Forum Schedule

Schedule of events for the 2020 Film Independent Forum

Please note: Forum program elements (panels, times, speakers, etc.) are subject to change.

From live keynotes (four of them!) to special conversations to expert advice on how to handle the new challenges filmmakers are facing, the 2020 Film Independent Forum has lots in store for you – and it’s all outlined below. So, peruse the program and of course, if you haven’t already, grab your Forum pass today.

Access through October

The Forum may have already happened, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Passholders will have access to Forum content* including keynotes, conversations, panels and more through October 2020.

* Recorded live events and on demand content


 
If you’d like to learn more about the speakers and panelists listed in the schedule below, allow us to recommend our nifty Speakers & Panelists page.

Passholders are encouraged to visit our how-to page to learn more about accessing this year’s Forum events.

Jump to: Saturday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

 

FRIDAY, JULY 31

Executive Keynote

Elissa Federoff, President of Distribution, NEON
LIVE at 12:00 pm PT

In a brilliant career that spans 15 years, working at prestigious independent labels such as Lionsgate, Oscilloscope and RADIUS-TWC, Elissa Federoff has risen to President of Distribution for NEON, the distribution company that in just three years since its inception has taken the film industry by storm, garnering multiple awards and great box office success with bold films such as Bong Joon Ho’s Academy Award-winning Parasite and Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire. She oversees NEON’s release strategy across all its titles and has been key in ramping up NEON’s capabilities with virtual cinema. She brings to the Forum not only her extraordinary experience but her keen understanding of the industry and a remarkable ability to articulate the intricacies of the market and communicate with filmmakers.

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Opening Night Film

The Fight
LIVE at 4:00 pm PT

Only days after the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump, furious Americans gathered at airports across the country in protest of the Muslim ban. But it was the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union, waging the fight in federal court, that turned the tide, staying the executive order on grounds of unconstitutionality. The ACLU has never granted access to its offices, even as its battles – on the fronts of abortion rights, immigration rights, LGBT rights and voting rights – have become more timely and momentous than ever. For The Fight, access was finally been granted to the filmmaking team of Eli B. Despres, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, makers of 2016’s award-winning Weiner. Rousing, inspiring and slyly humorous, their latest documentary follows four seismically important cases and a handful of magnetic attorneys. These lawyers may not know how to charge a cell phone or operate a stand-up desk but have persuaded Supreme Court Justices, beating back serious encroachments upon our freedoms. An antidote to endless news cycles filled with Twitter tantrums, The Fight inspires with the story of front-line warriors in the battle for the American soul. Watch the trailer here.

Watch Magnolia Pictures and Topic Studios’ The Fight live at 4:00 pm PT, prior to a Q&A with the filmmakers (see below) at 5:45 pm PT. The film will be available on demand July 31 through August 2.

Presented live and on demand via Eventive

Opening Night Q&A

The Fight
LIVE at 5:45 pm PT

After watching the Opening Night Film, Magnolia Pictures and Topic Studios’ The Fight, join in for a live conversation with producer Kerry Washington, directors/producers Elyse Steinberg and Josh Kriegman and director/producer/editor Eli B. Despres – plus ACLU lawyers Brigitte Amiri, Lee Gelernt, Dale Ho, Joshua Block and Chase Strangio. Attendees will have the opportunity to type-in questions.

Presented live via Eventive

Finding Your Funders and Collaborators

On Demand

Who is funding documentary films today and what are they looking for in a project when they invest? A diverse panel of representatives from foundations, niche production companies and nonprofits explain how they engage in collaborations with documentary filmmakers. The session also addresses recent changes and trends in how films are being financed amidst vast economic changes and the current movement for racial justice.

