Los Angeles Film Festival director and indie producer Stephanie Allain, in production on Justin Simien’s Netflix series Dear White People, is stepping down from the fest, with creative director Jennifer Cochis promoted to the top spot. The change-up was announced today by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the festival and the Spirit Awards. Cochis is “collaborating with outgoing Festival Director Stephanie Allain on all aspects of the Festival,” Film Independent said.
In addition to Dear White People, Allain (Hustle & Flow, Beyond the Lights) is posting Gerard McMurray’s Burning Sands and prepping Juanita, an Alfre Woodard vehicle to be directed by Clark Johnson.
Film Independent President Josh Welsh called Cochis “a brilliant new force on the Festival scene and I am extremely happy to have her step into this new role.” He said Cochis has worked closely with Allain for the past two years, first as Senior Programmer and then as Creative Director.
“It’s an incredibly exciting challenge to build upon the great work that Stephanie has done at the LA Film Festival these past five years,” said Cochis. “I am passionate about continuing to grow this Festival, bringing together audacious and brave visual storytellers with the audiences of Los Angeles.”