Press Home / Press Releases


Contact: Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent
Tel: 310.432.1287 or
[email protected] 

Gina Lang, Ginsberg/Libby
Tel: 323.645.6800 or
[email protected]




LOS ANGELES (June 17, 2014) – Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards and Film Independent at LACMA, announced the 10 projects selected for its 12th annual Fast Track program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fast Track Dinner on June 15, 2014 during the Los Angeles Film Festival. Fast Track is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television and takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival. The program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market. During programmed one-on-one meetings, participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, sales and packaging agents, distributors, attorneys, granting organizations and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.

Film Independent Director of Artist Development, Jennifer Kushner said, “Our Fast Track Fellows are exceptional and diverse artists with unique and compelling stories that deserve to be made and seen. Film Independentis proud to support these talented filmmakers and help propel these compelling projects to the next level.”

Film Independent awarded the fifth annual Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $15,000 production grant, to filmmakers Logan Kibens and Felipe Dieppa for their film Operator. In addition to participation in Fast Track, as part of the Sloan Foundation grant, the filmmakers will also receive year-round support from Film Independent.

For the past seven years Film Independent and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have joined forces to encourage the production of films that depict scientific themes and characters in ways that are as enlightening and accurate as they are engaging. 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. The goal of the partnership is to increase the public understanding of science and technology and to challenge sterotypes of scientists, engineers and mathematicians through compelling artist-driven films made by new, independent voices. Past recipients of Film Independent’s Alfred P. Sloan Grants include producer Jim Young whose film The Man Who Knew Infinity is set to star Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel, and producer Monique Caulfield with Basmati Blues, starring Donald Sutherland and Brie Larson, which is currently in post-production.

“We are delighted to partner with Film Independent for the seventh year and to make the 2014 Sloan Fast Track award to Logan Kibens’ Operator, a smart, contemporary comedy about a programmer who learns, at the risk of losing his wife, that technology must serve humanity,” said Doron Weber, Vice President at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Operator, recipient of a previous Sloan screenwriting grant at Sundance, is one of multiple projects being successfully developed through Sloan’s national film program of science and technology projects, a dozen of which have recently reached the big screen.”

“In a time whenwe are becoming increasingly reliant on technology, Operator is a romantic comedy that questions whether man’s relationship with machine can reach a point of over-dependence,” said Jennifer Kushner. “Film Independent is very pleased to continue to support Logan Kibens with the Sloan Fast Track Grant. Kibens is an alumnus of Film Independent’s Project Involve and we’re thrilled to support her and her producing partner Felipe Dieppa as they make what will be Kibens’ first feature film. We believe she is a capable and exciting new filmmaking voice.”

The following projects and filmmakers have been selected for the 2014 Fast Track finance market:


2014 Fast Track Fellows

And Then I Go: Rebecca Green & Laura D. Smith – producers, Brett Haley -  writer/director

In the wilderness of junior high, Edwin Hanratty and his only friend Flake are at the bottom of the food chain. Branded together as misfits, their fury simmers quietly until an unthinkable idea offers them a spectacular and terrifying release.


Commerce: Steven Berger – producer, Lisa Robertson – writer/director

In this psychological drama/thriller, a spiraling compulsion threatens to alienate a Los Angeles businessman, Ken, from his family, and leads to a chance meeting with a young gambler, Pete, who could save or destroy Ken, in the City of Commerce.


Encontro Das Águas: Summer Shelton – producer, Alex Moratto – writer/director

When a lumber conglomerate evicts their family from their rural Amazonian home, Kaio (14) and his older brother César (19) smuggle an endangered Rosewood tree upriver to the city of Manaus in hopes of selling it on the black market for money to help their family.


Five Nights in Maine: Carly Hugo – producer, Maris Curran – writer/director

A young African American man, reeling from the tragic loss of his wife, travels to rural Maine to seek answers from his estranged mother-in-law, who is herself confronting guilt and grief over her daughter’s death.


Nancy: Mayuran Tiruchelvam – producer, Christina Choe – writer/director

Nancy, a 40-year old serial imposter, lives at home with her abusive, elderly mother. Desperate for love, she creates a fake blog and catfishes a lover, until her hoaxes cause epic and tragic consequences.


Operator: Felipe A. Dieppa – producer, Logan Kibens – co-writer/director

When Joe, a computer programmer and obsessive self-quantifier, models the personality for a digital customer service voice on his wife, his carefully controlled life is thrown into chaos.