Sarba Das (A24)
Lisa Kleiner Chanoff (Catapult Film Fund)
Dana Merwin (IDA Enterprise Fund)
Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs (Sundance Institute)
Luis Ortiz (Latino Public Broadcasting)

Moderated by Anayansi Prado (Director/Producer, Maid in America)

Closed captioning available

Production ReSet (Part I – Pre-Production)

On Demand

Fundamental business practices are being rearranged in response to the threats and realities of the coronavirus. The session will cover the elements impacting film development and pre-production decisions: completion bonds and insurance requirements, possibility of government underwriting, minimums for talent protection, health and safety line items, creative solutions to incorporate distancing regulations on-screen and conflicting national protocols.

Justine Avera (ABI Insurance)
Amanda Marshall (Producer; Swiss Army Man, Don’t Think Twice)
Katie McNeill (Hunting Lane)
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland (SAG-AFTRA)

Moderated by Josh Welsh (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

Fiction Case Study: Give Me Liberty

On Demand

An in-depth look at Spirit Award-winning feature Give Me Liberty, from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

Alice Austen (Writer/Producer, Give Me Liberty)

Moderated by Avril Speaks (Producer, Jinn)

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

Filmmaker Keynote

Lulu Wang, Writer/Director, The Farewell
LIVE at 12:00 pm PT

With a rare ability to captivate audiences with her sincere storytelling and global perspective, Film Independent Fellow Lulu Wang continues to establish herself as a rising talent in the film industry. We were thrilled when she won the top prize for Best Feature at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards, and are delighted to have her return to the fold to share her journey; one of relentless effort, forging a career and the opportunity to bring her unique experience to the screen with The Farewell, a film that touched audiences worldwide. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, earning Wang a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize. After its success at Sundance, A24 picked up the film for worldwide distribution and released it in the summer of 2019.

Moderated by Judd Apatow, Director

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Industry Connect

LIVE, 2:00–4:30 pm PT
Registration* required prior to start of event

One-on-one meetings that provide an opportunity for filmmakers to connect directly with a wide array of esteemed industry professionals.

* Industry Connect registrations are FULL.

Presented live via Zoom

Production ReSet (Part II – Production)

On Demand

Heightened risk assessment standards for film sets are fundamental to moving forward as productions make accommodations for health and safety. Producers and executives detail the critical problems that need solving: hair/makeup/wardrobe logistics, catering and craft service issues, transportation specifics, shooting schedule adjustments, workflow shifts, location needs and remote post-production workarounds.

Stephen Love Jr. (Made with Love Media)
Alison Roney (BRON)
Kelly Todd (Endeavor Content)
Daniel Uslan (UCLA Health)

Moderated by Josh Welsh (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

Festivals, Awards and Beyond (Part I – US)

On Demand

As the toll of the COVID-19 crisis on the film release calendar year becomes clear, we gather a group of programmers, curators, awards representatives and strategists to explore the current and future cycle of festivals, and recalibrate their influence on the release and life of a film.

Eugene Hernandez (New York Film Festival)
David Magdael (David Magdael & Associates)
Lorenza Muñoz (Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences)
Janet Pierson (South by Southwest)

Moderated by Setu Raval (Film Independent Spirit Awards)

Closed captioning available

Coalition Building and Systemic Change

On Demand

A panel discussion featuring industry experts who share how collectivizing can be used to amplify the voices of groups traditionally left out of the conversation. Join FWD-Doc, A-Doc, Black TV & Film Collective, COUSIN Collective and the Undocumented Filmmaker Collective for a conversation about ways we can leverage our collective resources to address current power dynamics within the entertainment industry and create a more equitable, sustainable ecosystem.

Victoria Chalk (A-Doc)
Alexandra Lazarowich (COUSIN Collective)
Okema Moore (MOOREthanEnuff Media)

Moderated by Day Al-Mohamed (FWD-Doc) and Set Hernandez Rongkilyo (Undocumented Filmmaker Collective)

Closed captioning available

Fiction Case Study: The Garden Left Behind

On Demand

A Mexican trans woman struggles to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City. This case study follows the journey of 2019 SXSW Audience Award-winning film The Garden Left Behind. Producer Roy Wol and Director Flavio Alves discuss their unconventional, grassroots approach to making the film which includes raising money for the film through eBay and playing at over 70 film festivals.

