Film Independent & LACMA Announce Elvis Mitchell as Curator for New Film Series

Los Angeles (June 16, 2011) — Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival (LA Film Fest), and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced the selection of esteemed film critic Elvis Mitchell as the curator for its new Film Series.  The two organizations have partnered for a new weekly Film Series in the fall, with The New York Times as the presenting sponsor.  Mitchell will be a full-time staff member at Film Independent and will be working closely with its programming department and LACMA’s curatorial staff to cover a breadth of film that promotes a cinematic dialogue and showcases artistic achievement.  With Mitchell’s curatorial leadership, the new series will be an inclusive program that offers unique film experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.   He will be starting on July 11 and relocating to Los Angeles.

“Elvis has served on our Board of Directors and Independent Spirit Award nominating committees, and he has participated in many LA Film Fest programs over the years,” said Film Independent Interim Executive Director Sean McManus.  “We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Elvis and are thrilled to work with him in his new curatorial role.”

LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan said “Having known Elvis for many years, I am certain that he will bring the perfect intelligence to this new joint screening series that will cross genres, historical periods and cultures.  I can’t wait to experience his ideas and programs.”

“Elvis is truly a visionary, and his extensive knowledge and passion for cinema and popular culture makes him an exquisite choice to be the curator of this exciting new Film Series.  He’s a magnificent conversationalist and with his dynamic and progressive approach to the curation of ideas and content, the Film Series at LACMA will become a hub for filmmakers and film lovers year-round,” said Los Angeles Film Festival Director Rebecca Yeldham.

“This position is a double reunion for me.  Selling tickets at the Bing Theater at LACMA was my first job in LA, and to get to return to supervise a program at a place that is an intersection of art and popular culture is a dream come true.  The best part of this arrangement is I get to formalize my longtime arrangement with Film Independent.  I couldn’t be happier.  That is, until I get started, said Elvis Mitchell.”

The current LACMA film program, as well as Film Independent’s year-round Film Series will continue through the fall.  LACMA will also continue its Tuesday matinee series and film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions.

Mitchell is an established film critic and is currently the host of KCRW’s The Treatment, a weekly radio series with an inside look at the creators of popular culture.  He served on Film Independent’s Board of Directors from 2000-2003, was on the Independent Spirit Award nominating committees from 1999-2003 and 2008, and has participated in many LA Film Fest activities for the organization.  Mitchell has been an entertainment critic for NPR’s Weekend Edition, film critic for, The New York Times, the Fort Worth Star Telegram (where he received the 1999 AASFE award for criticism), the LA Weekly and the Detroit Free Press.  He has been editor-at-large at Spin magazine and is a special correspondent for Interview magazine.  He also hosts the TCM interview program Under the Influence.  Mitchell has received a WGA Award nominee for his work on The AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: Sidney Poitier.  He produced and co-created The Black List, Volume One, which won the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary, and was acquired by HBO after it’s debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival (where Mitchell has twice served on the Dramatic Competition Jury).  A sequel, The Black List, Volume 2 aired on HBO in 2009.  In October 2002, Mitchell gave the prestigious Alain Locke lectures on African American culture at Harvard University, and has subsequently been a visiting lecturer at Harvard in Visual and Environmental Studies and African American Studies.


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, 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


Press Contact: Elise Freimuth, or 310-432-1287



Since its inception in 1965, LACMA has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography-and represent Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. Today, the museum features particularly strong collections of Asian, Latin American, European, and American art, as well as a contemporary museum on its campus. With this expanded space for contemporary art, innovative collaborations with artists, and an ongoing Transformation project, LACMA is creating a truly modern lens through which to view its rich encyclopedic collection.


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