Programs Tue 10.6.2015

Trumbo, Jon M. Chu & Lynn Shelton Headline Film Independent Forum

October is here. It’s time to take a drive and look at the fall colors. Time to start planning your Halloween costume. And it’s time to register for the Film Independent Forum.

On October 23-25, Film Independent will take over the ground floor of the Directors Guild of America building in West Hollywood for three days of panel discussions, keynote speakers and networking opportunities. And now we’ve added three more great reasons to attend this year’s Forum.

Trumbo announced as opening night film
Every year, the Film Independent Forum kicks off with a screening of a major awards contender. This year’s opening night film, Trumbo, stars Bryan Cranston as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who wrote two Oscar-winning screenplays but couldn’t claim either prize because of his alleged communist sympathies. The film follows Trumbo as he partners with Kirk Douglas on Spartacus and steps boldly out from the shadow of the blacklist.

“I couldn’t think of a better film to kick off the event than Jay Roach’s Trumbo,” said Film Independent Senior Director of Education Maria Bozzi. “It fits exactly the spirit of the Forum: the idea that artists should ‘stick to their guns’ to tell stories that matter to them.”

Director Jay Roach, who began his career directing comedies like Austin Powers and Meet the Parents but has lately moved into more serious political fare like HBO’s Sarah Palin film Game Change, will be on hand to answer questions after the screening.

Jon M. Chu to give Filmmaker Keynote
On Saturday morning, director Jon M. Chu will take the stage for the Filmmaker Keynote. A Project Involve Fellow in 2002, Chu went on direct Step Up 2: The Streets as well as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and G.I. Joe Retaliation. His latest film, Jem and the Holograms opens nationwide on October 23.

“We are thrilled to have our Fellow, Jon Chu, return to our fold to share his accomplishments and incredible journey with the filmmakers attending the Forum,” said Bozzi. “Not only is he one of today’s most sought after directors but a real artist and entrepreneur who has mapped a great career building on his multiple talents.”

Special conversation with Lynn Shelton to close the Forum
Writer-director Lynn Shelton was a back-to-back Film Independent Spirit Award winner in 2008 and 2009 for My Effortless Brilliance (Someone to Watch Award) and Humpday (John Cassavetes Award). She followed up those films with Sundance hits like Your Sister’s Sister and Laggies, and has had a remarkable run over the last decade, making precisely the films she wants to make.

On Sunday, October 25, the Film Independent Forum will close with a conversation between Shelton and actor and filmmaker Illeana Douglas, host of TCM’s new Trailblazing Women series.

And there’s so much more…
As previously announced, Blumhouse Productions Founder and CEO Jason Blum will give us the inside scoop on his company’s model for creating and distributing successful multi-media properties. Writers from Transparent, Empire, and Narcos will tell you how to break into a television writers room. And then there’s Indielinks, which gives filmmakers the opportunity to sit down and meet one-on-one with industry leaders.

But space is limited, so act now.

Tom Sveen / Film Independent Blogger