Directors Close-Up

Hear stories and gain insight from storytellers from around the globe, in conversation with their fellow filmmakers.

January 17 – March 1, 2024

The annual Directors Close-Up – our signature program celebrating the art and craft of directing – returns, featuring conversations focused on directors, writers and creators nominated at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The highly anticipated series kicks off in January with eight online sessions, and concludes with three in-person events at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. Each year, an impressive lineup of artists from the world of independent film and television takes part in the DCU, and this year will be no exception. View the official Directors Close-Up schedule for more details.

DCU Online

New for 2024, the online portion of the Directors Close-Up is completely free, exclusively for Film Independent Members. The eight online sessions will take place every Wednesday, January 17 – February 7, at 12:00 pm PT and 5:30 pm PT. Each will highlight a unique Spirit Awards category, and only Members will have the opportunity to tune in live and join the discussion by submitting questions to the panelists.

DCU at the DGA

We’re excited to bring the Directors Close-Up to the Directors Guild of America for three in-person sessions, including our traditional panel of Spirit Awards Best Director nominees, as well as two in-depth conversations with esteemed filmmakers working outside the indie realm.

Taking place February 12, 21 and March 1 at 7:30 pm PT, each evening includes free parking and a hosted reception, giving attendees multiple opportunites to make new connections, talk shop and, of course, discuss their predictions for the Spirit Awards.

Speakers & Panelists

This year’s confirmed DCU speakers and panelists include…

Erika Alexander, American Fiction
Lila Avilés, Tótem
Kaouther Ben Hania, Four Daughters
Razelle Benally, Murder in Big Horn
Joe Brewster, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
Samy Burch, May December
Tomás Gómez Bustillo, Chronicles of a Wandering Saint
Mimi Cave, Fresh
J.D. Dillard, The Outsider
Cristina Dunlap, American Fiction
Asmae El Moudir, The Mother of All Lies
Matthew Galkin, Murder in Big Horn
Molly Gordon, Theater Camp
Zach Heinzerling, Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence
David Hemingson, The Holdovers
Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court
Allen Hughes, Dear Mama
Babak Jalali, Fremont
Raven Jackson, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
Cord Jefferson, American Fiction
Nikyatu Jusu, Nanny
Laura Karpman, American Fiction
Yong Ok Lee, Expats
Justin Lerner, Cadejo Blanco
Nick Lieberman, Theater Camp
Zoe Lister-Jones, Slip
Morrisa Maltz, The Unknown Country
Alex Mechanik, May December
Dani Melia, Expats
Laura Moss, Birth/Rebirth
C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, Mami Wata
Brendan J. O’Brien, Birth/Rebirth
Hlynur Pálmason, Godland
Laurel Parmet, The Starling Girl
Krista Parris, Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence
Dawn Porter, Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court
Hilda Rasula, American Fiction
Boots Riley, I’m a Virgo
Franklin Ritch, The Artifice Girl
AV Rockwell, A Thousand and One
Alejandro Rojas, Upon Entry
Adjani Salmon, Dreaming Whilst Black
Jake Schreier, Beef
Juan Sebatián Vásquez, Upon Entry
Emma Seligman, Bottoms
D. Smith, Kokomo City
Celine Song, Past Lives
Lina Soualem, Bye Bye Tiberias
Michèle Stephenson, Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
Jake Szymanski, Jury Duty
Lulu Wang, Expats
Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction



Film Independent is committed to hosting events that are accessible. For inquiries regarding accessibility, or to request an accommodation, please contact us at or 323 556 9305.