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Film Independent's Directors Close-Up: Conversations on the Art of Filmmaking

Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent, announced today the ninth annual Directors Close-Up: Conversations on the Art of Filmmaking, formerly known as the Director Series, which will be held February 4 – March 11, 2009 at The Landmark - West Los Angeles. Attendees will have access to some of the most innovative names in independent filmmaking, with Mary Sweeney (“The Straight Story,” “Mulholland Drive”), David Lynch’s long time creative collaborator, serving as moderator.
Film Independent’s 2009 Directors Close-Up is sponsored by Skywalker Sound, The Landmark, the Directors Guild of America, NBC Universal and NAB Show.
“The Directors Close-Up series is a rare opportunity for both filmmakers and film lovers to learn about filmmaking first-hand from some of our most prominent independent directors and their collaborators,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent. “In addition to writers, directors, and producers, those who are simply passionate about film can also be inspired by hearing our diverse group of panelists talk in depth about their craft.”
“Film Independent has had great success with the Directors Close-Up series, not only because of the notoriety of the filmmakers involved, but because of how deeply the panelists delve into every step of the creative process, from developing the script all the way to the post-production process,“ said María Bozzi, Director of Film Education. “Each session provides a sense of how the director’s vision gets translated onto the screen, and how collaboration is key in bringing that vision to life.”
Series panelists this year include Elliot Davis (cinematographer, “Twilight,” “Lords of Dogtown”), Rodrigo García (“In Treatment,” “Nine Lives”), Lance Hammer (“Ballast”), Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight,” “Lords of Dogtown”), Oscar nominee Courtney Hunt (“Frozen River”), Jonathan Levine (“The Wackness”), Nancy Richardson (editor, “Twilight,” “Lords of Dogtown”), Howard Rodman (screenwriter, “Savage Grace”), with additional names to be announced.
Past panelists have included Don Cheadle, Bill Condon, Scott Frank, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Fincher, Marc Forster, Paul Haggis, Zach Helm, Nicole Holofcener, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Jonze, Miranda July, Callie Khouri, Diana Ossana, Alexander Payne, Elizabeth Peña, Jason Reitman, Walter Salles, Julian Schnabel, and Kevin Smith.
This year’s panels will cover the following topics:
February 4th – Music and Sound Design – The soundtrack of a film is essential to the emotional reality of a film. A director and his/her sound team reveal the power of sound, taking us through the process of designing and creating the soundtrack of a film.
February 11th - The Director’s Vision and the Creative Team – From the initial stages of research to the execution on set, director Catherine Hardwicke and her creative team explain how they achieve the look of a film through cinematography, production design, and editing.
February 18th - The Independent Spirit: A Directors Roundtable – 2009 Spirit Award nominees discuss their films, their careers, and the way in which they have been able to balance their artistic integrity with the demands of the marketplace. Panelists include Courtney Hunt, Lance Hammer, and additional directors to be announced.
February 25th - Writing and Directing – Through the work of directors who write and direct their material, or write for other directors, this panel explores the writing process and the writer/director collaboration. Panelists include Jonathan Levine, Howard Rodman, and additional directors to be announced.
March 4th - Casting and Directing Actors – Hear from every different point of view on what’s behind a great performance, as actors, a casting director, and director Rodrigo García discuss the ways in which they collaborate. Reception following to be hosted by SAGIndie.
March 11th - New Visions, New Media – Explore how new technologies are allowing filmmakers to expand their palettes and take charge of production, not only to make their films, but how to get them to an audience.
All panels will take place in Theater 8 at The Landmark - West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – between February 4 - March 11, 2009. Each panel will be followed by a reception.

To purchase a pass for the 2009 Directors Close-Up or individual tickets, please phone Film Independent’s reservation line at 310.432.1222 or send an email to Ticket prices are $180 for a series pass and $35 per session for Film Independent members, and $280 for a series pass and $50 per session for the general public. Starting today until February 2, 2009, the purchase of a series pass will also include one free guest ticket to a panel of your choice.

For more information about this year’s Directors Close-Up or to register, please visit


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