UPDATE, 4:47 PM: If you can’t wait for the live onstage reading of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight later this month, your prayers are answered. Today, “due to unforeseen scheduling issues,” the world premiere of the now-shelved script was moved up to April 19 from April 24. The reading, to be directed and cast by the Oscar winner, also is changing venues. Instead of taking place at the LA County Museum of Art as announced last week, the live Hateful Eight now is set for the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown LA. The $200 tickets will go on sale on April 11 at noon instead of today for members of Film Independent, the LACMA Film Club and the NYT Film Club. Any remaining tix will go on sale on April 16 as previously scheduled. All proceeds still are going to helping out Film Independent’s programming efforts at LACMA.
PREVIOUS, April 3 AM: Quentin Tarantino is still bringing The Hateful Eight to his fans — even though the Oscar winner put aside making the movie for the time being after the Oscar winner’s latest script leaked online. Film Independent said today that Tarantino is set to direct and cast a live on-stage reading of the Western-themed script on April 24 in LA. Read More »
Film Independent has named eight recipients of its 2014 Documentary Lab Fellowship designed to aid filmmakers currently in post-production on feature-length docus. Honorees Esteban Arguello & Xuan Jiang, Jamie Sisley & Mayuran Tiruchelvam, Suzanne Joe Kai, Robyn Symon, Nick Spark, Andrew James, Jonathan Matthews, and Jen Heck will receive feedback and strategic distribution and marketing advice from program mentors Doug Blush (Editor, 20 Feet From Stardom), Laura Gabbert (No Impact Man), Caroline Libresco (Sunset Story), Linda Goldstein-Knowlton (Somewhere Between), Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol) and Chris Shellen (Marwencol) during the seven-week program. Here are the fellows and their films: Read More »
Spirit Awards org Film Independent today named the recipients of its annual filmmaker grants at the Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch hosted by Angela Bassett, Emily Mortimer, and Alessandro Nivola. The Piaget Producers Award rewarding emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity, and vision despite limited resources went to went to Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). The Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award for emerging directors of non-fiction features went to Jason Osder (Let The Fire Burn) and Newlyweeds helmer Shaka King nabbed the Someone To Watch Award. All three awards came with a $25,000 unrestricted grant prize. They’ll be honored at the full 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on March 1.
Related: 2014 Spirit Awards Nominations: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘All Is Lost’, ‘Frances Ha’, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ & ‘Nebraska’ & More
“Our intent is that the show keep going for sure,” said Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos today. “It was a 26-episode commitment. It was not our intent that it just run for two seasons,” he added of House of Cards’ run on the streaming service. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer was delivering the keynote Saturday at Film Independent‘s 9th annual confab at DGA HQ. “Talks are in progress right now,” he told me afterwards on a further deal to lock in more seasons of the Emmy-winning political drama, “so stay tuned.” Former House of Cards EP Rick Cleveland said last month that the series would wrap up after its second season. The lack of any new deal announcement despite the breakout HoC proved to be for Netflix fueled speculation about its demise after the current two season deal was up. The second season of the Kevin Spacey starring series, which is presently in its last week of production, is expected to debut on Netflix early next year. The Film Independent Forum continues Sunday.
Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos will headline the 9th annual confab hosted by Film Independent with an October 26 Executive Keynote speech addressing “the possibilities and the risks ahead for filmmakers in this new media age.” The nonprofit org which also produces the LA Film Festival and the Film Independent Spirit Awards has also tapped filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Middle Of Nowhere) to deliver its Filmmaker Keynote the following day. The 2013 edition, held over the October 25-27 weekend, kicks off with a Dallas Buyers Club screening and Q&A.
