Film Independent Forum Sets ‘Late Night’s Nisha Ganatra As Keynote, ‘Ms. Purple’ And ‘Booksmart’ Screenings

Oscilloscope, Annapurna

EXCLUSIVE: Film Independent is looking to enrich and inspire the industry with its latest lineup of keynotes, films and panelists for its 14th annual Film Independent Forum. Keynotes will be delivered by Late Night filmmaker Nisha Ganatra and Len Amato President of HBO Films. The Forum will kick off with a screening of Olivia Wilde’s comedy Booksmart and will also feature Justin Chon’s drama Ms. Purple. The event, which continues to champion inclusive storytelling in film, takes place  April 26 – 28 at the LMU Playa Vista Campus and Harmony Gold Theater.

“Once again, I am thrilled to congregate our community to explore the work of the most interesting creators this year,” said Maria Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives. “From our screenings of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart and Justin Chon’s Ms. Purple to our Keynotes by acclaimed writer-director Nisha Ganatra and HBO Films President Len Amato, our Forum program’s diverse slate of speakers reflect this exciting moment for film and media across many platforms.”

As Wilde’s feature directorial debut, Booksmart received rave reviews at its premiere at SXSW. The comedy of sisterhood — which boasts a majority female filmmaking team — stars Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein and tells a fresh and unfiltered coming-of-age story about high school best friends on the verge of graduation. As they prepare to go their separate ways, they have one last night of wild fun that preserves their friendship. The Forum screening will be followed by a conversation with Wilde.

Justin Chon’s Ms. Purple premiered at Sundance to critical acclaim and then acquired by Oscilloscope. Set in Los Angeles, the poignant family drama follows a sister and brother Kasie (Tiffany Chu) and Carey (Teddy Lee) who were raised and are now seemingly stuck in Koreatown. Abandoned by their mother and brought up by their father, they continue to struggle with deep emotional wounds from the difficulty of the parental dynamic. This is a sort of homecoming for Ms. Purple as it received a camera grant from Film Independent and is a project from Fellows Chon and cinematographer Ante Cheng. Chon’s 2017 film Gook received the Someone to Watch Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Forum screening will be followed by a conversation with Chon, Cheng and producer Alan Pao.

Additional speakers at the Forum include:

Claire Aguilar, Director of Programming and Policy, International Documentary Association
Minhal Baig, Writer/Director, Hala
Eli Barraza, Creator, The Far Meridian/ Co-Founder, The Whisperforge
Ben Berman, Director, Untitled Amazing Johnathan Documentary
Emily Kai Bock, Director, A Funeral for Lightning, Lorde: Yellow Flicker Beat
Skye Borgman, Director/Cinematographer, Abducted in Plain Sight
Wendy Calhoun, Co-Executive Producer, Empire
Seth Caplan, Producer, First Girl I Loved, The Young Kieslowski
Lisa A. Califf, Esq., Founding Partner, Donaldson + Califf
Bikram Chatterji, Managing Director, Maximum Fun
Charlene deGuzman, Actor/Writer, Unlovable
Antonio D’Intino, Literary Manager, Circle of Confusion
Jim Frohna, Executive Producer, It’s Not About Jimmy Keene
Melissa Haizlip, Director/Producer, Mr. Soul
Danielle Hinde, Owner/Executive Producer, Doomsday Entertainment
Jordan Horowitz, Producer, La La Land
Caleb Jaffe, Writer/Director/Co-Editor, It’s Not About Jimmy Keene
Samantha Jayne, Creator/Actor, Quarter Life Poetry
Max Knies, Producer, City Beats with Santigold: Citizens Bank
Diana Kunce, Executive Producer, It’s Not About Jimmy Keene
Missy Laney, Director of Development, Adult Swim
Folayo Lasaki, VP/Head of Marketing, SoulPancake
Liz Manashil, Writer & Manager, Creative Distribution Initiative, Sundance Institute
Sal Masakela, Host, X Games, VICE World of Sport
Rich Mento, Casting Director, Ashes in the Snow, Warm Bodies
Robert McFalls, Producer/Editor, The Advocates
Sev Ohanian, Writer/Producer, Searching; Producer, Fruitvale Station
Arturo Perez Jr., Writer/Director, Quarter Life Poetry
Natalie Qasabian, Producer, Searching, All About Nina
Peggy Rajski, Dean of School of Film and Television, LMU
Kristin Sauchak, Vice President, The Outcast Agency
AJ Schnack, Director/Producer, Speaking is Difficult, Nomination
Colleen Scriven, Creator/Performer, Lesser Gods
Lauren Shippen, Creator, The Bright Sessions
Mischa Stanton, Co-Founder/Executive Producer, The Whisperforge
Anam Syed, Head of Marketing, Alamo Draft House
Rahdi Taylor, Head of Artists in Residence, Concordia Studio
David Wilson, Co-Founder, True/False Film Fest

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