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

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




Diversity Speaks Panels, Los Angeles Times Young Hollywood Roundtable,
Steed Symposium on Cyber Security & Premieres Section Unveiled

LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2015) – Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, produced by Film Independent with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced several additions to the 2015 Festival program, including Pras Michel and BT as part of the Music in Film Nights at the GRAMMY Museum, Tributes to Jonathan Demme and Rodrigo García, a Master Class with music video director Mathew Cullen, Diversity Speaks panels, the Los Angeles Times Young Hollywood Roundtable, the Steed Symposium on cyber security and Premiere section titles. Individual tickets are on sale now; please visit www.lafilmfest.com for more details.

“In addition to the Festival’s great film programming, we have so many fantastic conversations and musical performances planned as well,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “Our Master Classes, Tribute conversations and Music in Film at the GRAMMY Museum have become must-attend events each year at the Los Angeles Film Festival.”

On Thursday, June 11, as part of this year’s Music in Film Nights at the GRAMMY Museum, the Festival hosts an evening with Brian Transeau, better known as BT, one of the pioneers of modern American electronic music. He will play scores from Monster and Dark Places with live accompaniment and visuals. BT will also discuss his work from his classical roots to electronic music innovator. On Friday, June 12, the Festival welcomes Pras Michel and friends for an evening of performance and discussion in celebration of his documentary Sweet Micky for President, with special guests who have used their art to champion causes close to their heart.

As part of the Tributes section on Sunday, June 14 the Festival presents an evening with Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married), moderated by Elvis Mitchell, titled Jonathan Demme: An American Iconoclast, to reminisce about seminal moments of his career and give us a special sneak-peek of his upcoming film Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep.

On Tuesday, June 16, in celebration of this year’s Guest Director, Rodrigo García (Nine LivesIn TreatmentAlbert Nobbs), the Festival will hold Two for One: An Evening with Guest Director Rodrigo Garcia and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights), an intimate conversation where they will compare notes about working with actors, women’s stories and the travails of independent filmmaking.

An additional Festival Master Class has been announced. On Tuesday, June 16 acclaimed music video director Mathew Cullen will reflect on his journey as an artist while exploring the evolving art and science of storytelling. Hailed as one of the most imaginative music video and commercial directors of his generation, he will share some of his work, including a sneak peek of London Fields, his upcoming feature directorial debut. Cullen is an alumnus of Loyola Marymount University. The Master Class is sponsored by Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

At the Diversity Speaks panels, taking place on Saturday, June 13 at the Conga Room at L.A. LIVE, content creators of color who embody innovation will discuss how they manage to combine their passions for storytelling, entrepreneurship and their cultural identities into success stories. In Prime Time: Adjusting the Color Spectrum on TV, the talent in front and behind the camera of some of today’s most celebrated TV shows engage in a dialogue to explore issues relating to race and cultural representation on the small screen. Panelists include: Kenya Barris, creator, Black-ish; Wendy Calhoun, writer, Empire; Andrea Navedo, actress, Jane the Virgin; Randall Park, actor, Fresh off the Boat; Our Lady J, writer, Transparent. Also part of Diversity Speaks is the Visions of Mandela panel, an exclusive premiere screening of a collection of films inspired by Nelson Mandela’s speeches, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Directors include Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, 99 Homes), Eva Weber (Black Out) and James Marsh (The Theory of Everything, Man on Wire), Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding; New York, I Love You), Nabil Elderkin (Bouncing Cats) and Hank Willis Thomas (Question Bridge: Black Males). Diversity Speaks is sponsored by HBO and supported by Yvonne Huff and Jason Delane.

On Sunday, June 14, the Los Angeles Times brings together a group of film’s rising stars in the Los Angeles Times Young Hollywood Roundtable. This lively discussion, moderated by reporter Amy Kaufman, will center on life in the industry and what it means to be thrust into the limelight.

On Monday, June 15 the Festival presents the annual LMU Steed Symposium on Cyber Security: Is There A Safe Box in the Cloud? This event will include an entertaining and informative presentation by cyber security expert Ralph Echemendia, a screening of Implant, a short film created by Film Independent Fellow Casey Cooper Johnson, and a round table with cyber security experts, filmmakers and industry executives. The discussion will be moderated by KCRW¹s The Business host Kim Masters. The LMU Steed Symposium is funded by LMU Alumnus Michael Steed and is presented in partnership with Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.  Mr. Steed is a member of the university¹s board of trustees and Managing Director of Paladin Capital Partners Fund, LP, a private equity firm.

Three more titles were also announced today. The Premieres section features World Premieres of compelling new works from notable talent.


Premieres (3)

  • Consumed, dir. Daryl Wein, USA, World Premiere
  • Frank and Cindy, dir. G.J. Echternkamp, USA, World Premiere
  • I am Thalente, dir. Natalie Johns, South Africa/USA, World Premiere


Tickets and passes are on sale now at lafilmfest.com or 1-866-FILM-FEST.


View/download 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival Programming Addendum (PDF) for all film titles, synopses, cast and credits.


Online & Social Media:

www.lafilmfest.com. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/LAFilmFest and Twitter @LAFilmFest. Official event hashtag: #LAFilmFest.


The Los Angeles Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of Film Independent showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives. The Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals, and award-winning talent from our City of Angels and around the world. The Festival’s signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film at The GRAMMY Museum®, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks, LA Muse and more. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students and a special section devoted to expanded storytelling across the web, TV and gaming. The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times. The Official Host Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. The Premier Sponsor is Southern California BMW Centers and the Principal Sponsor is Jaeger-LeCoultre. Platinum Sponsors include American Airlines, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., and EFILM | Company 3. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Peroni Nastro Azzurro is the Official Beer Sponsor. Sauza 901 Tequila is the Official Spirits Sponsor. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency. More information can be found at lafilmfest.com.


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 filmindependent.org.


The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and has been covering California for more than 133 years.


L.A. LIVE is a 4 million square foot / $3 billion downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center featuring Club Nokia, a 2,300 capacity live music venue, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live theatre, a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE – all in a single tower), The GRAMMY Museum ®, the 14-screen Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 theatre, broadcast facilities for ESPN along with entertainment, residential, restaurant and office space. Developed by Los Angeles-based AEG, L.A. LIVE, considered to be the nation’s most active ‘live content and event campus,’ also features 260,480 sf of conference center and ballroom facilities, a 100,000 sf special events deck, the famous Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, the celebrity owned Conga Room, a one-of-a-kind GRAMMY Museum ®, saluting the history of music and the genre’s best known awards show all centered around Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE, a 40,000 sf outdoor event space. L.A. LIVE showcases more events, award shows, sporting competitions, concerts and hospitality options than any other destination in the world. Visit L.A. LIVE today at www.lalive.com.