Flavio Alves (Director, The Garden Left Behind)
Roy Wol (Producer, The Garden Left Behind)

Moderated by Avril Speaks (Producer, Jinn)

Documentary Case Study: Hail Satan?

On Demand

An in-depth look at award-winning documentary Hail Satan?, from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

Penny Lane (Director, Hail Satan?)

Moderated by Avril Speaks (Producer, Jinn)

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

Documentary Keynote

Dawn Porter, Director/Producer, John Lewis: Good Trouble
LIVE at 12:00 pm PT

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter has a vast body of work examining and shedding light on issues dealing with criminal justice, women’s rights and social equality. She is the director of Spirit Award-nominated Gideon’s Army (2013), Spies of Mississippi (2014) and Trapped, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. Porter is also the founder of Trilogy Films, an award-winning production company that specializes in creating feature-length documentaries that share the experiences of the overlooked, reveal the consequences of policy and social action, incorporate the marginalized and view the familiar from a different perspective. Trilogy’s slate of films include Bobby Kennedy for President (Netflix, 2018); Rise: Promise of My Brother’s Keeper (Discovery/OWN, 2015); and the very timely documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble, which just premiered in Tulsa on Juneteenth this year.

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Industry Connect

LIVE, 2:00–4:30 pm PT
Registration* required prior to start of event

One-on-one meetings that provide an opportunity for filmmakers to connect directly with a wide array of esteemed industry professionals.

* Industry Connect registrations are FULL.

Presented live via Zoom

Shopping Your Project 3.0: A Financing Clinic (US Market)

On Demand

As the year progresses under the shadow of a pandemic, filmmakers have been learning how to pitch in front of their computer screens to potential investors, commissioners, production companies, programmers and talent development programs around the world. Following suit, a group of Film Independent Fellows present their projects to a virtual panel of experts and receive advice on the potential pitfalls of their scripts, where to find the right support for their projects, and how to leverage the individual elements of their projects into an attractive package for financiers and potential investors. Observing how a pitch plays out in the virtual space with specific, real-time feedback will provide useful pitching, packaging and financing tips for all.

Gerren Crochet (Endeavor Content)
Anne Lai (SFFILM)
Brenda Robinson (Gamechanger Films)
Andrea Sperling (Producer; Transparent, Like Crazy)

Wonderland – 2020 Film Independent Screenwriting Lab
Tiffanie Hsu (Writer/Director) & Pin-Chun Liu (Producer)
Dealing with Dad – 2015 Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, 2019 Film Independent Fast Track, LMU Fellowship
Tom Huang (Writer/Director)
Washing Elena – 2019 Film Independent Fast Track
Vanessa Perez (Producer) & Maria Ponce (Writer/Director)

Moderated by Paula Manzanedo Schmit (Film Finances, Inc.)

Closed captioning available

Festivals, Awards and Beyond (Part II – International)

On Demand

As the toll of the COVID-19 crisis on the film release calendar year becomes clear, we gather a group of programmers, curators, awards representatives and strategists to explore the current and future cycle of regional international festivals, and recalibrate their influence on the release and life of a film.

Paolo Bertolin (Venice International Film Festival, Cannes Directors Fortnight)
Sergio Fant (Berlinale)
Mathilde Henrot (Locarno Film Festival; Co-Founder, Festival Scope)
Tim Redford (Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival)
Myriam Sassine (Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival)
Mira Staleva (Sofia International Film Festival)

Moderated by Anu Rangachar (Mumbai Film Festival)

Closed captioning available

Documentary Case Study: Apollo 11

On Demand

Apollo 11 documents the historic 1969 mission to land on the moon in a film comprised entirely from NASA archival footage, including never-before-seen 70mm shots discovered during the making of the film. Filmmaker Todd Douglas Miller joins us for a detailed look at the two-year research and restoration process that brought this incredible event back to life for its 50th anniversary.

