Panelists and Topics for the Weekend Announced

 LOS ANGELES, CA (October 9, 2012) — Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and Los Angeles Film Festival, announced that David O. Russell’s Toronto International Film Festival winner of the “People’s Choice Award” SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK will kick off the 8th annual Film Independent Forum as the opening-night film on Friday, October 19.  The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with producer Jonathan Gordon and editor Jay Cassidy (additional panelists TBD).  On Saturday, October 20 Academy Award® nominated director John Singleton, will serve as the keynote speaker.  The annual forum for independent filmmakers, which is headed by Film Independent, will take place the weekend of October 19-21 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles.

“There’s no better way to start the Forum than with the advice of such a seminal filmmaker as John Singleton,” said Film Independent Director of Education, Maria Bozzi.  “Since his breakthrough with the very personal and highly acclaimed Boyz N the Hood, Singleton has established a path that many filmmakers have strived to emulate – his advice will be sure to inspire those attending the Forum.”

At age 24, Singleton is the youngest individual and first ever African-American nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Director.  His first feature film, Boyz N the Hood, landed him Oscar® nominations for Best Director and Original Screenplay.  Other films as a writer/director/producer include: Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft and Baby Boy.  He also directed Rosewood, 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers.  Through his New Deal Productions, he produced the independent films Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan and Illegal Tender.

The 2012 Film Independent Forum is presented by Indiewire, the leading news, information and networking site for independent-minded filmmakers, the industry and moviegoers alike. Additional sponsors include Premier Sponsors SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, IMDbPro and Principal Sponsors Universal Studios, Montana Film Office, Korean Film Council (KOFIC), PUMit from UbicMedia, ZEFR and Co.Create from Fast Company.  Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water is the Official Water and Renwood Winery is the Official Wine for the Film Independent Forum.

New to this year, Film Independent has partnered with ZEFR, a premium content network and one of the most watched and fastest growing channels on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/movieclips), to host a MOVIE HACKATHON during the Forum, which is sponsored by Co.Create from Fast Company.  The HACKATHON is an initiative to bring the film and technology communities together to create new tools and apps for filmmakers and film lovers. Developers are invited to create original tools and apps that can be used by fans and filmmakers alike to promote movies and independent films.  The final hacks will be presented to Film Independent Forum attendees at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) on Sunday, October 21 and judged by Yair Landau (partner, MK Capital), Sam Teller, (managing director, Launchpad LA), Dan Beldy (advisor, upLynk), Zach James (co-founder, ZEFR), and award winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner. Three cash prizes will be awarded to the winners ranging from $500 – $2,500.  Developers interested in participating in the inaugural Movie Hackathon can sign up at http://www.zefrhackathon.com.

As always, the Film Independent Forum will close with the Sloan Foundation reception where the Sloan Producers Grant award, which provides $25,000 in development funds, will be awarded to a Producing Lab Fellow developing a narrative film with a scientific, mathematical, and/or technological theme.

Panelists for the 2012 Film Independent Forum include:

