Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced today that Festival Director Stephanie Allain will be exiting the position and will be replaced by Jennifer Cochis, who previously served as the Festival’s Creative Director.
Allain, also an award winning independent producer of films you’ll certainly be familiar with, like “Hustle & Flow,” “Beyond the Lights,” “Dear White People,” and more, is leaving to focus on producing. Currently on her plate are is the Netflix series adaptation of “Dear White People,” from Justine Simien, as well as Gerard McMurray’s “Burning Sands” and Alfre Woodard vehicle, “Juanita,” which will be directed by Clark Johnson.
“It has been such an honor to shine a spotlight on women and directors of color,” said Allain, “and leaving is bittersweet. But I know that the festival is in extremely capable hands with Jennifer Cochis at the helm because she helped me build it.”
“Jennifer Cochis is a brilliant new force on the Festival scene and I am extremely happy to have her step into this new role,” said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. “She brings so much experience, intelligence and passion to everything she does. She’s worked closely with the mighty Stephanie Allain on the Festival for the past two years, first as Senior Programmer and then as Creative Director, turning the Festival into a powerful platform for discovering new and diverse talent.”
Cochis, also a producer and a Sundance Institute Creative Producers Lab Fellow, added: “It’s an incredibly exciting challenge to build upon the great work that Stephanie has done at the LA Film Festival these past five years. I am passionate about continuing to grow this Festival, bringing together audacious and brave visual storytellers with the audiences of Los Angeles.”
The 23rd LA Film Festival, which will take place June 14 – June 22, 2017 at ArcLight is currently accepting submissions. The early deadline for submissions is October 28, the regular deadline is November 18 and the late deadline is December 16, 2016. Visit www.lafilmfestival.com for submission guidelines and forms.