Todd Douglas Miller (Producer/Director/Editor, Apollo 11)

Moderated by Paul Cowling (Film Independent)

Fiction Case Study: The Climb

On Demand

Written by and starring real-life friends Michael Covino and Kyle Marvin, The Climb is the tale of a tumultuous but enduring relationship between two men across many years of laughter, heartbreak and rage. The film unfolds in chapters shot in complex, highly choreographed single takes. The film debuted at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best First Feature at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Join the filmmakers as they take us inside the making of this very personal project.

Michael Angelo Covino (Writer/Director/Actor, The Climb)
Kyle Marvin (Writer/Actor, The Climb)

Moderated by Paul Cowling (Film Independent)

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MONDAY, AUGUST 3

Global Executive Keynote

Ashok Amritraj, Chairman/CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment Group
LIVE at 9:00 am PT

We are pleased to welcome Ashok Amritraj to the Forum, where his vast international experience spanning 35 years will resonate with a global audience. Offering an alternative to the traditional Hollywood system, his company Hyde Park Entertainment Group is one of the leading independent companies known for pushing the boundaries of diversity and inclusion in cinema across a vast slate of feature film, television, documentary and local language content. Hyde Park’s films and artists have received multiple awards, including Oscars, BAFTAs, Emmys and Film Independent Spirit Awards. In addition to its high profile Hollywood projects, the recently announced Hyde Park Asia slate includes Pulitzer Prize runner-up Maximum City, written & directed by acclaimed filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, and the best selling novel Paradise Towers from leading Indian filmmaker Zoya Akthar. Amritraj has a strong commitment to philanthropic endeavors worldwide and in 2016 was appointed as the first U.N. India Goodwill Ambassador for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. He also serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Executive Committee and the Producers Executive Board of AMPAS.

Moderated by Manori Ravindran (Variety)

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Gaining Access: Getting a Break and Unlocking the Gates

On Demand

Representatives from film and television incubator programs, as well as inclusive funds, discuss how they are trying to level the playing field by providing indie filmmakers opportunities to build their careers and make their movies.

Effie T. Brown (Gamechanger Films)
Elsie Choi (Rideback TV Incubator)
Derek Nguyen (The Population)
Shari Page (Half Initiative)
Caroline von Kuhn (Catalyst Initiative, Sundance Institute)

Moderated by Angela Lee (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

Market Report: The Day the Croisette Went Silent (US/International)

On Demand

Is it business as usual when the biggest international market takes place in virtual booths, detached from the excitement of a crowded “Palace of Cinema”? A look at the Cannes Film Festival cancellation and the “marche” going virtual, and their impact on the world’s film ecosystem. How are the international flow of films and the market being impacted? Will there be a shortage of films to keep audiences engaged and filmmakers paid? From those in the trenches, we dig in for assessments, predictions, hopes and solutions.

Josh Braun (Submarine Entertainment)
Eric d’Arbeloff (Roadside Attractions)
John Sloss (Cinetic Media)
Gabrielle Stewart (HanWay Films)

Moderated by Heather Rae (Producer, Bull)

Closed captioning available

Documentary Case Study: And She Could Be Next

On Demand

Recently premiering on PBS, And She Could Be Next tells the story of a defiant movement of women of color, transforming politics from the ground up by fighting for a truly reflective democracy. The series follows candidates and organizers across the country, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved – and made stronger – by those most marginalized. Filmed from 2018 through 2019 by a team of women of color filmmakers, the series features history-makers including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams.

Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia (Co-Directors, And She Could Be Next)

Moderated by Rahdi Taylor (Concordia Studio)

Closed captioning available

Fiction Case Study: Burning Cane

On Demand

Set among the cane fields of rural Louisiana, Burning Cane follows a deeply religious, God-fearing mother struggling to reconcile her tightly-held convictions of faith with the love she has for her troubled, self-destructive son while also witnessing her dejected pastor’s decline. Phillip Youmans’ micro-budget debut feature, made while the filmmaker was still in high school, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, scooping the fest’s Audience Award; and was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Youmans joins us to share how he brought his beautiful tone poem to life.

Phillip Youmans (Writer/Director, Burning Cane)

Moderated by Paul Cowling (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 4

From the Motherland to the Diaspora: A Conversation

Ramy Youssef, Creator, Ramy
LIVE at 10:00 am PT

With his award-winning comedy of errors Ramy, Egyptian American comedian, actor, writer and director Ramy Youssef has brought to American living rooms a fresh, authentic look into the life of an immigrant Muslim family in post-9/11 New Jersey. Join us as Egyptian filmmaker and Film Independent Global Media Makers Fellow Ayten Amin engages in candid conversation with Youssef to explore his experience growing up as a Muslim in the US, and the impact of his groundbreaking series Ramy on American and global audiences, including Egypt, his motherland.

Moderated by Ayten Amin (Writer/Director, Souad, Cannes 2020)

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Amplifying the Impact of True Justice

On Demand

Released in 2019, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows the Equal Justice Initiative founder-director’s struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country. The team behind the social impact campaign for this seminal documentary gives us an inside look at their process for engaging diverse audiences and amplifying the film’s social impact through outreach, community partnerships and collaborations with diverse professionals in the fields of education and social justice.

Lillie Fleshler (Picture Motion)
Dr. Rosevelt Noble (Vanderbilt University)

Moderated by Wendy Cohen (Picture Motion)

Closed captioning available

Shopping Your Project 3.0: A Financing Clinic (International)

On Demand

As the year progresses under the shadow of a pandemic, filmmakers have been learning how to pitch in front of their computer screens to potential investors, commissioners, production companies, programmers and talent development programs around the world. Following suit, a group of Film Independent Producing Fellows present their projects to a virtual panel of experts and receive advice on the potential pitfalls of their scripts, where to find the right support for their projects, and how to leverage the individual elements of their projects into an attractive package for financiers and potential investors. Observing how a pitch plays out in the virtual space with specific, real-time feedback will provide useful pitching, packaging and financing tips for all.

Anna Maria Aslanoglu (Producer; Phases of Matter, The Gulf)
Martin Gondre (Best Friend Forever)
Mohamed Hefzy (Film Clinic, CIFF)
Rima Mismar (Arab Fund for Arts and Culture)
Elhum Shakerifar (Producer; Almost Heaven, Even When I Fall)
Ziad Srouji (OSN)

I Am Arze – Global Media Makers 2018
Zeina Badran (Producer)
Banana – Global Media Makers 2020
Bader El Katbi (Producer)
Empire of the Rabbits – Global Media Makers 2019
Zeynep Koray (Producer)

Moderated by Myriam Sassine (Producer; 1982, Amal)

Closed captioning available

Documentary Case Study: For Sama

On Demand

An in-depth look at Spirit Award-nominated documentary For Sama, from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts (Co-Directors, For Sama)

Moderated by Louay Khraish (Film Independent)

Fiction Case Study: Swallow

On Demand

Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife, develops a dangerous habit that has her compulsively swallowing inedible – and oftentimes life-threatening – objects. A provocative and squirm-inducing psychological thriller, Swallow follows one woman’s unraveling as she struggles to reclaim independence in the face of an oppressive system by whatever means possible. We’re joined by the creative team behind this Tribeca hit; they take us from the initial concept to the film’s release a week before the lockdown and its successful run in drive-in theaters during quarantine.

