Contact: Elise Freimuth, Film Independent
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LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2012) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced the 19 filmmakers and 9 projects selected for its 10th annual Fast Track program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Reception last night at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Fast Track is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Kodak and Millennium Entertainment and takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs from June 14-24 in downtown Los Angeles. The program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market. During programmed one-on-one meetings, participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.

“We’ve been producing Fast Track now for a decade, and have helped over 100 filmmakers strike up crucial relationships with industry leaders to help get their projects financed and made. We’ve had incredible projects go through this program, and once again, we have some wonderfully talented filmmakers participating this year,” said Film Independent Co-President Josh Welsh.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a long-time Fast Track supporter, awarded a $15,000 production grant for the third year, to writer/director Casey Cooper Johnson and producers Casey Fenton and Peter W. Singer for their film Unmanned. The filmmakers will also receive year-round support from Film Independent. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation seeks to create and develop new scripts about science and technology and to see them into commercial production with national and international distribution. Unmanned is about a young Air Force drone operator who struggles to balance the stresses of going to war for the first time with the challenges of being a good father and husband, as he commutes each day between suburban family life and the war he fights by remote control.

“We are delighted to join Film Independent in supporting such exciting and original work that engages with science and technology themes and characters,” said Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Unmanned was originally the winner of a Sloan Foundation student production grant at the American Film Institute, and we have continued to develop this project with our partners at the Tribeca Film Institute and now under the superb stewardship of Film Independent’s world-class Fast Track.”

In addition, new supporter Millennium Entertainment awarded a $10,000 unrestricted grant to producers Mollye Asher and Angela C. Lee for Lee. As his two best friends plan to leave for college, Lee is about a Lakota teen wondering if his future on a Pine Ridge Reservation is pre-ordained when a tragedy forces him to take dangerous action to protect his family.

“Millennium Entertainment is proud to partner with Film Independent in support of their 2012 Fast Track program. It’s an honor to support emerging voices and we believe that our selection Lee is a wonderful example of the kind of new talent Film Independent is adept at cultivating,” said Bill Lee, CEO of Millennium Entertainment.

The following projects and filmmakers have been selected for 2012 Fast Track. To download a full Dossier with their bios and film project information, please visit our Press Materials site:

1. C.O.G. – Producer Cookie Carosella, Co-Writer/Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Kyle won the Someone to Watch Award at the 2010 Film Independent Spirit Awards, and both were nominated for Best First Feature for Easier with Practice.
2. Dancing in Jaffa – Director/Producer Hilla Medalia, Producer Diane Nabatoff. The film was also selected for Film Independent’s annual Documentary Lab.
3. A Killing Frost – Director/Producer Jennifer Arnold, Writer Katherine Ruppe. Jennifer has been in Film Independent’s Fast Track program before and is a Directors Lab Fellow. Katherine workshopped A Killing Frost in Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab.
4. Lee – Producers Mollye Asher, Angela C. Lee. Angela participated in the 2011 Producing Lab and Fast Track.
5. Revenge Fuck – Producer Dante Di Loreto, Writer/Director Jessica Sharzer. Jessica was in the 2003 Directors Lab.
6. Studio H – Producer Christine O’Malley, Director Patrick Creadon. Patrick has served on a jury for the Los Angeles Film Festival in the past.
7. Tokyo Cannonball Rising Sun – Producer Brandon Harris, Co-Writer/Director Malcolm Murray. Malcolm had his first feature-length documentary Camera, Camera in the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival.
8. Unmanned – Producers Casey Fenton, Peter W. Singer, Writer/Director Casey Cooper Johnson. Casey Cooper Johnson participated in the 2012 Directing Lab.
9. Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary – Producer Sara Guistini, Director PJ Raval. PJ is also a Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow. Sara and PJ had their documentary Trinidad premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Fast Track is free to accepted filmmakers, and upon completion, participants become Film Independent Fellows, and receive year-round support, including access to Film Independent’s annual film educational offerings, on-staff Filmmaker Advisor, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. For detailed information on the filmmakers and projects in Fast Track and past/current Film Independent Fellows, visit the online FIND Talent Guide.

Current industry participants include representatives from Ambush Entertainment, Anonymous Content, Big Beach Productions, Bold Films, Cargo Entertainment, Celluloid Nightmares, Chubbco, Cohen Media Group, The Combine, Crime Scene Pictures, Gersh, GK Films, GMR, Inferno Entertainment, Kodak, Electric City Entertainment, Film Finances Inc., Fox Searchlight, ICM, Invention Films, Lava Bear, Loeb & Loeb, Magnolia Pictures, Millennium, Nick Wechsler Productions, Occupant Pictures, Open Road Films, Orange Entertainment, Participant Media, Preferred Content, RCR Pictures, Resnick Entertainment, Rhino Films, River Road Entertainment, Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Slated, Sneak Preview Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Submarine, Super Crispy Films, Team Todd, Technicolor, Thunder Road Films, Tribeca Film Institute, UTA, Werner Films, William Morris Endeavor, Wondros, 120 db Films and 2929 Entertainment.

Recent projects developed through Fast Track include Robbie Pickering’s Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection, which also swept the awards at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival; Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez’s Burn, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival; Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Call Me Kuchu, which premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival and is an official selection for the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival; Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka, which was nominated for three Spirit Awards in 2010; Courtney Hunt’s Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River; Jennifer Westfeldt’s Ira and Abby, which had its world premiere at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival; Jessica Sanders’ award-winning documentary After Innocence; and Scott Prendergast’s feature Kabluey, which had its world premiere at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, supported by L.A. LIVE and The Los Angeles Times, is widely recognized as a world-class event, showcasing the best in new American and international cinema and providing the movie-loving public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.

The Festival features unique signature programs including the Filmmaker Retreat, Poolside Chats, Coffee Talks, Music Events and more. Additionally, the Festival screens short films created by high school students and has a special section devoted to music videos.

Over 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries, make up the main body of the Festival.

The Festival hosts juried cash awards for best narrative and documentary features, best narrative, documentary and animated short film, and a jury award for best performance in the narrative competition. Audience awards are also presented to best documentary, narrative and international feature, short film and music video.

The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times, Premier and Opening Night Sponsor Virgin America and Platinum sponsors Kodak, Stella Artois, Melrose MAC, Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group and EFILM, HBO, Volkswagen of America, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Nokia and Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Special support is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and FOCUS FORWARD – a partnership between GE and CINELAN. The Official Screening Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. Stella Artois is the official beer, Jameson® Irish Whiskey is the official spirit, vitaminwater is the official water and E&J Gallo Winery is the official wine purveyor. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel and Virgin America is the Official Airline Partner. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent.

More information can be found at

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