LACMA and Film Independent Join Forces on New Film Series

Los Angeles (April 6, 2011) — The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival.  As a result of the museum’s analysis and strategic planning process (funded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) over the past year around its current film program, Film Independent was identified as an ideal partner for its film series.  The collaboration combines LACMA’s efforts in presenting film within an encyclopedic art historical context with Film Independent’s strong relationships with filmmakers and expertise in building audiences and developing programs for a wide spectrum of films.  The partnership is effective immediately, with new programming to begin in September 2011.

LACMA and Film Independent are also thrilled to have The New York Times as the sole Presenting Sponsor of the new Film Series.  As a national newspaper that has long offered extensive coverage of films and filmmakers, this collaboration will serve to establish a larger cultural presence in Los Angeles for The New York Times.

LACMA and Film Independent will inaugurate the new weekly Film Series in September 2011 with previews of feature-length narrative and documentary films; archival films and repertory series; conversations with emerging and established filmmakers and artists; international showcases; family films; and special guest-curated programs. In addition, monthly post-screening receptions will bring together the Los Angeles creative community by offering a gathering place for film lovers, artists and the general public. The current LACMA film program, as well as Film Independent’s year-round Film Series will continue through mid-September.  Additionally, LACMA will continue its Tuesday matinee series and film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions.

LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan notes, “As the only encyclopedic art museum in Los Angeles, the film capital of the world, LACMA should, and will be, at the forefront of the consideration and presentation of how film has played an ever-increasing role in contemporary art and life.  In conversations with the film community over the past year, we have decided that collaboration and partnership is the most effective way to advance the shared mission of our organizations.”  Govan continues, “Our goal is to create a field-leading film department that captures the importance of film and moving images in the history of art, in keeping with LACMA’s curatorial mission.”

Ian Birnie, LACMA’s Consulting Curator in the Film Department, will be leaving this fall. His final film series to be programmed for the museum will be a Tim Burton retrospective this summer, complementing the Tim Burton exhibition opening May 29.  “We are enormously grateful to Ian for his substantial contribution to LACMA’s film program over the last fifteen years,” says Govan.  “His commitment, discerning vision, and hard work have been invaluable.”

Film Independent’s Programming department (which programs year-round Film Series and the Los Angeles Film Festival), in conjunction with a new lead programmer starting in the summer, will serve as curators for the new Film Series.  They’ll be working closely with LACMA’s director and curatorial staff to cover a breadth of film that promotes a cinematic dialogue and showcases artistic achievement.

“Our partnership with LACMA is a wonderful way for Film Independent to further strengthen our commitment to championing film artists and bringing their work to a larger audience. The new series will provide our membership with a richer film-going experience, and it’s a beautiful pairing of the film world and the art world that makes perfect sense in Los Angeles,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent.  “We’re also so excited to be working with The New York Times on this series, as they share our passion for supporting original and compelling filmmaking.”

“Times readers are enthusiastic fans of film.  They look to us for critical insight on individual films and for overall coverage of the industry.  This collaboration with LACMA and Film Independent makes tremendous sense for The Times as it allows us to continue our commitment to the discovery and showcasing of great films while deepening our role in Los Angeles,” said Lou Fabrizio, Vice President of Entertainment Advertising at The New York Times.

“LACMA’s assessment of its film program has resulted in a deeper commitment.  The museum will present major exhibitions focused on the art of film, including the upcoming MOMA-organized Tim Burton, Gabriel Figueroa in 2013, and Stanley Kubrick next year.  We wanted to strengthen the series, not compete with what other presenters are doing, which is why Film Independent is a natural choice,” said Terry Semel, LACMA Board of Trustees Co-Chair.

LACMA will continue its Tuesday matinee series as well as film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions. It will also plan annual film-related exhibitions, as it has previously with Dali: Painting & Film (2007) and the upcoming Tim Burton (May 29-October 31, 2011), and planned offerings from international filmmakers Stanley Kubrick (2012) and Gabriel Figueroa (2013) are in the works.

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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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