Effie Brown
Effie Brown

Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the LA Film Festival, announced today that Effie Brown (“Dear White People,” “Project Greenlight,” EVP of Production and Development at Lee Daniels Entertainment) will deliver the Keynote address at the 12th annual Film Independent Forum.

Focus Features’ “Loving,” written and directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga will kick off as the Opening Night Film on Friday, October 21. The screening will be followed by a Q+A with Jeff Nichols, Joel Edgerton, and Ruth Negga. The Forum will take place the weekend of October 21-23 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

“We’re so excited to open the Forum with Loving, such a timely and poignant film from Jeff Nichols, one of the most insightful auteur directors working today,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “We could not think of a better Keynote than Effie Brown, who perfectly embodies the ‘working filmmaker’ we strive to celebrate and support. Film Independent supported her since the beginning through our Project Involve program, and now as an active Board member we rely on her to mentor and serve as a role model for other emerging filmmakers.”

During the Forum, Film Independent’s Director of Artist Development Jennifer Kushner will award the Alfred P. Sloan Producers Grant to support a fiction film that explores science or technology themes. The grant provides a $30,000 production grant and acceptance into the Film Independent Producing Lab. Following the Opening Night Film the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Reception will celebrate the Sloan grantee and the 2016 Film Independent Producing Lab Fellows.

Panelists for the 2016 Film Independent Forum include:

Andrew Ahn, Writer/Director, Spa Night
Sylvia Desrochers, President, Big Time PR & Marketing
Sam Esmaill, Creator, Mr. Robot
Rafi Fine, Co-Founder, Fine Brothers Entertainment
Katherine Fisher, Producer, Her Story
Sydney Freeland, Director, Her Story
Ashley Hasz, Senior Director of Film and Integrated Marketing, Participant Media
Dennis Hauck, Producer/Writer/Director, Too Late
Sian Heder, Writer/Director, Tallulah, Orange is the New Black
Carolyn Henderson, Manager, Advocacy and Social Impact, Participant Media
Tina Mabry, Producer/Writer/Director, Mississippi Damned, Queen Sugar
Paula Manzanedo- Schmit, Senior Vice President, Film Finances, Inc.
Matt Miller, Producer, Too Late
Kel O’Neil, Artist/Filmmaker, The Ark
Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange
Elsa Ramo, Entertainment Attorney, Ramo Law PC
Jen Richards, Writer/Actor, Her Story
Kelly Thomas, Producer, Spa Night
Laura Zak, Writer/Actor, Her Story

With additional panelists to be announced

Topics for this year’s panels are:
Market Report: Putting Together A Movie In 2016
Agents Of Change: New Voices From Filmmaking’s Cutting Edge
Maximizing Distribution: Day & Date, Theatrical and Beyond
Shopping Your Project: A Financing Clinic
Integrated Marketing: Spotlight Case Study
Made In L.A.: Too Late and Spa Night Case Studies
Her Story: A Web Series Case Study
Content Creators: A Brand Of Their Own
Film Independent’s Documentary Works In Progress
Sustaining a Creative Career: Filmmaker’s Balancing Acts
Auteur TV: The New Creators

The Film Independent Documentary Lab Works-in-Progress Screening will showcase select clips from the documentaries supported in Film Independent’s Artist Development programs followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Early registration conference passes are $215 for Film Independent Members and $285 for non-Members who register by Friday, September 23. After September 23, conference passes are $275 for Film Independent Members and $325 for non-members. For more information about this year’s Film Independent Forum or to purchase a pass, visit filmindependent.org/forum or call 310.432.1222.

The 2016 Film Independent Forum takes place October 21-23 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles, CA. For a full schedule of events, speakers and to register, visit FilmIndependent.org/Forum.