Carlo Mirabella-Davis (Writer/Director, Swallow)
Mollye Asher (Producer, Swallow)
Mynette Louie (Producer, Swallow)

Moderated by Paul Cowling (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5

Special Cross-Cultural Conversation

Alan Poul (The Eddy) with Amr Salama (Sheikh Jackson)
LIVE at 4:00 pm PT

Alan Poul has had a distinguished career as an award-winning director and producer of both features and television. The Eddy, his most recent series, shot in Paris with an international creative team, cast and crew, is a true testament to the power of cross-cultural collaborations in the age of global media. Egyptian writer/director Amr Salama’s feature film Sheikh Jackson was Egypt’s submission for the 2018 Academy Awards and his series Tayea, is one of the most successful Ramadan shows of recent years across the Middle East. After meeting in Los Angeles in 2016 during Salama’s Global Media Makers Residency, when Poul served as his mentor, the two have built a lasting professional connection. In a free-wheeling conversation across time zones, they compare notes on their craft, discuss mentorship, artistic kinship and building true opportunities for collaboration beyond borders. What’s next for these two? Poul is currently producing Tokyo Vice in Japan and Salama is finishing Paranormal, Netflix’s first Egyptian series.

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Producers Coffee Talk (International)

On Demand

Featuring some of today’s best-known global indie producers, this Coffee Talk will explore how producers from around the world create independent films, bringing local stories to increasingly international audiences. American Producer Karin Chien will moderate the panel, discussing the state of international co-financing, as well as the tribulations and rewards of bringing exciting and challenging stories to the screen.

Isabelle Glachant (Chinese Shadows, China)
Jennice Lee (Dexter Studios, South Korea)
Alan McAlex (Once Again, India)
Michel Ruben (Dynamo, Colombia)
Georges Schoucair (Abbout Productions, Lebanon)

Moderated by Karin Chien (dGenerate Films)

Closed captioning available

The Future of Distribution Is Now: New Paradigms

On Demand

In the context of the current health crisis, its impact and aftermath, we take a view at the different models that are emerging to release films under the new normal: world premieres on streaming platforms, theatrical/streaming hybrids, drive-in theaters and new or reimagined theatrical experiences.

Richard Abramowitz (Abramorama)
Ira Deutchman (Deutchman Company Inc.)
Wendy Lidell (Kino Lorber)
Ted Mundorff (Arclight Cinemas)

Moderated by Jordana Meade (ITVS)

Closed captioning available

Fiction Case Study: 1982 (Lebanon)

On Demand

From Los Angeles, Lebanese American writer/director Oualid Mouaness and American producers Alix Madigan and Christopher Tricarico are joined by Lebanese producer Myriam Sassine from Beirut to talk about the cross-continental co-production of 1982. The film is a coming-of-age story set against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, where an 11-year-old boy struggles to tell a classmate about his crush on her while their teachers try to hide their fear of the encroaching invasion. The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC Award and was Lebanon’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

Oualid Mouaness (Writer/Director, 1982)
Alix Madigan (Producer, 1982)
Myriam Sassine (Producer, 1982)
Christopher Tricarico (Producer, 1982)

Moderated by Louay Khraish (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 6

Producers Coffee Talk (US)

LIVE at 6:00 pm PT

Film Independent’s popular Coffee Talks returns to the Forum with a special edition featuring some of today’s best-known indie producers discussing the tribulations and rewards of bringing exciting and challenging stories to the screen.

Anita Gou (Producer, The Farewell)
Julie Lynn (Producer, Albert Nobbs)
Datari Turner (Producer, Nine Days)
Christine Vachon (Producer, Shirley)

Moderated by Peggy Rajski (Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Dean, School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University)

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Co-Production Markets Roundtable

On Demand

We gather producers and decision makers at top international festivals and funding markets to discuss the opportunities they offer to filmmakers, and how they are – or will be – operating as the current COVID-19 health crisis evolves.

Amra Bakšić Čamo (Cinelink, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Souad Houssein (Fonds Image de la Francophonie, France)
Hanaa Issa (Doha Film Institute, Qatar)
Leena Khobragade (Film Bazaar, India)
Jeffrey Sharp (IFP, USA)
Gülin Üstün (Meetings on the Bridge, Turkey)

Moderated by Guneet Monga (Producer, Period. End of Sentence.)

