Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced a special conversation with Oscar and Spirit Award nominated director Alexander Payne (Nebraska) on February 27 at the Directors Close-Up Series. Also recently added, actor/writer and 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), 2014 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominee Bob Nelson (Nebraska) and writer John August (Frankenweenie, Big Fish) will be joining the February 19 panel, Writing and Directing.

Previously announced panelists for the series include Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace), Ernest Dickerson (The Walking Dead, The Wire), writer/producer Scott Neustadter (The Spectacular Now), Jeremy Podeswa (Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom), and Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight).

The panels will cover the following topics:

Tuesday, February 11– Alfonso Cuarón: The Force Behind Gravity
Wednesday, February 19– Writing and Directing

Thursday, February 27– The Independent Spirit: A Conversation with Alexander Payne
Wednesday, March 5– Casting and Directing Actors
Wednesday, March 12– Television: Directing Outside of the Lines

The 2014 Film Independent Directors Close-Up sponsors include Ovation, America’s only arts network, Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America, and SAGindie.

All panels will take place at The Landmark – West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. There will be receptions following the opening night session on Tuesday, February 11, and on Wednesday, February 19, Thursday, February 27 and Wednesday, March 5. For more information on the schedule, panel descriptions and participants, and to buy passes, please visit or call 310.432.1213.

Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champion’s 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, as well as the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary of showcasing the best of American and international cinema. Film Independent also produces 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.