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Film Independent Forum | Keynotes with Ashok Amritraj, Elissa Federoff, Dawn Porter & Lulu Wang




Film Independent announced keynotes, conversations and panelists for the 15th annual Film Independent Forum. This year’s edition features a US Filmmaker Keynote with Lulu Wang, The Farewell, a US Executive Keynote with Elissa Federoff, President of Distribution at NEON, a Documentary Keynote with Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good TroubleGideon’s Army), and a Global Executive Keynote with Ashok Amritraj, Chairman and CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment Group. Traditionally a weekend event, the Forum has expanded to a full week-long event accessible online to global audiences the week of July 31 to August 7.

Panels at this year’s Forum range from financing, production and distribution of films to digital content across diverse platforms (film, TV, streaming, podcast), all within the frame of the current health crisis and social turning point, identifying the impact these have on our industry and exploring creative solutions in this unprecedented moment. The event is designed to inspire filmmakers to take charge of their film’s destiny and their careers as artists.

The program will also feature a series of special international conversations between Film Independent’s Global Media Makers Fellows and esteemed film and TV creators including Ramy Youssef (Ramy) with Egyptian filmmaker Ayten Amin (Souad, Cannes 2020); Alan Poul (The Eddy) with Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama (Sheikh Jackson); and Feras Fayad (The Cave) with Nepali journalist/documentarian Subina Shrestha (Aljazeera).

“Our slate of keynotes, executives Ashok Amirtraj from Hyde Park, Elissa Federoff from NEON, and filmmakers Dawn Porter and Lulu Wang, speak to this moment in time, and to the fact that our industry is global and cinema a truly universal language,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “Having a virtual, week-long Forum this year presents a great opportunity for broadening the scope to a global reach and serve many of the filmmakers and professionals we have been working with throughout our international programs.”

The 2020 Film Independent Forum is supported by Premier Sponsor SAGindie, and University Partner Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television.

Additional Speakers Announced:

Ashok Amritraj, Hyde Park Entertainment

Justine Avera, ABI Insurance

Amra Bakšić Čamo, Sarajevo Film Festival

Paolo Bertolin, Venice International Film Festival 

Josh Braun, Submarine Entertainment

Effie Brown, Gamechanger Films

Linda Yvette Chavez, Creator, Gentefied

Karin Chien, dGenerate Films

Elsie Choi, Rideback TV Incubator

Wendy Cohen, Picture Motion

Eric D’Arbeloff, Roadside Attractions

Sarba Das, A24 Documentaries

Feras Fayyad, Director, The Cave

Elissa Federoff, NEON

Lillie Fleshler, Picture Motion

Isabelle Glachant, Producer, 11 Flowers

Anita Gou, Producer, The Farewell

Hanaa Issam, Doha Film Institute

Leena Khobragade, NFDC Film Bazaar

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, Catapult Film Fund

Grace Lee, Director/Producer, And She Could be Next

Jennice Lee, Dexter Studios

Marvin Lemus, Creator, Gentefied

Wendy Lidell, Kino Lorber

Stephen Love, Jr., Made With Love Media

Julie Lynn, Producer, Albert Nobbs

Alix Madigan, Producer, Winter’s Bone1982

Paula Manzanedo Schmit, Film Finances Inc

Alan McAlex, Producer, Once Again

Jordana Meade, ITVS

Dana Merwin, International Documentary Association

Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Documentary Fund Sundance Institute

Jordan Morris, Bubble

Oualid Mouaness, Director, 1982

Ted Mundorff, Arclight Cinemas

Lorenza Muñoz, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences

Derek Nguyen, The Population

Rosevelt Noble, Black Cultural Center, Vanderbilt University

Luis Ortiz, Latino Public Broadcasting

Shari Page, Half Initiative

Nina Parikh, Mississippi Film Office

Janet Pierson, SXSW

Dawn Porter, Director, John Lewis: Good Trouble

Alan Poul, Producer/Director, The Eddy

Anayansi Prado, Impacto Films

Peggy Rajski, Dean, School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University

Anu Rangachar, Mumbai Film Festival

Manori Ravindran, International Editor, Variety

Tim Redford, Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival

Brenda Robinson, Gamechanger Films

Alison Roney, BRON Studios

Michel Ruben, Dynamo

Marjan Safinia, Director/Producer, And She Could be Next

Amr Salama, Writer/Director, Sheikh Jackson

Myriam Sassine, Producer, 1982

Georges Schoucair, Abbout Productions

Subina Shrestha, Aljazeera

John Sloss, Cinetic

Avril Speaks, Producer, Jinn

Kelly Todd, Endeavor Content

Christopher Tricarico, Tricarico Chavez LLP

Dr. Daniel Uslan, UCLA Health

Gülin Üstün, Meetings on the Bridge Istanbul

Caroline von Kuhn, Catalyst Program, Sundance Institute

Lulu Wang, Writer/Director, The Farewell

David White, SAG-AFTRA

Ramy Youssef, Ramy

For a full schedule of events and to register, visit filmindependent.org/forum.

Conference passes are $49 for Film Independent Members and $99 the general public. Filmmaker Pro and Arts Circle Members receive complimentary passes. For more information about this year’s Film Independent Forum, to purchase a pass or become a Member, please visit filmindependent.org/forum.

About Film Independent Forum

Now in its 15th year, the Film Independent Forum is the pre-eminent conference for independent filmmakers and content creators in Los Angeles. Off-the-record conversations with working filmmakers make this the must-attend spring event for filmmakers and industry professionals. If you are anywhere near production or close to entering the festival circuit, join your peers for a weekend of solution-driven strategies, success stories, and opportunities to connect one-on-one with working artists and industry pros.

The 2020 Film Independent Forum takes place online July 31- August 7.

Conference passes are $49 for Film Independent Members, and $99 the general public. For more information about this year’s Film Independent Forum, to purchase a pass or become a Member, please visit filmindependent.org/forum.

About Film Independent

For over 38 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit’s mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants and labs, and signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops (currently virtual) equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. International programs include Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program that provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. Film Independent Presents is a year-round program offering screenings, conversations and other unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond, also currently available online.

While working to make the entertainment industry more inclusive, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists. Filmmakers, film lovers, industry professionals and anyone passionate about visual storytelling can become a Member at filmindependent.org and connect with @FilmIndependent across social platforms.