Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, brought its 10th annual Film Independent Forum for 2014 to a close this past weekend. In addition to providing aspiring filmmakers with its wide array of panels and networking opportunities, the Forum continued its tradition of delivering always-memorable keynote addresses. The Filmmaker Keynote speaker was writer/director Jill Soloway (Transparent, Afternoon Delight, United States of Tara, Six Feet Under) and the Executive Keynote speech was delivered by Tim League, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Drafthouse Films and Fantastic Fest.

To view the speeches visit Film Independent’s Youtube page:

The opening night film was a full house screening of Open Road Films’ Nightcrawler, written and directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton. The post-screening Q&A featured writer/director Dan Gilroy, editor John Gilroy and producer Jennifer Fox. Additionally, this past weekend’s Forum provided attendees with one-on-one networking opportunities with key film industry executives, as well as informative panels that covered all aspects of independent film production, marketing, distribution and more.  Participating panelists included Stephanie Allain, Ana Lily Amirpour, Albert Berger, Kenya Barris, Ted Hope, Aaron Katz, Elvis Mitchell, Peter Trinh, Josh Welsh, Adam Wingard and more.

At the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Reception on Saturday, October 25, the Sloan Producers Grant was attributed to producer Summer Shelton for The Buried Life. Shelton was awarded a $30,000 production grant and acceptance into Film Independent’s Producing Lab for developing a narrative film with a scientific, mathematical and/or technological theme. The Producing Lab is one of Film Independent’s highly selective Artist Development programs. 

New to this year’s Forum, Film Independent and CreatorUp co-produced a hackathon for filmmakers and developers to collaborate in creating a new technology prototype for filmmakers to connect with their fans for film projects that create social impact. Participants in this year’s hackathon included filmmakers, Erick Castrillon, Justin Calen Chenn, Emily McAllister, George Reyes, Iliana Sosa, Amber Sealey, Brittney Shepard and McKenna Stephens. Participating developers included Hugh Hou, Catherine Clinch, Sharif Matar, Anita Cheng, Caryn Drake, Jaclyn Glasner and Terry Lawyer. The projects were presented on Sunday, October 26 and the project Movie Beacon by Justin Calen Chenn, Sharif Matar and Caryn Drake was selected as the winner by a jury composed of industry experts Wadooah Wali, Jeanne Ringe, Pamela Miller and Jasmine Teran.

The 2014 Film Independent Forum is presented by Indiewire. Additional sponsors include Premier Sponsors Directors Guild of America, SAGindie, IMDbPro, Indiegogo and Principal Sponsor the Montana Film Office. 

About Film Independent Forum
Now in its 10th year, the Film Independent Forum is the pre-eminent conference for independent filmmakers and content creators in Los Angeles. Off-the-record conversations with working filmmakers make this the must-attend fall event for filmmakers and industry professionals. If you are anywhere near production or close to entering the festival circuit, join your peers for a weekend of solution-driven strategies, success stories, and opportunities to connect one-on-one with working artists and industry pros.

The 2014 Film Independent Forum takes place October 24-26 at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles, CA. For a full schedule of events and speakers, visit

About Film Independent
Film Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent’s Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.  For more information or to become a member, visit