Film Independent Unveils Directors Close-Up Series Featuring Esteemed Panelists - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Saturday, February 3, 2024

Film Independent Unveils Directors Close-Up Series Featuring Esteemed Panelists

Film Independent Unveils Directors Close-Up Series Featuring Esteemed Panelists

Film Independent, the renowned nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering independence and inclusivity in visual storytelling, has announced the eagerly anticipated return of the Film Independent’s Directors Close-Up (DCU) series. Running from January 17 and culminating with three live events at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles on February 12, February 21, and March 1, this signature program is now celebrating its 23rd year, promising insightful discussions on the craft of directing.

This year's DCU series presents a stellar lineup of highly acclaimed visual storytellers from around the globe. With a format that proved successful last year, the schedule comprises eight online sessions and three in-person sessions, each dedicated to a different Spirit Awards nominee category. Additionally, the series will feature special guests from the independent film and television realms. This unique opportunity allows creators and enthusiasts of film and TV to delve deep into the intricacies of storytelling as celebrated artists discuss various aspects of their creative processes.

Paul Cowling, Associate Director of Film Education, expressed his excitement about this year's lineup, stating, "The Directors Close-Up is truly international, featuring a mix of veteran indie storytellers and new, diverse voices from around the world that reflect Film Independent’s global mission."

The series boasts an array of thought-provoking discussions, with topics ranging from the making of acclaimed productions to the secrets behind directing dynamic genre films. Notable panelists include Erika Alexander, Mimi Cave, J.D. Dillard, Cord Jefferson, Lulu Wang, and Jeffrey Wright, among others.

The Schedule:

February 12: Writer/Director Cord Jefferson, Jeffrey Wright, and Erika Alexander discuss the making of American Fiction, joined by cinematographer Cristina Dunlap, editor Hilda Rasula, and composer Laura Karpman.

February 21: Top indie directors share their secrets for directing dynamic genre films. Featuring Mimi Cave (Fresh), J.D. Dillard (The Outsider), and additional panelists to be announced.

March 1: Expats creator and showrunner Lulu Wang, along with her Local Time producing partner Dani Melia and production designer Yong Ok Lee, offer insights into launching a new limited series. Wang, who served as a writer and directed all six episodes for Prime Video, leads the discussion.

All in-person events commence at 7:30 pm PST, followed by a celebratory reception on-site at the Directors Guild of America, featuring beverages provided by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, FIJI Water, Stella Artois, and Fleur de Miraval.

To register for the Directors Close-Up series and view the schedule, visit the Film Independent website. After the conclusion of the series on March 1, online sessions will be available on the Film Independent YouTube channel.

Past DCU panelists have included industry luminaries such as Ben Affleck, Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, and Denis Villeneuve.

Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. 

Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. 

And year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.

#FilmIndependent #DirectorsCloseUp #VisualStorytelling

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