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Alfonso Cuaron To Open 13th Annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up

Other panelists include Scott Cooper, Ernest Dickerson, Jeremy Podeswa and Jill Soloway

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced the guest speakers and program for the 13th annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up series, taking place from February 11March 12, 2014 at The Landmark – West Los Angeles. 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 Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace), Ernest Dickerson (The Walking Dead, The Wire), Jeremy Podeswa (Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom), and Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight). Additional guests include writer/producer Scott Neustadter (The Spectacular Now), actor Tom Bower (Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart) and casting director Ronna Kress (Out of the Furnace, Saving Mr. Banks).

Moderators include David Ansen, Artistic Director, Los Angeles Film Festival; Catherine Hardwicke, director, Twilight, Thirteen; and Alan Poul, executive producer/director, The Newsroom, Swingtown, Six Feet Under.

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, filmmakers and film lovers will hear firsthand from prolific directors whose originality, ingenuity, and talent have set them apart as leaders in their craft. Each night will delve into specific aspects of directing—writing, casting and eliciting compelling performances from actors are among the topics that will be covered. The 2014 Film Independent Directors Close-Up sponsors include Ovation, America's only arts network, Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America, and SAGindie.

"This is such an exciting time for directors," said Maria Bozzi, Film Independent's Senior Director of Education. "They can work across multiple mediums that provide incredible latitude for creative experimentation. Our Directors Close-Up this year reflects this new age of creative opportunity in that we are covering the acclaimed work of directors ranging from big budget digital 3D films to smaller independents and groundbreaking television, covering the full spectrum of visual storytelling today."

This year's panels will cover the following topics:
February 11-- Alfonso Cuaron: The Force Behind Gravity
February 19-- Writing and Directing

February 26-- The Independent Spirit: A Directors Roundtable
March 5-- Casting and Directing Actors
March 12-- Television: Directing Outside of the Lines

Past panelists include Ben Affleck, Bill Condon, Guillermo del Toro, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, David Fincher, William Friedkin, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Jonze, Kasi Lemmons, Tom McCarthy, Mike Mills, Jeff Nichols, Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Julian Schnabel, Mike White, Benh Zeitlin and many more. 

All panels will take place at The Landmark - West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, except for the opening night session, which will take place on Tuesday, February 11. There will be receptions following the opening night session and the Spirit Awards roundtable session. 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 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, 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.

SOURCE Film Independent

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