Jacqueline Lyanga, new Artistic Director at Film Independent - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Jacqueline Lyanga, new Artistic Director at Film Independent

Jacqueline Lyanga Artistic Director, Film Independent

Film Independent announced Jacqueline Lyanga as the organization’s new Artistic Director. In this role, she will oversee re-envisioning and expanding the organization’s year-round film, television, and new media programming.
In addition to programming Film Independent Presents, the year-round screening series supported by Lead Sponsor Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Lyanga will curate The Portal, a showcase of VR and immersive storytelling produced in partnership with Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television at the new LMU Playa Vista Campus, September 20-22, and will build out additional programming throughout the year across the city of Los Angeles. Lyanga will also play a key role in programming the Global Inclusion Summit, a fall conference focused on issues of diversity and representation not just in the US film industry, but internationally. Lyanga, the former Director of AFI FEST, began her collaboration with Film Independent last year as LA Film Festival Guest Director, VR and Immersive Storytelling.
“I am thrilled to announce Jacqueline Lyanga as our new Artistic Director,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “We have long admired her work and last year was fortunate to have her curate our exhibition program of AR, VR, and new media, The Portal. I’m very happy to have her bring her vision to Film Independent on a year-round basis.”
“Jacqueline joins Film Independent at a moment of tremendous growth in our organization,” said Mary Sweeney, Chair of the Film Independent Board of Directors. “With her knowledge, vision and international experience, we’re confident that she will create a new model of year-round celebration and support of the film community in Los Angeles.”
“Film Independent is a vital organization that serves Los Angeles and a global community of filmmakers,” said Jacqueline Lyanga. “I am elated at this opportunity to build out an innovative year-round programming strategy for Film Independent that will champion filmmakers and artists and provide a new platform for cultural experiences.”
While the Director of the AFI FEST for eight years, Lyanga created the festival’s Guest Artistic Director program that brought the curation of David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnès Varda and Sophia Loren to the festival. She also launched a showcase of Immersive Storytelling (VR, AR, and new technologies) and revived a section specifically for independent filmmaking (Young Americans/American Independents) and the Screen Education and Storytelling Bootcamp programs for middle and high school students. She has recently been made Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French government for her contributions to the art of cinema. She has been a guest and moderator of industry panels at the Berlinale, the Cannes Film Festival, the Forbes Women’s Summit and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and has been a member of the grants review committees for the Austin Film Society, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has served on international film festival juries at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival (U.S. Dramatic Features), SFFILM and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Prior to working for AFI FEST, she worked for a number of other film and entertainment organizations and companies including, ABC/Disney, BET, Lifetime Television, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Independent Film & Television Alliance’s American Film Market. In 2014 she was featured on Essence Magazine’s list of the 75 most powerful black women in Hollywood, and in Variety’s Women’s Impact Report as one of the female entertainment industry leaders in Hollywood deemed a game-changer and innovator.
In addition to Lyanga, Film Independent’s programming team includes Senior Programmer Jennifer Wilson. Film Independent Presents is produced by Director of Events Rachel Bleemer and Event Producer Rebecca Montalvo.

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