  • Stephanie Allain, Director, Los Angeles Film Festival; producer, Hustle & Flow
  • Claire Aguilar, Vice President of Programming, ITVS
  • Mark Ankner, Agent, Global Finance and Distribution, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
  • Jake Avnet, Chief Operating Officer, WIGS
  • Ram Bergman, producer, Looper, Brick
  • Neil Berkeley, writer/director/producer, Beauty is Embarrassing
  • Jason Michael Berman, producer, LUV
  • Amy Berg, writer/director/producer, West of Memphis, Deliver Us from Evil
  • Effie T. Brown, producer, In the Cut, Real Women Have Curves
  • Sheldon Candis, writer/director, LUV
  • Jay Cassidy, editor, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, Co-Founder, Catapult Film Fund
  • Karin Chien, producer, Jack and Diane, Circumstance
  • Howard Cohen, Co-President, Roadside Attractions
  • Eric d’Arbeloff, Co-President, Roadside Attractions
  • Joe Davola, AwesomenessTV
  • Allen DeBevoise, Chairman and CEO, Machinima, Inc
  • Audrey Delaney, VP of Acquisitions, Business Development & Marketing, Lightning Entertainment
  • David Dinerstein, President, LD Entertainment
  • Neal Dodson, producer, Margin Call, All is Lost; Partner, Before the Door Pictures
  • Kelly Duane de la Vega, producer/director, Better This World
  • Jay Duplass, writer/director, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, Cyrus
  • Paola Freccero, Co-Founder, Crowdstarter
  • Michael Friend, Archivist, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO, Gravitas Ventures
  • Rodrigo Garcia, director, Albert Nobbs, Mother and Child
  • Jonathan Gordon, producer, Silver Linings Playbook
  • Lisa Gutberlet, Senior VP, Worldwide Distribution, Myriad Films
  • Dana Harris, Editor-in-Chief, Indiewire
  • Jay Van Hoy, producer, The Loneliest Planet, Beginners
  • Lynette Howell, producer, The Place Beyond the Pines, Terri
  • Kevin Iwashina, producer, Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  • Rian Johnson, writer/director, Looper, Brick
  • Rory Kennedy, producer/director, Ethel, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
  • Maryam Keshavarz, writer/director, Circumstance
  • Sydney Levine, Indiewire
  • Chris Libby, Partner, Ginsberg Libby
  • Courtney Lischke, Strategy, YouTube at Google
  • Julie Lynn, producer, Albert Nobbs, The Jane Austen Book Club
  • Liz Ogilvie, Co-Founder, Crowdstarter
  • Erick Opeka, VP of Digital Distribution, New Video
  • Steven Poster, ASC, National President, International Cinematographers Guild (ICG)
  • Rich Raddon, Co-Founder, ZEFR
  • Heather Rae, producer, Mosquita y Mari, Frozen River
  • Kate Roughan, producer, Birth Story
  • Hal Sadoff, Financial Advisor
  • Marjan Safinia, President, International Documentary Association
  • Paula Schmit, Vice President, Film Finances
  • AJ Schnack, director, Convention, Kurt Cobain About a Son
  • Lynn Shelton, writer/director, Your Sister’s Sister, Humpday
  • Mimi Steinbauer, President and CEO, Radiant Films International
  • Michele Turnure-Salleo, Director, Filmmaker360, San Francisco Film Society
  • Emily Verellen, Director of Programs and Communications, The Fledgling Fund
  • Josh Welsh, Co-President, Film Independent
  • Mary Wigmore, director, Birth Story
  • Greg Whiteley, director/producer, New York Doll, Resolved
  • Katherine Fairfax Wright, writer/director, Call Me Kuchu
  • Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival

Topics for this year’s panels are:

  • Think Big(ger):  Exploring the Mid-Range Budget
  • Documentary Funders Today:  Gatekeepers or Partners?
  • Armed to Sell:  A Financing Clinic
  • Reality Bites:  The Perils of the Doc
  • Just Shoot It:  Narrative Case Studies
  • Developing Story:  Documentary Case Studies
  • Roadside Attractions:  A Conversation with Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff
  • Find New Docs:  Works In Progress from Film Independent Fellows
  • Distribution:  A Fork in the Road
  • Channeling the Web:  Online Indie Channels
  • Crunching the Numbers:  VOD Calculations Revealed?
  • The Global Village:  International Market Review
  • Movie, Meet Audience:  A Marketing & Distribution Clinic
  • Movie Hackathon: Cool Tools in the Making
  • Do You Know Where Your Film Is?  Preserving and Accessing Your Assets In the Digital Age
  • How They Got There:  Career Advice From Young Indiewood

IndieLink Tables are another integral experience for attendees and sponsors at the Film Independent Forum. Hosting an IndieLink Table offers companies the opportunity to meet one-on-one with attendees for brief sessions. Current IndieLink hosts include: California Lawyers for the Arts, CrowdStarter, Dada Films, Dickson Arbusto Casting, Film Independent, Ginsberg Libby, GravitasVentures, konsonant/ music for film, Los Angeles Film Festival, Mississippi Film Office, Montana Film Office, Open Road Films, PUMit from UbicMedia, SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild, San Francisco Film Society, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, The Fledging Fund, The Post Lab, Topspin Media, Universal Studios, Wildfire Post Production and more. To host an IndieLink Table, please contact Angel Williams at 310.432.1257 or awilliams@filmindependent.org.

Conference passes are $259 for Film Independent members and $299 for non-members. For more information about this year’s Film Independent Forum or to purchase a pass, visit filmindependent.org/forum or call 310.432.1222.


About Film Independent Forum

For the past eight years, the Film Independent Forum has gathered industry insiders, thought provokers and game changers for a not to be missed weekend of panel discussions, seminars and one of a kind networking sessions. It is a weekend like no other — a true field guide to independent producing — and an incredible opportunity for filmmakers at all levels looking to expand their circle of connections.

The 2012 Film Independent Forum takes place October 19-21 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles, CA. For a full schedule of events, speakers and to register, visit FilmIndependent.org/Forum.


About Film Independent

Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.  For more information or to become a member, visit www.FilmIndependent.org.

For more information, contact:

Ginsberg / Libby
Chris Libby
chris.libby@ginsberglibby.com or 323-645-6800

Ginsberg / Libby
Lee Ginsberg
lee.ginsberg@ginsberglibby.com or 323-645-6800

Ginsberg / Libby
Gina Lang
gina.lang@ginsberglibby.com or 323-645-6800


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