Film Independent‘s 14th annual Screenwriting Lab, sponsored by WGA West, is a five-week program designed to help writers improve their craft and take their current scripts to the next level while learning about the industry and the craft. Robin Swicord and Jeff Stockwell return as this year’s mentors, and speakers include Short Term 12‘s Destin Daniel Cretton and Orange Is The New Black‘s Sian Heder. One of the 10 screenwriters on this year’s list, Edi Ibok, won the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television Screenwriting Fellowship for his script Trauma. He will receive a $10,000 grant to develop the screenplay through the lab. Here’s the full list of fellows and their projects: Read More »
Sean McManus is stepping down as Co-President of Film Independent, the organization’s Board Chair Mary Sweeney announced today. Josh Welsh, who has served as Co-President with McManus since January 2012, will become President, effective immediately. “Upon the close of our terrific 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival, it felt like a natural time to look ahead and I’ve realized that this is the perfect time to make a change in my own life. As a result, I have decided to step down as Co-President. My immediate plans are to take the next few months off and explore some options”, McManus said in a statement. The Film Independent announcement:
LOS ANGELES (July 24, 2013) — Film Independent’s Board Chair Mary Sweeney today announced that Sean Mc Manus has decided to step down as Co-President of the organization. Mc Manus has been with Film Independent for 15 years and has served as Co-President with Josh Welsh since January 2012. Effective immediately, Welsh will become President of the Organization.
Film Independent has chosen eight projects and 12 filmmakers for its 2013 Documentary Lab. The eight-week intensive program is designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary. Lab mentors provide creative feedback and story notes to the selected filmmakers and help filmmakers strategize the completion, distribution, and marketing of their film. Projects and participants are Birdmen (Milena Pastreich); KUSAMA: Princess Of Polka Dots (Heather Lenz); Maidentrip (Jillian Schlesinger, Emily McAllister); Mary Woronov, Cult Queen From Warhol To Corman (Francesca Di Amico, Claudia Unger), Mateo (Aaron Naar); Rich Hill (Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo); Storyteller: The Wonderful, Magical Life Of The Man Who Saved Ben Hur (Joe Forte); and Top Spin (Mina T. Son, Sara Newens). Click over for a complete description. Read More »
Nekisa Cooper, winner of the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award with director Dee Rees for their Sundance break-out Pariah, has been named the recipient of the inaugural Project Involve Fellowship. Film Independent and the Fox | HBCU Media Alliance (FHMA) partnered on the new initiative in association with Film Independent’s Project Involve program, which fosters the development of filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities. Cooper will receive a $10,000 grant prize for her next feature Bolo, a Southern crime thriller that reteams her director Rees in the story of a Memphis police detective investigating a murder in her own community. Read More »
The selected filmmakers are Nicholas Greene, Jacob Hatley, Krisy Gosney, Aldo Velasco, Amber Sealey, Daniel Casey, Morna Ciraki, and Alex Moratto. The annual program is designed to assist promising directors develop new narrative feature films, improve their craft and advance their filmmaking careers in a nurturing yet challenging environment. It begins today and continues through mid-April in Los Angeles. The selected filmmakers are provided digital camera and sound packages and a cash stipend to shoot scenes, as well as access to a variety of production resources. This year’s Lab Mentors include Karen Moncreiff (The Trials Of Cate McCall, The Dead Girl), James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, Smashed) and Angela Robinson (True Blood, The L Word). Click over for the complete list of 2013 Film Independent Directing Lab filmmakers and a description of their projects. Read More »
Directers Adam Leon and Peter Nicks have been awarded Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker grants along with producer Mynett Louie and filmmaker Laura Colella. Awards were announced Saturday during the Spririt Awards Nominees Luncheon hosted by Salma Hayek and Jeremy Renner at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.
Leon, director of Gimme The Loot, received the Someone to Watch Award which includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. The award recognizes as-yet unheralded talent. Other finalists included Rebecca Thomas for Electrick Children and David Fenster for Pincus. Nicks received the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award for his documentary The Waiting Room. The award goes to talented but relatively unrecognized nonfiction filmmakers. It also includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims for Only The Young and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel for Leviathan were the other finalists. Read More »
Filmmaker and David Lynch collaborator Mary Sweeney replaces Bill Condon atop the board of the indie film organization, which among other events puts on the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards (this year set for February 23 on the beach in Santa Monica and hosted by Andy Samberg). Film Independent‘s board members are Sweeney, Condon, Randy Barbato, Adriene Bowles, Effie T. Brown, Laura Dern, DeVon Franklin, Sid Ganis, Rodrigo García, Vondie Curtis Hall, Michael Helfant, Marcus Hu, Laura Kim, Sue Kroll, Kasi Lemmons, David Linde, Allan Mayer, Ted Mundorff, Gail Mutrux, Tom Ortenberg, Alan Poul, Cathy Schulman, Nancy Utley and Forest Whitaker. From today’s release: Read More »
LOS ANGELES (November 14, 2012) – Film Independent Co-Presidents Sean Mc Manus and Josh Welsh jointly announced today the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards will once again hold its traditional Saturday afternoon awards show in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on February 23. The live-to-tape event will be executive produced by Diana Zahn-Storey who returns for her 17th broadcast and will premiere later that evening on IFC at 10:00 pm ET/PT. Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, will announce the 2013 Spirit Award nominees in a press conference on Tuesday, November 27 at The W Hotel in Hollywood. Film Independent members are eligible to vote.
