Los Angeles Thursday to hit pause on our Festival prep duties, suck in a deep, calming breath and salute our Fellows as ready their projects to take the stage next week in Culver City. So grab the nearest champagne flute and hoist it up in the air!

Film Independent Fellows with projects at the 2016 LA Film Festival include:


’72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story’
  • Vincent Harris, Producer, 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story
    • 2013 Fast Track
    • 2014 Grant Recipient
  • Raafi Rivero, Writer, Director, Editor, 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story
    • 2014 Grant Recipient
  • Amy Hobby, Producer, Paint it Black
    • 2013 Fast Track
    • 2013 Grant Recipient
  • Carmen Cabana, Cinematographer, Destined
    • 2011 Project Involve
  • Michael X. Flores, Editor, Feelgood
    • 2008 Project Involve
  • Mayuran Tiruchelvam, Producer, My First Kiss and the People Involved
    • 2014 Documentary Lab
    • 2014 Fast Track
  • Laura Wagner, Producer, Tracktown
    • 2015 Grant Recipient
  • Nagwa Ibrahim, Writer, Co-Writer, Director, Editor, Woven
    • 2013 Producing Lab


‘Lupe Under the Sun’
  • Rodrigo Reyes, Writer, Director, Lupe Under the Sun
    • 2014 Grant Recipient


  • Kristin Fairweather, Executive Producer, Namour
    • 2009 Producing Lab
    • 2010 Fast Track
    • 2010 Grant Recipient
  • Alysa Nahmias, Producer, No Light and No Land Anywhere
    • 2013 Fast Track
    • 2013 Grant Recipient
  • Amber Sealey, Writer, Director, Producer, No Light and No Land Anywhere
    • 2013 Directing Lab
    • 2013 Fast Track
  • Melissa Finell, Writer, Director, Producer, Sensitivity Training
    • 2015 Project Involve


‘Olympic Pride, American Prejudice’
  • Deborah Riley Draper, Director, Producer, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
    • 2016 Documentary Lab
    • 2010 Grant Recipient


‘And Nothing Happened’
  • Terence Nance, Producer, And Nothing Happened
    • 2016 Project Involve
  • Dalila Droege, Producer, Dogwalker
    • 2011 Project Involve
  • Heika Burnison, Producer, Lancaster, CA
    • 2007 Fast Track
    • 2011 Grant Recipient
    • 2014 Sloan Grant Recipient
  • Mike Ott, Director, Lancaster, CA
    • 2007 Fast Track
    • 2011 Grant Recipient
    • 2014 Sloan Grant Recipient
  • Billy Luther, Producer, Director, Red Lake
    • 2003 Project Involve
    • 2006 Fast Track
  • Margaret Brown, Director, The Black Belt
    • 2009 Grant Recipient
  • Terence Nance, Writer, Director, Univitellin
    • 2016 Project Involve
  • Rita Baghdadi, Producer, Director, Use of Force
    • 2015 Documentary Lab
    • 2015 Grant Recipient
  • Jeremiah Hammerling, Producer, Director, Use of Force
    • 2015 Documentary Lab
    • 2015 Grant Recipient
  • Sandra Valde-Hansen, Cinematographer, Visiting Day
    • 2007 Project Involve


  • Ava Berkofsky, Cinematographer, Caring
    • 2014 Project Involve
  • Lena Bubenechik, Producer, Caring
    • 2014 Project Involve
  • Maggie Kiley, Director, Caring
    • 2016 Directing Lab
  • Ellie Wen, Producer, Caring
    • 2012 Project Involve
  • Anna Kerrigan, Director, Fridays
    • 2011 Producing Lab
    • 2012 Directing Lab
  • Sydney Freeland, Director, Her Story
    • 2013 Grant Recipient
  • Rosie Haber, Writer, Director, Instababy
    • 2014 Project Involve
  • Lex Halaby, Co-Director, Little Things
    • 2002 Project Involve


  • Kiran Pallegadda, Editor, Lowriders (Opening Night)
    • 2013 Project Involve
  • Eric Lin, Cinematographer, Equity (Buzz)
    • 2009 Directing Lab

Tickets and passes for the 2016 LA Film Festival are on sale now—buy yours today. For more information about purchasing individual tickets, click here.

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

The 2016 LA Film Festival will take place June 1-9 at the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City with additional screenings across the city.

To see our full lineup and Festival Guide, please visit our website, stay tuned to this blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Learn how to become a Member of Film Independent by clicking here.

(header: Tracktown)

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