Neil LaBute and John August to Moderate Film Independent's 10th Annual Directors Close-Up

Michael Cieply of The New York Times to Moderate Spirit Awards Roundtable

Panelists include Directors Jason Reitman, Cherien Dabis, James Gray, Marc Webb, Ruben Fleischer, Michael Hoffman, and more

Jan 08, 2010, 15:08 ET from Film Independent

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced that writer/directors Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things, Possession), John August (The Nines, writer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), as well as New York Times Media Correspondent Michael Cieply will be moderators at the tenth annual Directors Close-Up, taking place February 3 - March 3, 2010 at The Landmark - West Los Angeles. Series panelists this year include directors Cherien Dabis, Ruben Fleischer, James Gray, Michael Hoffman, Jason Reitman, Marc Webb, editor Dana Glauberman, and cinematographer Eric Steelberg, with additional names to be announced.

Over the course of five consecutive weeks, attendees will gain rare insight from artists as they discuss the craft, collaboration, and art of filmmaking in this series. Film Independent's 2010 Directors Close-Up sponsors include Skywalker Sound, The New York Times, The Landmark Theatres, the Directors Guild of America and SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild. Film Independent is proud to welcome The New York Times as Co-Presenter of the Spirit Awards Roundtable on March 3rd.

"The Directors Close-Up is a singular opportunity for both independent filmmakers and the film-loving public to learn about every step of the creative process, ask questions, and interact with the panelists in an intimate setting," said Maria Bozzi, Director of Film Education. "We are so excited to have Neil, John and Michael lead the discussions with such a diverse group of illustrious directors and their collaborators."

Past panelists include Bill Condon, Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher, Marc Forster, Rodrigo Garcia, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Paul Haggis, Catherine Hardwicke, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Jonze, Callie Khouri, Tom McCarthy, Kasi Lemmons, Alexander Payne, Don Roos, Walter Salles, Julian Schnabel, Kevin Smith, and many more.

This year's panels will cover the following topics:

February 3rd - The Creative Collaboration - Moderator John August and panelists Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), editor Dana Glauberman, cinematographer Eric Steelberg and other members of the creative team will spend an evening exploring the collaborative process that takes a film from script to screen, including: research, production design, lighting, camera placement, and more.

February 10th - Sound Design - Moderator John August will converse with directors and sound designers about creating a powerful film soundtrack, from sound effects and location sound to the final mix. Panelists to be announced.

February 17th - Working with Actors - Moderator Neil LaBute will lead a discussion with directors, casting directors, and actors about the casting process, collaboration on the set, and how directors elicit great performances for the screen. Panelists to be announced.

February 24th - Writing and Directing Comedy - Moderator Neil LaBute and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) will engage in an insightful and entertaining session about what it takes to keep the audience laughing.

March 3rd - Spirit Awards Roundtable - "Co-presented by The New York Times" - Moderator Michael Cieply and 25th Film Independent Spirit Award nominees Cherien Dabis (Amreeka), James Gray (Two Lovers), Michael Hoffman (The Last Station), and Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) will discuss their craft, challenges, and how they stay true to their visions and the art.

All panels will take place in Theater 8 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., followed by a reception. Series passes are currently available for a discounted rate of $99 for Film Independent members and $130 for the general public. After January 20, series passes will be $150 for Film Independent members and $180 for the general public. For more information and to buy passes, please visit or call 310-432-1222.


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, are 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 leader, or a film lover.

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 offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent's mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.

Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, celebrating the best of American and international cinema and the Spirit Awards, a celebration honoring films and filmmakers that embody independence and dare to challenge the status quo.

For more information or to become a member, visit

SOURCE Film Independent