Film Independent has announced that producer Effie Brown (Dear White People, Project Greenlight) 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. 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.” – Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives
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.
The 2016 Film Independent Forum is supported by Premier Sponsors Directors Guild of America and SAGindie, Principal Sponsors Montana Film Office and The Virginia Film Office and Media Partner IndieWire.
Brown is currently the VP of production and development at Lee Daniels’ Fox-based production company where she oversees a fund to recruit diverse storytellers and below-the-line talent for film and TV. In addition to her current position, she will serve as an executive producer of Daniels’ upcoming series Star alongside Tom Donaghy (The Whole Truth), and Pamela Oas Williams. In addition to Star, Daniels and Brown will team up for a half hour comedy starring standup comedian Ms. Pat (Patricia Williams).
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