Ava Duvernay, Richard Linklater and Justin Simien Participate In Annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up

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Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced the guest speakers and program for the 14th annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up series, taking place from February 3 – March 4, 2015 at The Landmark – West Los Angeles.

The Film Independent Directors Close-Up offers filmmakers and film lovers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the best independent directors and their collaborators, as they explore specific aspects of the craft.

Discussing their work across five separate panels will be writer/directors Ava DuVernay (Selma), Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Richard Linklater(Boyhood), Gina Prince-Bythewood(Beyond the Lights), Justin Simien(Dear White People) and writers Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (Big Eyes). Additional guests include editor Sandra Adair (Boyhood), editor Spencer Averick (Selma, Middle of Nowhere) and actor David Oyelowo (Selma, Middle of Nowhere).

Moderators include Stephanie Allain (Director, Los Angeles Film Festival; producer, Dear White People, Beyond the Lights) and Robin Swicord (writer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Memoirs of a Geisha).

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, filmmakers and film lovers will hear firsthand from prolific directors whose originality, ingenuity and talent have set them apart as leaders in their craft. Each night will delve into specific aspects of directing—writing, casting and eliciting compelling performances from actors are among the topics that will be covered. 

“I'm thrilled with the diversity of filmmakers that have accepted our invitation to share their experience at the DCU this year,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Film Independent’s Senior Director of Education. “The group includes well-established filmmakers who straddle everything from studio films to indies, such as Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, and Dan Gilroy; self-assured women directors such as Ava DuVernay and Gina Prince-Bythewood; indie veteran Richard Linklater; and the fresh new voice of Justin Simien. This group of esteemed filmmakers truly represents the wide spectrum of artists Film Independent celebrates year-round."

This year’s schedule includes:

February 3— Ava DuVernay: The Road to Selma

February 11—In the Cutting Room with Richard Linklater and Sandra Adair

February 18—The Independent Spirit

February 25 – Writing & Directing

March 4— Justin Simien: Storytelling Across Platforms

Past panelists include Ben Affleck, Bill Condon, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Julie Delpy, Lena Dunham, David Fincher, William Friedkin, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Jonze, Kasi Lemmons, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mills, Jeff Nichols, Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Julian Schnabel, Jill Soloway, Mike White, Benh Zeitlin, and many more.

The 2015 Film Independent Directors Close-Up sponsors include Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America, and SAGindie. Omission Beer is the official beer sponsor.

All panels will take place at The Landmark - West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, except for the opening night session, which will take place on Tuesday, February 3. There will be receptions following the opening night session and the Spirit Awards roundtable session. For more information on the schedule, panel descriptions and participants, and to buy passes, please visit www.filmindependent.org or call 310.432.1213.

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a nonprofit 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, as well as the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary of showcasing the best of American and international cinema.

Film Independent also produces 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.

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