Closed captioning available

Fiction Case Study: The Wretched

On Demand

The Pierce Brothers’ The Wretched is a modern take on the witch myth that makes viewers wary of every dark corner they encounter. Released in the midst of the pandemic, the film quickly found its fans, thanks to IFC’s creative distribution strategy. Brothers Brett and Drew Pierce give us a detailed account of how they brought their project to the screen and hit the #1 spot at the box office.

Brett Pierce and Drew T. Pierce (Co-Writers/Directors, The Wretched)

Moderated by Paul Cowling (Film Independent)

Fiction Case Study: Clemency

On Demand

An in-depth look at Spirit Award-nominated feature Clemency, from pre-production to distribution and beyond.

Chinonye Chukwu (Writer/Director, Clemency)

Moderated by Avril Speaks (Jinn)

Closed captioning available

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 7

In the Heat of the Moment: A Conversation

Feras Fayyad, Director; Last Men in Aleppo, The Cave
LIVE at 10:00 am PT

It is in a documentarian’s DNA to approach almost every personal, community and global situation with an eye for a story that can be shared for the greater good. We have seen documentarians bravely immerse themselves in political upheavals, revolutions, wars, natural disasters, massive migrations and health crises to let the world in and see up close the experience of others. As we explore the challenges of documenting harrowing situations as they unfold with two-time Oscar-nominated Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad, we try to unpack how fear, safety and ethical issues measure up with the duty to reveal the truth, raise awareness and build a level of empathy that can move an audience to action and bring about change.

Moderated by Subina Shrestha (Independent journalist, filmmaker)

Presented live via Zoom | Closed captioning available

Hot Set: New Production Workflows in the COVID-19 Age

In partnership with Mississippi Film Office
On Demand

As certain states and countries are still figuring out production in the midst of a pandemic, there are some places where production is already underway. Case in point; numerous films and TV shows have been shooting for a few months in Mississippi. Hear directly from those in the trenches about how they’re currently running their sets while following safety guidelines, and how these protocols are impacting production schedules and costs.

Braxton Pope (Producer, Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter)
Angela Tarrant (Executive Producer, HGTV’s Home Town)
Diego Velasco (Co-Executive Producer, Netflix’s Social Distance)

Moderated by Nina Parikh (Director, Mississippi Film Office)

Podcast Case Study: Bubble

Jordan Morris, Creator, Bubble
On Demand

Jordan Morris is a writer/producer best known for @Midnight on Comedy Central and Unikitty! on Cartoon Network, and as the creator of the award-winning sci-fi comedy podcast on the Maximum Fun network, Bubble, which was named a “Best Podcast of 2018” by The Atlantic, Apple and Rolling Stone. In May 2020, it was announced that Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg and Matt Tomalch (Jumanji) were developing Bubble into an animated feature for mature audiences, with Morris writing the script. In this conversation, Jordan Morris will detail the origin and evolution of Bubble from episodic podcast to feature film, and the opportunities and challenges that route afforded him as a creator.

Moderated by Drea Clark (Producer, The Last Time You Had Fun)

Episodic Case Study: Gentefied

On Demand

The filmmakers behind the Netflix series Gentefied give us an in-depth look at their project’s journey from Film Independent’s Artist Development Labs to Sundance to streaming in your living room.

Linda Yvette Chavez (Creator, Gentefied)
Marvin Lemus (Creator/Director, Gentefied)
Aurora Guerrero (Director, Gentefied)
Aaliyah Williams (Executive Producer, Gentefied)

Moderated by Francisco Velasquez (Film Independent)

Closed captioning available

Forum Happy Hour

LIVE at 3:00 pm PT

Grab a cocktail and join your fellow Forum attendees to network and share highlights from the past week, all while sipping your drink from the comfort of your home.

Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Presented live via Zoom

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