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Film Independent

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Film & Video

Mission: Our mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. We help filmmakers make their movies, build an audience for their projects and work to diversify the film industry. With over 250 annual screenings and events, we provide access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry.

Programs: We produce the Film Independent Spirit Awards, recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers, the LA Film Festival, showcasing select new works from emerging and established independent storytellers, Film Independent at LACMA, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences including the acclaimed Live Read series and Bring the Noise. Our Artist Development program offers free labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is our signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rodrigo Moreira DA Rocha

Donor

Rating: 5

A Truth Story movie about an Undocumented man struggling to enter the United States after crossing life threats journey , Arriving to the new change United states confronting freedom threats obstacles with the currently administration and immigration force .

MerissaW

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with them for 5 years now and cannot say how amazing each and every member is. I have worked both the Spirit Awards as well as the Film Fest.
Everyone, from Shawn to Falcon to Jordon....everyone is super supportive, considerate, kind, and so so incredibly grateful for our volunteering.
I love it so much that despite having a ridiculously busy fall schedule, I am still determined to take part in the Film Fest, even if I only end up doing just the bare minimum, because the thought of missing out on my yearly experience is just not something I can bear.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known about Film Independent for about 10 years, and started as a volunteer in 2014, and now I jump at the chance to participate in every opportunity they throw my way.

Every single staff member is so kind & committed to the work, and you can see their passion each & every day.

With the film industry constantly growing in so many ways, it's great to see Film Independent remain THE source for Independent film. I'm so glad they allow me to be involved in every volunteer opportunity, and they are highlights of my year that I regularly look forward to.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I volunteered at the Spirit Awards in March 2018. The experience left me feeling equal parts exploited and worthless, a combination I did not think was possible. There are absolutely no perks to volunteering, and since there are so many volunteers, absolutely no one will notice if you simply walk away. Still, the awards show does need bodies at various entrances, extra hands to put tablecloths on, and lackeys to sweep up trash, so there's plenty of menial work to tire you out.

The only reward for this work is the occasional thanks of other people involved. Of course they'd thank you, you're doing the job they're getting paid for. Would any of them work for free? They wouldn't be caught dead. I got the distinct impression more than once that the staff and attendees regarded the volunteers as suckers and dopes. But hey, at the end of the day, you get to look at the disinterested faces of people richer than you and realize you helped make them comfortable while you remain uncomfortable and unpaid. As I heard one staff member say to a volunteer, you're doing a "good thing."

During the awards week, the only food offered to volunteers was Papa John's, the worst pizza there is, every single night. All other staff and attendees enjoyed excellent craft services and an open bar, but the volunteers got Papa John's. At least the pizza was nice and cold.

Mary Rachel G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Film Independent is a fantastic, inspiring organization to volunteer for. I’ve been lucky to volunteer at the LA Film Festival as well as the Spirit Awards, and each experience was unforgettably flexible and fun. I have learned so much from the talented team at Film Independent and can’t wait to continue my helping relationship with them. Here is to independent filmmakers and making an impact!

Simone C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an incredible time working for the LA Film Festival in the summer of 2017, and most recently, working at the Spirit Awards March 2-3, 2018. As an Indie film fan, I took this volunteer experience seriously because we were putting together an important show not only for the talent, but for the reputation of Film Independent. The organizers of the volunteers, lead by Falcon, was enthusiastic and supportive. They fed us well and made sure that we had our breaks. I look forward to helping out again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent organization to work for in Los Angeles. Had an absolute blast working with the staff and volunteers on the Spirit Awards and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first year attending and volunteering for the L.A. Film Festival. I am having a fantastic time! The films, the people, and the venue are wonderful. I have met some amazing fellow volunteers and Film Independent staff (with a special shout out to Falcon, Ginny, Andrew, Chris, Elizabeth, Hanna, and the Production Department supervisors and PAs who welcomed me with open arms). As a film and tv executive Producer, I know what great "on set" performance is all about. And I can say Film Independent and all the volunteers delivered the goods at this film festival.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member & a volunteer. I've volunteered for several different events over the past 6 or 7 years. Volunteering for them is very rewarding. I have met talented and impassioned people, both staff and other volunteers, whose dedication to the arts is impressive and whose friendships are invaluable to me.
As a member I have had the opportunity to enjoy their events throughout the year. Their support of the under-represented and up & coming talent is incomparable. As a supporter of the arts, I cannot think of a more vital and necessary organization to support. Film Independent is an essential part of the arts community & I am very proud of my affiliation with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 1

When I first started volunteer for this festival in 2009, it had a lot a cool perks for volunteers. Then in 2011, they sneakily started taking away all the perks. That's not the only main flaws. They treat this like your actual 9-5 job for one movie voucher. For one movie voucher. The last two fest that I volunteered to, the theater managers were refusing to allow anyone to go on break. Seriously, I thought that it was ridiculous, since we aren't getting paid for this except being given just one movie voucher. And on top of that, the volunteers literally get treated like crap by the sponsors--especially when they get told to do there jobs by the theater managers and get into a crossfire with the sponsors. That's not right at all since people are volunteering for free. Would I recommend people volunteer for this? Probably not.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My internship with Film Independent was an incredibly rewarding experience. The professionalism and quality of work matched the level of enthusiasm and support that I felt in the office. As an intern, I felt especially taken care of. There was a conscious effort to make interns and volunteers feel appreciated and rewarded for their hard work.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered for Film Independent and the LA Film Festival over 15 years ago when I moved to LA from the East Coast. My first event was a screening of "Welcome to the Dollhouse." I liked the experience so much that I never left the organization and have been here ever since – as a volunteer, an intern, staff member, and about 5 years ago I became the President of the organization. If you're new to town and looking to connect with the film community, or you're a filmmaker or film lover who likes to give back, the Festival is a great place to get involved by volunteering. It's a chance to see a lot of great films and meet a lot of incredibly talented and passionate film folks.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned with Film Independent for two consecutive years to help with the LA Film Festival. Both years were exceptional experiences. Not only did I learn an incredible amount about how a nonprofit organization works to produce an event, I also had the opportunity to present ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the LA Film Festival getting to participate as an attendee and as an intern and would highly recommend the experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy my volunteer experience with the L.A. Film Festival. Never have i in encounter so many peoples so dedicated to the art of film make in.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved being part of the team while volunteering with Film Independent. Can't wait to be part of the crew for LAFF this year!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wish I had a picture to capture what a fun time I had being a part of a fun crew volunteering with the Film Festival. Can't wait to be part of the crew this year!