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Sean Baker & More to Participate In 15th Annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up

Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, announced the guest speakers and program today for the 15th annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up series, taking place on Wednesday nights from February 3 March 2, 2016 at The Landmark. The Film Independent Directors Close-Up offers filmmakers and film lovers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the best independent directors and their collaborators, as they explore specific aspects of their craft.

Discussing their work across five separate panels will be director Sean Baker (Tangerine), director Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), writer-directorCharlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson (Anomalisa), writer Meg Le Fauve (Inside Out), director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows), director James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour) and director Chlo Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me). Additional participants to be announced.

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, filmmakers and film lovers will hear firsthand from these esteemed writers and directors whose originality, ingenuity and talent have set them apart as leaders in their craft. Each night will delve into specific aspects of developing and directingwriting,castingand eliciting compelling performances from actorsareamongthe topics that will be covered.

"We're bringing together a fantastic group of filmmakers with some of the most groundbreaking work this year," said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Film Independent's Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. "From Anomalisa to Tangerine and everything in between, our 2016 Directors Close-Up represents all that's exciting in cinema these days."

This year's schedule includes:
February 3 -James Ponsoldt: Bringing to LifeThe End of the Tour
February 10 - Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson: DevelopingAnomalisa
February 17 -The Storytellers: Writers and Directors
February 24-The Independent Spirit:A Directors Roundtable
March 2 -Sean Baker: ATangerineCase Study

Past panelists include Ben Affleck, Bill Condon, Alfonso Cuarn, Guillermo del Toro, Julie Delpy, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, David Fincher, William Friedkin, Dan Gilroy, Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, Nicole Holofcener, SPIKE Jonze, Kasi Lemmons, Richard Linklater, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mills, Jeff Nichols, Alexander Payne, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Jason Reitman, Julian Schnabel, Justin Simien, Jill Soloway, Mike White, Benh Zeitlin and many more.

The 2016 Film Independent Directors Close-Up sponsorsincludeLandmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America,andSAGindie.

All panels will take place at The Landmark (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm and will be followed by receptions. For more information on the schedule and to buy passes, click here or call 310.432.1213.

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 LA Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and Film Independent at LACMA, 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

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SOURCE Film Independent

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