Film Independent Tue 12.23.2014

Spotlight on 2014: Film Independent’s Year in Review

As we prepare to celebrate the arrival of the new year, it’s the perfect time to commemorate all the great things that happened in 2014.

There are so many highlights to share: Quentin Tarantino gave film fans a once-in-lifetime experience by directing a staged reading of The Hateful Eight. Alfonso Cuarón shared his behind-the-scenes perspective on the making of Gravity at our Directors Close-Up. Lupita Nyong’o warmed hearts with her ecstatic reaction to her win at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. We had the pleasure of screening hundreds of films, connecting a variety of innovative filmmakers to each other and creating unique cinematic experiences for our nearly 5,000 Members to enjoy.

But beyond those exciting and memorable moments is an even bigger cause for celebration: It’s the work we’ve done to continue to champion independent film and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. That’s the mission that underlies everything that we do—and all of it is made possible by Film Independent supporters who love the art of film.

As the 2014* recap below makes clear, it’s been a great year, full of great things and we’ve got our sights set on even more in the year to come.


On the Big Screen
Film lovers were invited to not only watch an outstanding selection of films, but also heard from the acclaimed filmmakers and actors involved, including Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr. at The Judge; Justin Simien and the cast of Dear White People; and Julie Delpy on Before Midnight.

  • 311 feature films were presented for 52,197 people
  • 71 of these features (plus 60 short films and 51 music videos) played at the the Los Angeles Film Festival
  • 53 of the screenings were part of our Film Independent at LACMA series


Filmmaker Success Stories
We invited filmmakers at any stage in their career to connect and learn more about industry trends and opportunities to get their projects made and seen. Through a wide range of artist development programs and education events, we helped storytellers from all backgrounds gain the the tools, knowledge and resources to push through obstacles and  create unique films.

  • 92 new Fellows were welcomed into our community through our Artist Development Labs
  • 80% of those Fellows were from communities under-represented in the industry: African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBT and women
  • $693,000 in cash and in-kind grants were awarded to filmmakers
  • 78 Fellows made 80 feature films
  • 92 Fellows screened their work at the world’s most prestigious festivals
  • 6,791 Members and  filmmakers attended workshops, classes, panel discussions and networking events


LA Muse
The Los Angeles Film Festival celebrated 20 years of showcasing compelling new independent films, TV, emerging online content and the most anticipated studio releases of the summer.

  • 25 World Premieres, 5 U.S. Premieres, and 4 North American Premieres were screened at the Festival
  • 31% of the feature filmmakers at the Festival were people of color
  • 58% of the feature filmmakers were women


We’ve Got Spirit Awards, Yes, We Do
The year’s most innovative artists and artist-driven films were celebrated at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards’ party on the beach. Film Independent Members watched the nominees via DVD screeners and free theatrical screenings to then vote and determine the winners. This past year, the team behind 12 Years a Slave took home several of the awards including Best Feature, Best Director (Steve McQueen) and Best Supporting Female (Lupita Nyong’o). Director Ryan Coogler won Best First Feature for Fruitvale Station and the John Cassavetes Award went to This Is Martin Bonner, a film that cost $42,000 to make.

  • 5.1 billion publicity impressions were generated by the Spirit Awards

To learn more about Film Independent’s work in 2014*, read our annual report.

Your support makes our work—and successes— possible. Please help us keep independent film alive and thriving; give a fully tax-deductible donation before the year officially ends.


*From Film Independent’s fiscal year: October 2013 through September 2014.