EXCLUSIVE: Jane Fleming, a producer and president emeritus of Women In Film, and Dear White People and Real Women Have Curves producer Effie Brown have joined the board of advisors at DWF-LA, the new name of the annual Los Angeles-based film festival Dances With Films.
The additions, which also include making longtime member and Fine Line Films acquisitions executive Jackie Tepper DWF-LA’s first producing partner, will bolster the group’s plan to grow as a destination for filmmakers and buyers (a void partially left in the city by the shuttering of the Los Angeles Film Festival after last year).
“Jane and Effie have both been leaders for many years where they have both been recognized for their achievements while breaking the glass ceiling,” festival co-founder Leslee Scallon said. “They are not only exceptional and successful producers, but leaders in their field. With Jane and Effie joining our advisory board, this next expansion of DWF will continue to help raise the profile of our filmmakers, providing access to the next generation of creatives for future collaborations.”
The new name DWF-LA is aimed partly at a goal to expand the organization’s programs to other cities, and comes as it just wrapped the second year of DWF: Spotlight China!, which highlighted projects by Chinese filmmakers.
Dances With Films, held annually at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, held its 22nd edition this past June 13-23. The event receives more that 4,000 submission, and programs around 200 films, pilots, web series, documentaries, shorts, music videos, and films by kids. Organizers say it draws about 22,000 attendees annually.
“As we embark on new developments with our festival including DWF: Unleashed! which will feature films with marquee name talent, we know that the time is right as more and more alumni with larger budgets return ‘home’ to DWF each year,” co-founder Michael Trent said. “This growing expansion does not mean a divergence from our core mission. Our competition programming will remain steadfastly focused on emerging and unknown talent. ‘Unleashed!’ will enhance what’s already there, providing a stage in Los Angeles for our alumni to return to the festival that gave them their first break.”
DWF’s advisory bard now includes Fleming, Brown, Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman and Steve Wegner.