Ben Affleck, David O. Russell And Benh Zeitlin Announced As Guest Speakers For 12th Annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up

Other panelists include directors Ira Sachs, Julia Loktev, Ruben Fleischer and Jill Soloway

Jan 15, 2013, 15:30 ET from Film Independent

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced the guest speakers and program for the 12th annual Film Independent Directors Close-Up series, taking place every Wednesday from February 6March 6, 2013 at The Landmark – West Los Angeles. Discussing their films across five separate panels will be Academy Award nominated filmmakers Ben Affleck (Argo), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), director Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad), and writer/directors Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On), Julia Loktev (The Loneliest Planet) and Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight).   Additional guests on Zeitlin's panel are Steve Boeddeker, Bob Edwards, and Zach Martin, the sound team behind Beasts; Fleischer's panel will include editor Alan Baumgarten, production designer Maher Ahmed, and costume designer Mary Zophres; Soloway's will feature casting directors Courtney Bright and Nicole Daniels, actors Kathryn Hahn and Michaela Watkins along with Jane Lynch and Jessica St. Clair (schedules permitting).  Moderators include Phil Benson of Skywalker Sound, screenwriter Robin Swicord, and Film Independent at LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell.

"We are thrilled to bring together the directors of some of this year's most fascinating work," said Film Independent's Director of Education Maria Bozzi.  "From the fresh approach of first time directors Benh Zeitlin and Jill Soloway, to the distinctive style of seasoned artists like David O. Russell and Ben Affleck, who will address how their work has evolved, the Directors Close-Up offers a variety of creative perspectives.  There's always something unique coming out of each one of these sessions." 

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, filmmakers and film lovers will hear first-hand from prolific directors whose originality, ingenuity, and talent have set them apart as leaders in their craft. Each night will delve into specific aspects of directing—sound, writing, cinematography, casting and eliciting compelling performances from actors. The 2013 Film Independent Directors Close-Up sponsors include Skywalker Sound, Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America, SAGindie, and ARRI, inc.

This year's panels will cover the following topics:

February 6Sound Advice: Moving Beyond the Picture
February 13Ben Affleck: The Road to Argo
February 20The Independent Spirit: A Directors Roundtable
February 27The Creative Team: Executing the Vision
March 6The Actors: Getting Great Performances

Past panelists include Jonathan Levine, Mike Mills, Lisa Cholodenko, Bill Condon, Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, Marc Forster, Rodrigo Garcia, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Susannah Grant, Paul Haggis, Catherine Hardwicke, Nicole Holofcener, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Jonze, Miranda July, Richard Kelly, Neil LaBute, Kasi Lemmons, Justin Lin, Tom McCarthy, Alexander Payne, Jason Reitman, Eli Roth, Walter Salles, Julian Schnabel, Kevin Smith, Mike White and many more. 

All panels will take place at The Landmark - West Los Angeles (10850 West Pico Boulevard at Westwood Boulevard) on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information on the schedule, panel descriptions and participants, and to buy passes, please visit or call 310-432-1213.

Film Independent is a 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, is 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, industry professional, or a film lover.

Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers.  Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.  

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's Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent's signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.

For more information or to become a member, visit

SOURCE Film Independent