Oscillate Wildly: Andrew Carlberg – producer, Travis Mathews – co-writer/producer/director

When his disability check arrives much reduced, a hot-headed young gay man with cerebral palsy is forced to confront the disability he’s let define his whole being.


Soledad (documentary): Carmen Osterlye – producer, Cassidy Friedman – director

Three inmates set to be released from one of California’s most violent and overcrowded prisons painfully seek rehabilitation through a radical process of cathartic storytelling.


Thank You for Playing (documentary): David Osit – director/producer, Malika Zouhali-Worrall – director/producer

Ryan Green’s four-year-old son Joel has terminal cancer. Ryan, an indie video game developer, is building an unusually poetic video game to document his experiences raising a dying child, and to honor Joel while he is still alive. Thank You For Playing follows the creation and growing success of Ryan’s game, as his son’s health continues to decline.


Untitled Oliver Diaz Project: Susan Saladoff – producer, Maryam Keshavarz – writer/director

In the early paranoid years of the Bush Administration, a respected Mississippi Supreme Court Justice and his wife are wrongfully accused of corruption. They struggle to maintain their place in a community that is being covertly undermined by the Federal Government and the business interests supporting it.


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

Current industry participants include representatives from 2929 Productions, Anonymous Content, Beachside Films, Black Label Media, Broad Green Pictures, Canana, Caviar, Chapter One Films, Cherry Sky Films, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Cinedigm, Circle of Confusion, Cold Iron Pictures, Considered Entertainment, Crime Scene Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Drafthouse Films, FilmNation Entertainment, Film Finances, Fox Digital Studios, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Gadabout, Gamechanger, Greenberg Glusker’s Entertainment Group, Groundswell Productions, HBO, Hyde Park Entertainment, ICM, Indomina Films, JuntoBox Films, Lava Bear Films, Loeb & Loeb, Lotus Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Millennium Entertainment, Mosaic, Open Road, Orange Entertainment. Participant Media, Preferred Content, Rhino Films, River Road Entertainment, Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Sandbar Picture, Seine Pictures, Significant Productions, SpiritClips, Straight Up Films, Super Crispy Entertainment, UTA, Varient, Warner Brothers, Wind Dancer Films, WME Entertainment, XYZ Films and ZHIV Productions/Escape Artists.

Screening at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival are previous Fast Track projects Out in the Night directed by blair dorosh-walther and The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest directed by Gabriel London. Other Fast Track projects that have been completed and released include Kyle Patrick Alvarez and Cookie Carosella’s C.O.G., which premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically; Robbie Pickering’s Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection; 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; Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka, which was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2010; Courtney Hunt’s Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River; Jennifer Westfeldt’s Ira and Abby; Jessica Sanders’ award-winning documentary After Innocence; Scott Prendergast’s Kabluey, starring Lisa Kudrow and Teri Garr; and many more.

Now in its 20th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, showcases diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in new American and international cinema, and provides the movie-loving public with one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from 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, LA Muse and more. Nearly 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing 40 countries, make up the main body of the Festival. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students and a special section devoted to music videos. 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 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. The Official Host Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. Subaru is the Official Automotive Sponsor. Relativity is a Principal Sponsor. Platinum Sponsors include HBO, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Stella Artois, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and EFILM. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television. Renwood Winery is the Official Wine Provider. Tanqueray is the Official Gin Provider. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel. 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

The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan’s film program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and accurate stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past decade, the Foundation has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country – including AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and USC – and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production and an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize that Tribeca administers. Sloan also supports Screenplay Development Programs at Sundance, Hamptons International Film Festival, Film Independent and Tribeca and has developed such film projects as Future Weather, a coming of age story about a young woman who finds personal meaning in science, which premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival; Valley of Saints and Robot & Frank, both of which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and shared the Sloan Feature Film Prize; A Birder’s Guide to Everything, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival; and Computer Chess, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. As more finished films emerge from this development pipeline, the foundation has partnered with the Coolidge Corner Theater and the Arthouse Convergence to expand Coolidge’s Science on Screen program, pairing feature films with scientists, to 40 theaters nationwide. This program provides a unique distribution platform for Sloan films as one of the three films that the theatres show each year is a film that has received Sloan support.

The Foundation also awards annual Science and Technology Feature Film Prizes and has honored such films as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grizzly Man, I Origins, Primer, Decoding Annie Parker, and Another Earth. Sloan also partners with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club in support of new science plays such as Isaac’s Eye about the rivalry between Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke and The Explorers Club, a witty satire about gender bias in science. For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation please visit