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Los Angeles Film Festival Announces new director – Stephanie Allain

HollywoodNews.com: Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced the selection of accomplished film producer Stephanie Allain as its new Los Angeles Film Festival Director, starting immediately. She succeeds Rebecca Yeldham, who recently elected to step down for personal reasons.

Stephanie will be working closely with Festival Managing Director Gloria Campbell and Festival Artistic Director David Ansen, as well as Associate Director of Programming Doug Jones, Senior Programmer Maggie Mackay and Programming Coordinator Jenn Wilson. “Stephanie has served on the Film Independent Board of Directors since 2007 and been involved in many aspects of the organization. She’s chaired the Spirit Awards Nominating Committee and been a huge supporter of Project Involve, as well as our year-round educational programs,” said Co-President Sean Mc Manus. “Stephanie has a clear vision for the Festival, a stellar track record as a producer and a deep commitment to the Festivalʼs filmmaker-centric focus.”

“We so appreciate all that Rebecca has done to grow the Los Angeles Film Festival into what it is today, and usher it into its new, vibrant home downtown. Rebeccaʼs creativity, taste, and warmth attracted top-notch filmmakers to the Festival, and she departs with a world-class curatorial team in place,” said Co-President Josh Welsh. “To have Stephanie carry on Rebeccaʼs great work and build upon it is a dream come true.”

“My passion for Film Independent has only grown over the years, and I couldnʼt be
happier to become even more involved in an organization that puts filmmakers first and supports them in specific and tangible ways,” said Stephanie. “The Los Angeles Film Festival is a unique celebration of cinema and a hub for filmmakers and film lovers, especially for those of us who live and work in the film industry. I canʼt wait to dive in and develop creative ways in which we can expand the Festival and its programs.”

Stephanie Allain is a film producer and former studio executive who has been an advocate for visionary filmmakers for more than two decades. As a Columbia Pictures executive, she was instrumental in the making of John Singletonʼs Boyz n The Hood, which garnered him two Academy Award® nominations and set the bar for contemporary urban dramas. She spent a decade at the studio launching the careers of first-time filmmakers including Singleton, Robert Rodriguez and Darnell Martin. Several of the films she supervised, including El Mariachi and I Like It Like That, garnered awards at the Cannes, Telluride and Sundance film festivals. During her tenure at Columbia Pictures, she rose through the ranks to become Senior Vice President of Production–the highest creative production position for an African-American for over a decade.

From 1996-2000, Allain served as President of Jim Henson Pictures, where she produced Muppets From Space, Elmo In Grouchland and Caroline Thompsonʼs Buddy. In 2000, she headed production at 3 Arts Entertainment, producing Biker Boyz and Good Boy! In 2004, she formed her own production company, Homegrown Pictures, and produced Craig Brewerʼs Hustle & Flow, which won the Audience Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, an Academy Award® for Best Original Song and earned a Film Independent Spirit Award and Academy Award® Best Actor nomination for Terrence Howard.

In 2005, she produced Sanaa Hamriʼs directorial debut, Something New, for Focus
Features, with the film earning two nominations for the NAACP Awards. She also
produced Brewerʼs Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci. In 2008, Allain traveled to her native New Orleans to produce Hurricane Season, starring Forest Whitaker and Taraji P. Henson, for The Weinstein Company.

Most recently, she produced Tina Gordon Chismʼs directorial debut, We The Peeples, starring Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington, which will be released by Lionsgate in 2013.

Allain is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the
Producers Guild of America. She recently sat on the Board of Film Independent and
currently serves on the Board of Women In Film. She has chaired the Spirit Awards
Nominating Committee, juried numerous festivals and has taught at USCʼs Peter Stark Program and the Entertainment Studies Division of UCLA. She lives in Los Angeles with her composer husband, Stephen Bray, and their fast emptying nest.

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
Independentʼs 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 Independentʼs Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round
networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independentʼs 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 FilmIndependent.org.

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