Making the Invisible Visible: Financing and Distributing Projects About Underrepresented Realities
While the production of content that reflects the diversity and complexity of society in terms of gender, race, sexual identity and class is a priority for many independent filmmakers in the United States and Europe, the financing and distribution of these stories can often be challenging.
In this panel, industry experts will discuss how grants and public and private financing can make such underrepresented stories possible. Case studies of crossover strategies, marketing and communication, and festival distribution will also be analyzed.
LUCY MUKERJEE – Director of Programming at Outfest and NewFest LGBTQ Film Festivals
As the Director of Programming at Outfest, Lucy oversees the curation of three of the country's most prominent LGBTQ film festivals, Outfest Los Angeles, Outfest Fusion and NewFest, and also helms various year-round educational programs dedicated to increasing the visibility of the queer community within the entertainment industry. Lucy's extensive industry background includes having produced two dozen theatrical feature films, predominately for Lionsgate and Warner Bros. She is a two-time Film Independent fellow, and a member of BAFTA and the Producers Guild of America. She can regularly be found moderating discussions about queer cinema and speaking at panels and events for various media outlets, organizations and colleges. Lucy’s most recent feature film Jack Of The Red Hearts won the Grand Jury Prize at Geena Davis’ inaugural Bentonville Film Festival, and was released in theaters nationwide in 2016. Lucy is also proud to be a part of a group of cultural changemakers - the Queer Producers Collective.
LASHAWN MCGHEE –CPO and co-founder at Revry
LaShawn is one of the Co-Founders of REVRY Inc. The world’s first LGBTQ+ digital streaming platform. QUEERATING the best Movies, TV, Digital Series, Music, Podcasts, and Originals. REVRY is dedicated to showcasing artistry that truly represents the breadth of the queer experience. In addition to her work with REVRY, LaShawn is the Head of Production for OUT Web Fest, Hollywood's 1st short form, digital media festival celebrating the progressive, evolution of authentic LGBT storytelling and experiences. LaShawn supported her country as an army nurse for nine years before committing to her film career. With a masters in film from AFI, LaShawn has worked on film, television, and documentary projects in both Editor and Assistant Editor capacities.
Jules Nurrish – Director & Writer
Jules is a British director and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. Her short films have screened at film festivals and cultural institutions worldwide. Jules is the co-writer of feature drama Anchor and Hope (2018), a UK-Spanish co-production directed by Carlos Marques Marcet, starring Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena and Geraldine Chaplin. Anchor and Hope premiered at the 2017 BFI London Film Festival and opened both the 2017 Seville European Film Festival and 2018 Guadalajara Film Festival. Jules is a joint recipient of the award for Best Non-Catalan Language Film in the 2018 Gaudí Awards.
Francisco Velasquez – Senoir Manager at Project Involve (Film Indepedent)
Francisco Velasquez received his B.A. in Latin American Literature and Theatre Arts from Occidental College. He earned his M.F.A. in Film Production at UCLA, where his thesis film Jacaranda received the coveted Bud Yorkin Master Film Fellowship and premiered at the prestigious New Films/New Directors Film Festival curated by the Film Society Lincoln Center and MoMA in New York City. Currently, Velasquez is the Senior Manager of Project Involve, Film Independent’s signature mentoring program that fosters the future generations of visual storytellers and aims towards an inclusive industry. Velasquez launched the Project Involve Shorts production component of the program and has executive produced over 30 shorts films for Film independent.
Jana Diaz-Juhl – LA OLA Director of Operations, Producer and activist (Moderator)
Jana Díaz Juhl is an LA-based Spanish multidisciplinary producer. Her feature films as producer or co-producer include ’Cry Now’ by Alberto Barboza, ‘Nadie Nos Mira’ by Julia Solomonoff, and Carlos Marques-Marcet's films (‘10,000KM’ and ‘Anchor & Hope’). Her movies won among others SXSW, AFI, Tribeca or Spanish Academy Awards.
Jana is one of the co-founders of LA PANDA Productions, a production company focused on coproductions and international services founded by eleven Spanish filmmakers with a common vision. With Axel Shalson and Pau Brunet, Jana has recently launched a new financing and producing fund focused on supporting Latin content and with an emphasis on LGTBQ and female perspectives.