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Member Lens: Producer Diego Nájera on Wrangling Big Ideas and Staying Creative

Diego Nájera knew one thing growing up: he did not want to be in front of the camera. Instead, when visiting his TV-producer father at work in the soundstage at home in Guadalajara, Mexico, Nájera would instead find himself drawn to the master control booth, observing the twinkling command center with a precocious interest that would soon develop into a lifelong fascination with film and the process of bringing big ideas and new voices to screen.

ICYMI: 10 Film Independent Fast Track Success Stories – Apply Now!

Applications for Film Independent’s Fast Track film financing market are now open. The non-Member deadline to apply is June 7, while the Film Independent Member Extended Deadline in June 21. And to celebrate, here's a rundown of some of our favorite Film Independent Fast Track supported projects of all time...

The Must-List: Three Comedies and Two Dramas About Unplanned Pregnancy

Over the past week or so our already polarized national discourse has been further electrified, thanks an uncharacteristically leaky Supreme Court, which let slip recently with details about a shock overturning of the landmark 1973 civil rights case Roe v. Wade. But what the ensuing cacophonous reaction—online and otherwise—to this news too often left out were the experiences of actual women whose lives would and have been most affected by America’s complicated web of jurisdictional restrictions and pervading stigmas surrounding abortion.

Member Lens: Melissa Haizlip’s ‘Soul!’-ful Approach to Creative Team-Building

Melissa Haizlip isn’t someone who had to go searching for culture. The New York-based director, producer and actor grew up immersed in a world of creators, her uncle Ellis—host of the landmark PBS variety show Soul! (1968-1973) and subject of Haizlip’s Peabody-award winning 2018 documentary Mr. Soul!—acting as the catalyst bringing of the 20th century’s most important Black cultural figures into her literal living room. It’s a tradition the proud Film Independent Member and Project Involve Fellow has continued, with further documentary projects chronicling…

How Rezwan Shariar Sumit Used His GMM Microgrant to Bring ‘The Salt in Our Waters’ Back Home

For 2019 Global Media Makers Fellow Rezwan Shariar Sumit, his small-scale narrative feature, The Salt in Our Waters, about an embattled fishing community in southern Bangladesh—the coastal Patuakhali District—has blossomed into something much larger. The film has played at festivals worldwide. A series of community screenings brought the film to its participants in the region and opened a dialogue between villagers and local government.

Epidemiologists Unpack HBO’s ‘How to Survive a Pandemic’

One of the the most reassuring elements on display at the 2022 Sloan Film Summit—which took place earlier this month, April 8-10, in LA’s Little Tokyo neighborhood—was that of the event’s omnipresent COVID-19 safety procedures. Regular testing for all staff and attendees! Indoor mask requirements! Limited indoor event seating!

Fiscal Spotlight: Three Unsettling Genre Films for a Very Scary Spring

As the crisp THWAP! of Hollywood’s most infamous backhand recedes into industry lore, so too has a historic 2022 awards season been issued, absorbed and dissipated. So what next? Well, with the springtime weather (and bellyfuls of Easter chocolate) getting us hyped up like a grease-covered Northman dancing around a Bjork-approved Icelandic campfire, we now turn our attentions toward a more primal state of being—and a more heightened set of emotions. Madness. Lust. Fear. In other words: the sort of…

How Sound Mixing & Sound Editing Create Cinema

Hollywood sound professional Casey Genton (Justice League, Zombieland: Double Tap) demonstrates how sound mixing and sound editing completes and enhances the cinematic experience. Shot at The Formosa Group during the production of 2021 Film Independent Project Involve short 'The Mason Ring' written & directed by Terry Dawson.

Lysette Urus Shares Her “Spa-Like” Escape at Producing Lab and Fast Track

Applications for the 2022 Film Independent Producing Lab and Fast Track film financing market are now open. And look, you don’t have to our word for it that these are great programs. For this guest post, we asked dual 2021 Producing Lab and Fast Track Fellow Lysette Urus to share her experiences and discuss the path to Wild Animal, her current feature project.

‘Women in Science and Film’ Panel Explodes into Orbit, Grows Its Own and Looks to the Stars

“One day soon, this kind of panel will be obsolete.” So said writer and producer Wendy Calhoun by way of her introduction to the 2022 Sloan Film Summit “Women in Science and Film” conversation on April 9, at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in Little Tokyo. The all-female panel, which Calhoun described as a “time capsule” in the making, brought two of America’s most prominent scientific voices—NASA Flight Systems Engineer Tracy Drain and Dr. Ziva Cooper, Director of UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative—together with…