On Saturday, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos outraged NATO when he slammed theater owners with potentially killing the movie business. Here’s Sarandos’ keynote speech at Film Independent‘s 9th annual confab at DGA HQ.
“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.
Related: Netflix Shares Hit New Highs in Q3
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:
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.
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.
Andy Samberg made this video about preparing to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 23rd. Hope he’ll be funnier than this lame bit:
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.
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.
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:
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 …
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:
Fox TV and film writers, producers and executives have signed on to judge submissions for the Fox Writer’s Intensive, the new initiative for experienced writers with diverse background, ethnic minorities as well as LGBT, foreign-born, etc. Fox received several hundred submissions for the program by the November 9 deadline. Participating organization Film Independent is currently reviewing all of them and will present 20-30 finalists to Fox. The judges will select 10 scripts whose writers will enter the program. (The winners expected to be announced in the next few weeks.) The list of judges include: Carla Kettner (EP, Bones), Heather Mitchell (Supervising Producer, Scandal), Matt Olmstead (EP, Breakout Kings), Missy Alexander (Producer, How I Met Your Mother),
Film Independent’s newly minted co-presidents Sean McManus and Josh Welsh welcomed the Spirit Awards nominees at lunch today. But first the Los Angeles Film Critics Association hosted its annual gala in Century City Friday night with a quirky event where critics usually reviled were praised instead. Some LAFCA filmmakers arrived late from competing Golden Globe parties like Paramount’s and CAA’s, but nowhere else hosted Uggie, the dog from The Artist. “This is by far the best fucking awards dinner I’ve been to in my life,” Alexander Payne exclaimed after accepting LAFCA’s Best Picture nod for The Descendants. Best Actor winner Michael Fassbender (Shame) recalled how he first came to LA a decade ago for pilot season but soon returned to London with his tail between his legs. ”It’s incredible to now stand here,” he gushed. Best Foreign Language winner Lu Chuan (City of Life and Death) sent a video that his investors were “holding him hostage” on his next film in China. So did Best Actress Yun Jung-hee (Poetry) and from Korea thanked critics in “the world capital of filmmaking” and signed off with ”I love you”.
Film Independent said that senior director Sean McManus and director of artist development Josh Welsh have been appointed co-presidents, a new position. That fills the hole left when longtime executive director Dawn Hudson departed in April to take the …