Diversity Speaks features panel discussions taking place over two days at the LA Film Festival. The conversations address topical issues both on and off the screen. Diversity Speaks’ focus is to expand the definition of diversity and act as a call to action for the entertainment industry.
All panels are FREE to the public, on a space available basis.
For directions and parking info, visit our Festival Venues & Parking page.
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Cis in a Trans World: Transgender Visibility
The trans creative community is thriving, but the limited amount of on-screen portrayals of trans characters are mostly awarded to the cisgender community. Audiences and activists have said enough is enough and are calling out cis appropriation of trans roles and for the development of more authentic trans stories.
Panelists to include: Candis Cayne (The Magicians), Shaan Dasani (Bollywood Invasion), Mari Walker (Swim) and Rachel Crowl (And Then There Was Eve)
Moderated by Riley Silverman (Not Safe with Nikki Glaser)
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Whitewashing: Asian and Asian-American Representation in Film/TV
The anti-whitewashing protests are getting louder and the social pushback is hard to ignore. Hollywood’s packaging of Asian and Asian-inspired cultural properties should be reconstructed.
Panelists to include: Leonardo Nam (Westworld), Kelly Hu (The Scorpion King), Kelvin Yu (Master of None), Ally Maki (Wrecked), Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man blog), Bruce Thierry Cheung (Don’t Come Back from the Moon) and Gloria Fan (VP of Current Programming, FOX)
Moderated by Jenny Yang (comedian, Disoriented Comedy)
4:00 – 5:00 pm
In Conversation: Lena Waithe Sits Down with Elvis Mitchell
Lena Waithe (Master of None) sits down with Film Independent at LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell for an intimate off-the-record talk.
6:00 – 7:00 pm
The Other: Documenting Marginalized Stories
Accessing primetime slots and movie theater screens to tell stories continues to be a struggle for many marginalized voices. Here we shine a light on how these filmmakers and storytellers work within, and around, the current systems to be seen and heard.
Panelists to include: Sydney Freeland (Deidra & Laney Rob a Train), Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (Mankiller), Amy York Rubin (Boxed In), Xan Aranda (Room 104), Julius Tennon (President, JuVee Productions) and Marvin Lemus (Gente-fied)
Moderated by Jennifer Kushner (Director of Artist Development, Film Independent)
8:00 – 9:00 pm
Reclaiming Gay for Pay: What It Means to be ‘Out’ in Hollywood
More performers and leaders of the industry are out members of the LGBTQ+ community than ever before, but the questions remain… why is it still hard to come out in Hollywood? As more platforms and outlets for storytelling continue to develop, what is the future for LGBTQ+ Hollywood?
Panelist to include: Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash), Karey Dornetto (Portlandia), Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals), Anne Clements (Political Animals) and Guy Branum (Talk Show the Game Show)
Moderated by Marc Malkin (Managing Editor, E!)
Panelists subject to change.