Barry Jenkins, Issa Rae
Barry Jenkins, Issa Rae

Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced the guest speakers and program today for the 16th annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up series, taking place on Wednesday nights from February 1 – March 1, 2017 at The Landmark in 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 their craft.

Discussing their work across five separate panels will be directors Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), Issa Rae (“Insecure”), Andrea Arnold (“American Honey”), Robert Eggers (“The Witch”), Travis Knight (“Kubo and the Two Strings”), Pablo Larraín (“Jackie”),  and Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”). Additional participants to be announced.

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, filmmakers and film lovers will hear firsthand from these esteemed writers and directors. Each night will delve into specific aspects of developing and directing—writing, casting and eliciting compelling performances from actors are among the topics that will be covered.

“Each session of the Directors Close-Up is filled with insightful revelations about the creative process, ” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Film Independent’s Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “Through the years, it’s been great to see how even the directors participating discover new and surprising aspects of their work as they explore with their peers and collaborators.”

This year the series will kick off on February 1 with director Barry Jenkins, casting director Yesi Ramirez and members of the “Moonlight” cast, winners of the Robert Altman Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, who will discuss the casting process and the director-actor collaboration. Other sessions include The Independent Spirit: A Directors Roundtable with Andrea Arnold, Robert Eggers, Pablo Larraín and other Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees, Directing Animation with Travis Knight and members of the creative team from Kubo and the Two Strings, Creating the Visual Language of a Film with Denis Villeneuve and Auteur TV with director Issa Rae, and others to be announced.

Past invited panelists include Ava DuVernay, Kasi Lemmons, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Justin Simien, Ben Affleck, Bill Condon, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Julie Delpy, Lena Dunham, , David Fincher, William Friedkin, Dan Gilroy, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Jonze, Richard Linklater, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mills, Jeff Nichols, Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Julian Schnabel, Jill Soloway, Mike White, Benh Zeitlin, Sean Baker, Marielle Heller and many more.

The 2017 Film Independent Directors Close-Up is sponsored by Premier Sponsors the Directors Guild of America, Ovation, Landmark Theatres, and SAGindie.

All panels will take place at The Landmark (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm and will be followed by receptions. For more information on the schedule and to buy passes, click here or call 310.432.1213.