Film Independent has pulled back the curtain on its new artistic director. Former longtime AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga will oversee re-envisioning and expanding the organization’s year-round film, TV and new media programming.
In addition to programming Film Independent Presents, the year-round screening series supported by Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Lyanga will curate The Portal, a showcase of VR and immersive storytelling, produced in partnership with Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television at the new LMU Playa Vista Campus in September. She also will build out additional programming throughout the year and across the city of Los Angeles.
Lyanga will play a key role in programming the Global Inclusion Summit, a fall conference focused on issues of diversity and representation in the U.S. film industry and internationally. She began her collaboration with Film Independent last year as LA Film Festival Guest Director, VR and Immersive Storytelling.
“Jacqueline joins Film Independent at a moment of tremendous growth in our organization,” the group’s president Josh Welsh said. “With her knowledge, vision and international experience, we’re confident that she will create a new model of year-round celebration and support of the film community in Los Angeles.”
While the Director of the AFI Fest for eight years, Lyanga created the festival’s Guest Artistic Director program that brought the curation of David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnès Varda and Sophia Loren to the festival. She also launched a showcase of Immersive Storytelling (VR, AR and new technologies) and revived a section specifically for independent filmmaking (Young Americans/American Independents) and the Screen Education and Storytelling Bootcamp programs for middle and high school students. Before AFI Fest, she worked for a number of other film and entertainment organizations and companies including, ABC/Disney, BET, Lifetime Television, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Independent Film & Television Alliance’s American Film Market.
“Jacqueline joins Film Independent at a moment of tremendous growth in our organization,” said Mary Sweeney, Chair of the Film Independent Board of Directors. “With her knowledge, vision and international experience, we’re confident that she will create a new model of year-round celebration and support of the film community in Los Angeles.”