— Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, announced that Jennifer Cochis is being promoted to Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Cochis, a fresh and visionary producer who has worked with the likes of Drake Doremus and James Ponsoldt, has also served as the Festival’s Creative Director, collaborating with outgoing Festival Director Stephanie Allain on all aspects of the Festival. An award winning independent producer, Allain (Hustle & Flow, Beyond the Lights) is in production on Justin Simien’s Netflix series Dear White People, posting Gerard McMurray’s Burning Sands and prepping Juanita, an Alfre Woodard vehicle to be directed by Clark Johnson.
“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.”
"Jennifer is a secret weapon,” said Film Independent Board Chair Mary Sweeney, “and I expect exciting things for the LA Film Festival from her."
“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.”
“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,” said Cochis. “I am passionate about continuing to grow this Festival, bringing together audacious and brave visual storytellers with the audiences of Los Angeles.”
In addition to her festival work, Cochis has produced critically acclaimed films, both fiction (James Ponsoldt’sSmashed and Drake Doremus’ Douchebag) and non-fiction (Marius Markevicius’s The Other Dream Team and Elise Salomon’s Los Wild Ones). She is a Sundance Institute Creative Producers Lab Fellow and was awarded their prestigious Sheila C. Johnson Fellowship. Currently, she is the Digital Studio Head for Joss Whedon's Save the Day, a pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, creating short videos that aim to get people out to vote.
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. Please visit www.lafilmfestival.com for submission guidelines and forms.