Content venture Level Forward, founded by Abigail Disney and Adrienne Becker, has partnered with four independent movie theaters to launch Level Forward/Screen Forward (“LF/SF”) to implement stronger relationships between independent filmmakers and diverse communities.
The goal of the new venture is to support films made by and for diverse communities that have been previously under-represented. LF/SF wants to give community theaters more access to diverse content as well as give filmmakers a place to showcase their work. Filmmakers will work directly with independent cinemas.
Additionally, LF/SF partners have agreed to direct 10% of net proceeds to local non-profits. The network will also be accessible to films from other producers and financiers, and high-quality films will be the focus that have been produced with meaningful intentions in mind, such as gender and racial equity.
The network will also program live events tied to Level Forward’s stage work, including “What the Constitution Means to Me,” “Slave Play” and “Jagged Little Pill.” The first film to premiere as part of the initiative will be Kitty Green’s “The Assistant,” on which Level Forward and Abigail Disney are executive producers.
In February, the initiative will produce its first live event, which will be a ticketed conversation with “Slave Play” creator Jeremy O. Harris. And later in the year, LF/SF will distribute the “Shatterbox” short film series, produced by Refinery29 and Level Forward. Additional programming will be announced in 2020.
“In 2020, we’ve got to take the mission of sharing the opportunity and influence of creative excellence to the next level,” Becker said. “LF Screen Forward partnerships will improve programming, access, customization and transparency, re-shaping the system for the benefit of the filmmakers, theaters, audiences and other stakeholders of change.”
The founding cinemas are Denver Film (Denver, Colo.), The Loft Cinema (Tucson, Ariz.), Montclair Film (Montclair, N.J.) and the Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, N.Y.). Additional theaters will be announced this year.