Film Independent has chosen 8 projects and 12 filmmakers for its 12th annual Producing Lab sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The foundation focuses on projects about science and technology. The intensive five-week program offers promising producers a supportive environment to help move projects into production. Projects and participants are Alaska Is A Drag (Kaz Kipp); And Then I Go (Rebecca Green, Laura D. Smith); Imperial Dreams (Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malik Vitthal); Jack of the Red Hearts (Lucy Mukerjee, Janet Grillo); Manos Sucias (Márcia Nunes, Elena Greenlee); Resonance (Katie Knab); Snow in April (Van Hayden); Unmanned (Casey Fenton, who also will receive a $25,000 development grant from the Sloan Foundation).
LOS ANGELES (June 24, 2012) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced the jury and audience award winners for the 2012 Festival The LA Film Fest ran from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 24 in downtown Los Angeles. The two top juried awards are the Narrative Award and Documentary Award, each carrying an unrestricted $15,000 cash prize funded by Film Independent, for the winning film’s director. The Narrative Award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition at the Festival and went to Pocas Pascoal for the North American Premiere of All is Well, with an Honorable Mention going to Dominga Sotomayor’s Thursday Till Sunday. The Documentary Award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival and went to Everardo González for the U.S. Premiere of Drought. The award for Best Performance in the Narrative Competition went to Wendell Pierce, Emory Cohen, E.J. Bonilla and Aja Naomi King for their performances in the World Premiere of Joshua Sanchez’s Four. The LA Film Fest also awarded an unrestricted $5,000 cash prize to each short film category.
The award for Best Narrative Short Film went to The Chair, directed by Grainger David. The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to Josh Gibson for Kudzu Vine. Joseph Pierce’s The Pub won for Best Animated or Experimental Short Film.
The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives, directed by Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore. Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.
The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to Asad, directed by Bryan Buckley. Piranhas Club, directed by Lex Halaby won the Audience Award for Best Music Video.
Awards were given out in the following categories:
Do the Spirit Awards matter? They’re supposed to bring needed attention to American independent film – and they do. But the devil is in the details. The Artist just swept France’s top film awards, the Césars. But if the film wins the top prize today at the Independent Spirit Awards, then it will be America’s top indie. The Artist made the cut as an “American film” this year as outlined by the Spirit Awards’ general guidelines. But shouldn’t there be more stringent qualifications to ensure the focus is on American film if the Spirits’ mandate is to champion American independent cinema and not just make the cut on a technicality? If the momentum-meter is any indication, The Artist could win best feature today and likely take the Oscar after winning best film at the British BAFTAs. So it wouldn’t be a year that the Spirits distinguished itself as a voice for American independent film at least in the Best Feature category. This isn’t meant to be a hazing of The Artist. (Though I can’t understand how Weekend by Andrew Haigh failed to make the cut when The Artist did.) Perhaps the Spirits – including its selection committee and its voters – should leave the big tent to the Oscars and nurture its American indie/specialty niche. Perhaps it’s time for Film Independent and its 6,900 qualifying voters to consider some rule changes.
More senior staff changes are taking place at Film Independent, the organization that annually produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards. Stephanie Allain, the longtime producer and former Columbia Pictures executive, has been named the new director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, replacing Rebecca Yeldham, who recently stepped down. Today’s announcement comes in the wake of the appointment of Sean McManus and Josh Welsh as co-presidents of Film Independent earlier this month.