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Project: Involve has3 3 filmmaker speakers selected

Mark Romanek, Scott Frank, Michael Elliot, and Adriene Bowles
Among Program Mentors & Guest Speakers -
Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, has selected 33 filmmakers for its annual diversity mentorship program, Project:Involve. The signature program is dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. Writer/directors Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo), Scott Frank (Marley & Me, The Lookout), writers Michael Elliot (Just Wright, Brown Sugar), Ligiah Villalobos (Under the Same Moon), editor Augie Robles (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Focus Features’ President, Worldwide Publicity and Executive Vice President, Marketing Adriene Bowles, ITVS’ Programming Manager Karim Ahmad, and Film Festival programmers Hebe Tabachnik (Los Angeles and Sundance) and Kathleen McInnis (Palm Springs Shorts) will serve as mentors and guest speakers for the 2011 Project:Involve class. Additional mentors will be announced.
The program runs annually from October through June, and selects filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and filmmaking tracks. Last year, Film Independent initiated an Industry Track that opened up the program to those planning to work in the film industry as agents/managers, development execs, acquisitions/distribution execs, and in marketing. During the nine months, participants will create a short film, receive one-on-one film industry mentors, access to production-based master workshops taught by top film professionals, career development training, and industry networking opportunities.
“The filmmakers selected for this year’s program are a remarkable group of rising talent, and we’re looking forward to seeing the short films they produce over the course of the program,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent’s Director of Talent Development. “We’re also incredibly appreciative of our Project:Involve mentors and guest speakers, who give so generously of their time and expertise.”
The 2011 Project:Involve participants were selected based on the quality of their projects, their passion, vision, talent, and commitment to pursuing a career in the film industry. This year’s filmmakers are:
Natalie Arps-Bumbera, Industry Track/Development
Natasha Atalla, Producer
Ebyan Bihi, Industry Track/Development
Carmen Cabana, Cinematographer
Frances E. Chang, Producer
Huy Chau, Writer/Director
Eunsoo Cho, Cinematographer
Christopher Chou, Industry Track/Acquisitions & Distribution
Ted Chung, Director
Mercedes Cooper, Industry Track/Marketing
Nausheen Dadabhoy, Cinematographer
Daniel Davila, Writer/Director
Jana Diaz Juhl, Producer
Dalila Droege, Director
Joy Ganes, Producer
Roberto Gudino, Cinematographer
Tani Ikeda, Director
Logan Kibens, Director
Richard Kim, Cinematographer
Raymond Lai, Director
Cristina Malavenda, Editor
Courtney Marsh, Director
Carl Martin, Industry Track/Acquisitions & Distribution
David Martin-Porras, Writer/Director
Tasha Moore, Screenwriter
Anthony Onah, Director
Stacey Parshall Jensen, Screenwriter
Geoffrey Quan, Director
Andres Torres-Vives, Writer/Director
Sandra Varona, Producer
Nicole Vinnola, Producer
Tony Wei, Writer/Director
Lex White, Screenwriter

Upon completion, participants become Film Independent Fellows, receiving year-round support including access to Film Independent’s annual film education offerings, on-staff Filmmaker Advisor, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Past Film Independent Fellows from Project:Involve include producer Effie T. Brown (Rocket Science), Jon Chu (Step Up 3D, Step Up 2: The Streets), Cherien Dabis (Amreeka), Eric Nazarian (The Blue Hour), Nick Oceano (Pedro), Jennifer Phang (Half-Life), and Tze Chun (Children of Invention). Previous mentors include Gregg Araki (Smiley Face, Mysterious Skin), Nicole Holofcener (Please Give, Friends with Money), Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich), Kasi Lemmons (Talk to Me, Eve’s Bayou), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento), Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election), John Singleton (Four Brothers, Boyz n the Hood), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, American Gun). For information on all past Film Independent Fellows and their projects, please visit our online searchable FIND Talent Guide.
Film Independent’s Project:Involve is supported by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Academy Foundation of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The James Irvine Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Kodak, HBO, Sony Pictures, and Time Warner.

Film Independent is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent’s Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff, and constituents, are comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, film industry leader, or a film lover.
With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent also offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent’s mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.
Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards. For more information or to become a member, visit



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