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By Ray Pride

[PR] Rebecca Yeldham new director of LA Film Festival

Rebecca Yeldham.jpgLOS ANGELES (March 12, 2009) – Film Independent announced today that Rebecca Yeldham is joining the organization as the Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, effective immediately. Rachel Rosen serves as Director of Programming for Film Independent and the Los Angeles Film Festival, and had been working with Film Independent’s Senior Director Sean McManus as interim Co-Directors during the search for a new Festival Director.
“Rebecca has a wide range of experience in the industry and she’s an inspiring leader—her many talents make her a natural fit for the Los Angeles Film Festival,” said Dawn Hudson, Executive Director of Film Independent. “She has been intimately involved in the building of this festival and the organization over the last nine years as a Film Independent Board member. Rebecca shares our vision of expanding the festival within Los Angeles and the global film community by introducing audiences to unique filmmakers and their films.” [S]aid Yeldham. “In these times, there is such a desire to come together and celebrate our unique city, community and industry, to bridge differences and champion great filmmaking and film-going experiences. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join this dynamic team and lead the charge in taking this Festival to the next level.” Yeldham has built a career as a producer, festival programmer, and production and acquisition executive. In addition to serving on Film Independent’s Executive Board, she has also participated in several international film festival juries and selection committees, including the Spirit Awards, the Edinburgh Film Festival, and the Buenos Aires International Film Festival. As filmmaker Walter Salles’ producing partner, Yeldham is currently developing On the Road, based on the seminal novel by Jack Kerouac, and in post-production on the documentary Searching for the Road. Her producing credits include Marc Forster’s The Kite Runner, Walter Salles’ Linha de Passe and The Motorcycle Diaries, and Sacha Gervasi’s i>Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

Prior to becoming an independent producer, Yeldham served as Senior Vice President of Production at FilmFour, where she headed up the U.S. production wing. From 1997 to 2001, she was the Senior Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival and Associate Director of the Sundance Instituteís International Programs. During this time, she was responsible for organizing initiatives to support emerging screenwriters, producers and directors around the world, and helped launch a generation of filmmakers, including Marc Forster, Walter Salles, Miguel Arteta, Karyn Kusama, Chris Smith, and Darren Aronofsky. From 1990 to 1994, Yeldham served as Director of Acquisitions and Business Affairs for Fox/Lorber and Associates, where she acquired such films as John Wooís first major U.S. release, The Killer, and George Sluizerís The Vanishing.
This summer, over the course of ten days from June 18 – June 28 in Westwood Village, Film Independentís Los Angeles Film Festival will showcase the best of American and international independent cinema. With an expected audience of more than 100,000 people, the festival will screen more than 175 narrative features, documentaries, shorts, and music videos, alongside gala premieres, panels and seminars, free outdoor screenings, Family Day, and live musical performances.
Now in its fourteenth year, the Los Angeles Film Festival is widely recognized as a world-class event, providing the movie-loving public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers, scholars, critics, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.
The Festival also features unique signature programs including the Filmmaker Retreat, the Spirit of Independence Award ceremony and gala, and Financing Conference. Additionally, the Festival screens short films created by high school students and has a special section devoted to music videos.
Approximately 110 features, 100 shorts, and 50 music videos, representing more than 40 countries, make up the main body of the Festival. Films submitted to the Festival are reviewed by Film Independentís programming department, which evaluates each film, looking for the best in new American and international independent cinema.
Awards are given out in the following categories at the conclusion of the Festival: Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature with an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000; Target Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary Feature with an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000; Outstanding Performance in the Narrative Competition; Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature; Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature; Audience Award for Best International Feature; Best Narrative Short Film; Best Documentary Short Film; Best Animated/Experimental Short Film; Audience Award for Best Music Video; and the Audience Award for Best Short Film.
For more information, please visit
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 Independent’s 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, film industry leader, or a film lover.
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 Independent also offers free Filmmaker Labs for selected writers, directors, and producers; provides cut-rate services for filmmakers; and presents year-round networking opportunities. Film Independent’s mentorship and job placement program, Project:Involve, pairs emerging culturally-diverse filmmakers with film industry professionals.
Film Independent produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards. For more information or to become a member, visit
The Pulitzer-prize winning Los Angeles Times ( is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country with a daily readership of 2 million and 3 million on Sunday.~ The Times has been covering Southern California for 127 years and reaches a combined print and interactive local weekly audience of 4.5 million. ~The fast-growing now draws 10 million unique visitors monthly.
The Los Angeles Times Media Group portfolio of products also includes LA, Los Angeles Times Magazine; The Envelope (; Metromix (; Times Community Newspapers; Hoy ( and California Community News, with an overall reach of approximately 5.3 million or 40% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace.~ It is part of Tribune Company, one of the countryís leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting.~ Additional information is available at

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch