Film Independent Gives 10K Grant, Holds Diversity Showcase

Exiting FIND director Dawn Hudson had prior committment, couldn't attend Project:Involve event

Film Independent showcased the work of eight filmmakers from its diversity program Project:Involve on Thursday night in Los Angeles, and then gave another participant  a $10,000 production grant to help finish a documentary.

The evening was the non-profit arts organization's eighth annual Project:Involve Short Films Showcase, and the first public event for Film Independent since last week's announcement that its executive director Dawn Hudson would be leaving in June to take the newly-created position of CEO at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Also read: Academy Names Dawn Hudson CEO, Ric Robertson COO.

Hudson did not attend the showcase, which took place at REDCAT, the Roy & Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in the Disney Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles. She had a previous commitment with her grade-school-age son.

A Thousand Words from Ted Chung on Vimeo.

Eight Project:Involve fellows screened their shorts on Thursday night, with the films ranging from a raucous hip-hop music-video spin on "Frankenstein" (Patricio Ginelsa's "Trick Habit") to a striking black-and-white, dialogue-free reverie on chance and connection (Ted Chung's "A Thousand Words," above) to a playful love story set among rickshaw drivers in the Chinese island of Hainan (Tony Wei's "Three Wheels").

Other filmmakers showcasing their P:I projects were Wendy J.N. Lee ("Illegal En Estyle"), Cindy Fang ("A Crossroad Called Manzanar"), Neil Kendricks ("Comics Are Everywhere"), David Martin-Porras ("The Widow") and Cristina Kotz-Cornejo ("Despertar").

The first $10,000 LG Cinema 3D Fellowship went to Roberto Gudino, a writer/director/cinematographer currently in the MFA film program at UCLA. He is currently working on the documentary "Above the Fold," about a group of Latino journalists who won the Pulitzer Prize for writing news stories in response to negative portrayals of Latinos in the Los Angeles Times.

Project:Involve is one of Film Independent's signature programs, a diversity initiative that identifies emerging filmmakers from communities generally under-represented in the film industry. Project:Involve fellowships provide one-on-one mentorship and workshops for the filmmakers, and put them in teams to make short films.

The Project:Involve program begins every October and runs through June. More information is available at www.FilmIndependent.org/ProjectInvolve.