LA Film Festival Promotes Jennifer Cochis to Director; Stephanie Allain Stepping Down To Focus On Producing

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Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced that Jennifer Cochis is being promoted to Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival.  

Cochis, a fresh and visionary producer who has worked with the likes of Drake Doremus and James Ponsoldt, has also served as the Festival's Creative Director, collaborating with outgoing Festival Director Stephanie Allain on all aspects of the Festival.

An award winning independent producer, Allain (Hustle & Flow, Beyond the Lights) is in production on Justin Simien's Netflix series Dear White People, posting Gerard McMurray's Burning Sands and prepping Juanita, an Alfre Woodard vehicle to be directed by Clark Johnson.

"Jennifer Cochis is a brilliant new force on the Festival scene and I am extremely happy to have her step into this new role," said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. "She brings so much experience, intelligence and passion to everything she does. She's worked closely with the mighty Stephanie Allain on the Festival for the past two years, first as Senior Programmer and then as Creative Director, turning the Festival into a powerful platform for discovering new and diverse talent."

"Jennifer is a secret weapon," said Film Independent Board Chair Mary Sweeney, "and I expect exciting things for the LA Film Festival from her."

"It has been such an honor to shine a spotlight on women and directors of color," said Allain, "and leaving is bittersweet. But I know that the festival is in extremely capable hands with Jennifer Cochis at the helm because she helped me build it."

"It's an incredibly exciting challenge to build upon the great work that Stephanie has done at the LA Film Festival these past five years," said Cochis. "I am passionate about continuing to grow this Festival, bringing together audacious and brave visual storytellers with the audiences of Los Angeles."

In addition to her festival work, Cochis has produced critically acclaimed films, both fiction (James Ponsoldt'sSmashed and Drake Doremus' Douchebag) and non-fiction (Marius Markevicius's The Other Dream Team and Elise Salomon's Los Wild Ones). She is a Sundance Institute Creative Producers Lab Fellow and was awarded their prestigious Sheila C. Johnson Fellowship. Currently, she is the Digital Studio Head for Joss Whedon's Save the Day, a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, creating short videos that aim to get people out to vote.

The 23rd LA Film Festival, which will take place June 14 – June 22, 2017 at ArcLight is currently accepting submissions. The early deadline for submissions is October 28, the regular deadline is November 18 and the late deadline is December 16, 2016.

Please visit www.lafilmfestival.com for submission guidelines and forms.

ABOUT THE LA FILM FESTIVAL
The LA 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 Los Angeles and around the world. The Festival's signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks and more. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students. Presenting Media Sponsor is the Los Angeles Times. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Albina Oks, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT 
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent visual storytelling 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.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the LA Film Festival and 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.

ABOUT ARCLIGHT CINEMAS

ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere moviegoing experience with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to moviegoers in all markets. ArcLight Cinemas operates seven theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as theaters in Bethesda, MD, Chicago and Glenview, IL, with a new location in Boston for 2019. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at www.arclightcinemas.com.

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