The L.A. Film Festival will end after 18 years and will be replaced by “year-round events aimed at building community and broadening its support of visual storytellers,” Film Independent announced Wednesday.
“We took a hard look at the healthy growth of Film Independent’s year-round programs and events over the past six years: the Spirit Awards, our film series curated by Elvis Mitchell, membership, labs, workshops, filmmaker grants and international programs,” said Mary Sweeney, chair of the Film Independent board of directors. “In the end, we concluded that the organization should explore a more nimble, sustainable form of exhibiting and celebrating independent film artists year round.”
Josh Welsh, president of Film Independent, added, “While we are very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the LA Film Festival over the past 18 years, the truth is that it has struggled to thrive, and the time has come for us to try something new. We are all deeply grateful to Jennifer Cochis for her vision, passion, and creativity and we’re enormously proud of the Festival that she oversaw these past two years. We remain committed to serving filmmakers and film audiences across Los Angeles.”
Three full-time staff positions will also be eliminated. Film Independent will continue with its current slate of programs and events including The Film Independent Spirit Awards, Global Media Makers and Project Involve.
As part of the new program, several initiatives that have taken place during the festival in the past will be included, as well as new initiatives that will be announced in the coming months. Previous programs include a two-day event around inclusion in the film industry, as well as Fast Track, a film financing market.