Contact: Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent
Tel: 310.432.1287 or aqkhan@filmindependent.org

Gina Pence, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323.645.6800 or gina.pence@ginsberglibby.com




LOS ANGELES, CA (September 13, 2016) — Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the LA Film Festival, announced today that Effie Brown (Dear White People, Project Greenlight, EVP of Production and Development at Lee Daniels Entertainment)will deliver the Keynote address at the 12th annual Film Independent Forum. Focus Features’ Loving, written and directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga will kick off as the Opening Night Film on Friday, October 21. The screening will be followed by a Q+A with Jeff Nichols, Joel Edgerton, and Ruth Negga. The Forum will take place the weekend of October 21-23 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

“We’re so excited to open the Forum with Loving, such a timely and poignant film from Jeff Nichols, one of the most insightful auteur directors working today,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “We could not think of a better Keynote than Effie Brown, who perfectly embodies the ‘working filmmaker’ we strive to celebrate and support. Film Independent supported her since the beginning through our Project Involve program, and now as an active Board member we rely on her to mentor and serve as a role model for other emerging filmmakers.”

During the Forum, Film Independent’s Director of Artist Development Jennifer Kushner will award the Alfred P. Sloan Producers Grant to support a fiction film that explores science or technology themes. The grant provides a $30,000 production grant and acceptance into the Film Independent Producing Lab. Following the Opening Night Film the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Reception will celebrate the Sloan grantee and the 2016 Film Independent Producing Lab Fellows.

The 2016 Film Independent Forum is supported by Premier Sponsors Directors Guild of America and SAGindie, Principal Sponsors Montana Film Office and The Virginia Film Office and Media Partner IndieWire.


Panelists for the 2016 Film Independent Forum include:

Andrew Ahn, Writer/Director, Spa Night

Sylvia Desrochers, President, Big Time PR & Marketing

Sam Esmail, Creator, Mr. Robot

Rafi Fine, Co-Founder, Fine Brothers Entertainment

Katherine Fisher, Producer, Her Story

Sydney Freeland, Director, Her Story

Ashley Hasz, Senior Director of Film and Integrated Marketing, Participant Media

Dennis Hauck, Producer/Writer/Director, Too Late

Sian Heder, Writer/Director, Tallulah, Orange Is the New Black

Carolyn Henderson, Manager, Advocacy and Social Impact, Participant Media

Tina Mabry, Producer/Writer/Director, Mississippi Damned, Queen Sugar

Paula Manzanedo- Schmit, Senior Vice President, Film Finances, Inc.

Matt Miller, Producer, Too Late

Kel O’Neill, Artist/Filmmaker, The Ark

Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange

Elsa Ramo, Entertainment Attorney, Ramo Law PC

Jen Richards, Writer/Actor, Her Story

Kelly Thomas, Producer, Spa Night

Laura Zak, Writer/Actor, Her Story

… with additional panelists to be announced


Topics for this year’s panels are:

Market Report: Putting Together A Movie In 2016

Agents Of Change: New Voices From Filmmaking’s Cutting Edge

Maximizing Distribution: Day & Date, Theatrical and Beyond

Shopping Your Project: A Financing Clinic

Integrated Marketing: Spotlight Case Study

Made In L.A.: Too Late and Spa Night Case Studies

Her Story: A Web Series Case Study

Content Creators: A Brand Of Their Own

Film Independent’s Documentary Works In Progress

Sustaining a Creative Career:  Filmmaker’s Balancing Acts

Auteur TV: The New Creators


The Film Independent Documentary Lab Works-in-Progress Screening will showcase select clips from the documentaries supported in Film Independent’s Artist Development programs followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Early registration conference passes are $215 for Film Independent Members and $285 for non-Members who register by Friday, September 23. After September 23, conference passes are $275 for Film Independent Members and $325 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

Now in its 12th year, the Film Independent Forum is the pre-eminent conference for independent filmmakers and content creators in Los Angeles. Off-the-record conversations with working filmmakers make this the must-attend fall event for filmmakers and industry professionals. If you are anywhere near production or close to entering the festival circuit, join your peers for a weekend of solution-driven strategies, success stories, and opportunities to connect one-on-one with working artists and industry pros.

The 2016 Film Independent Forum takes place October 21-23 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 the non-profit arts organization that champions creative independence in visual storytelling 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 LA 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 filmindependent.org.