Film Independent Celebrates 10 Years of Directors Close Up

James Gray, Robin Swicord and David Ansen to Moderate, Panelists include Directors Lisa Cholodenko, Jay & Mark Duplass, William Friedkin, Nicole Holofcener, Matt Reeves, Composer Michael Giacchino and more

LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2010) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced the program for its 10th annual Directors Close-Up series, taking place February 2 – March 2, 2011 at The Landmark – West Los Angeles. Writer/Directors James Gray (Two Lovers) and Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), and Los Angeles Film Festival Artistic Director David Ansen will be moderators. Series panelists include writer/directors Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) Jay Duplass (Cyrus), William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection), Nicole Holofcener (Please Give), director Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield), composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Star Trek), Skywalker Sound’s Douglas Murray (Let Me In, Cloverfield), Sound Designer Will Files (Let Me In, Cloverfield), with additional names to be announced.

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, guests will hear first-hand from prolific film directors whose originality, ingenuity, and talent have set them apart as leaders in their craft.  Film Independent’s 2011 Directors Close-Up sponsors include Skywalker Sound, The Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America and SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild. Cinedigm Digital Cinema is the official digital advisor and reception host.

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate 10 years of the Directors Close-Up series and are looking forward to another great year. The range of accomplished independent directors, writers, actors and filmmaking talent that have shared their stories and career advice with our attendees is truly amazing,” said Maria Bozzi, Film Independent’s Director of Education.

Past panelists include Miguel Arteta, John August, Lisa Cholodenko, Bill Condon, Cherien Dabis, Jonathan Dayton, Guillermo del Toro, Valerie Faris, David Fincher, Ruben Fleischer, Marc Forster, Rodrigo García, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Susannah Grant, Paul Haggis, Catherine Hardwicke, Amy Heckerling, Nicole Holofcener, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Jonze, Miranda July, Richard Kelly, Neil LaBute, Kasi Lemmons, Justin Lin, Tom McCarthy, Alexander Payne, Gina Prince-Bythwood, Jason Reitman, Eli Roth, Walter Salles, Julian Schnabel, Jim Sheridan, Kevin Smith, Melvin Van Peebles, Mike White, George C. Wolfe, and many more.

This year’s panels will cover the following topics:
February 2nd – Music and Sound Design 
February 9th – The Creative Team: Bringing the Vision to Life 
February 16th – Casting and Directing Actors 
February 23rd – The Spirit of Independence: A Roundtable Discussion 
March 2nd – Writing and Directing

All panels will take place at The Landmark – West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Series passes are currently available for a discounted rate of $99 for Film Independent members and $130 for the general public. After January 14, series passes will be $150 for Film Independent members and $180 for the general public. For more information on panel descriptions and participants, and to buy passes, please visit or call 310-432-1222.

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, are 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 leader, or a film lover.

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 offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent’s mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and dare to challenge the status quo.

For more information or to become a member, visit


Contact: Elise Freimuth, Film Independent
Tel: 310.432.1287 or