DTLA Film Festival Announces Industry Panels

Experts to tackle three hot-button issues impacting indie filmmakers – A. I., diversity and distribution

LOS ANGELES | Oct. 28, 2023– DTLA Film Festival – a leading showcase for independent films in Los Angeles – will host three free-to-the-public film-TV industry panel discussions on Friday, Nov. 3, 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm, at the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center, 1600 East 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90033, adjacent to downtown Los Angeles.

The first panel of the day, beginning at 12:30 pm, “Ex Machina: Navigating the Rise, Ramifications and Ethical Terrain of Artificial Intelligence in Hollywood,” explores the complexities of balancing innovation with artistic integrity, the potential displacement of human creativity, and the ethical implications of AI-driven decision-making. Moderator Holly Willis, a professor and Chair of the Media Arts and Practice division at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, will be joined by actor-writer Clark Gregg, Storia AI CEO Mihail Eric, casting director Marci Liroff, producer Hilary Shor, USC professor of theater Alexandra Billings, and content strategist Phillip Ruffini.

The second panel, beginning at 2 pm, “The Future of Independent Film in the Streaming Age,” discusses the foundational question of whether the rise of streaming content is friend or foe to the independent filmmaker and the indie film industry at large. Moderator Lorraine Ali, an award-winning reporter with Los Angeles Times, will be joined by Underrated indie-film platform CEO Matt Post, seasoned film-TV producer Jiarui Guo, DTLA Film Festival co-founder Henry Priest, development executive and producer German Michael Torres, DTLA Film Festival’s Opening Night Film (“Hail Mary”) producer Karina Miller, and director-writer Allie Cuerdo.

The third and final panel of the day, beginning at 3:30 pm, “Evolving the Conversation on Diversity and Cinema,” critically re-examines Hollywood’s diversity landscape in 2023, now almost 8 years after the “OscarsSowhite” hashtag prompted the industry to change course … or, did it? Moderator Kellianne Rae Jordan, producer, writer and award-winning actor, will be joined by asexual non-binary autistic Vietnamese-American actor and filmmaker Heather Muriel Nguyễn, Made With Love media producer Christian Ting, Seven Directions Studios head Rosa Constanza, Commercial Directors Diversity Program head Tamika Lamison, director of “Hail Mary” (DTLA Film Festival’s Opening Night Film) Rosemary Rodriguez, and autistic and non-binary actor/writer Analesa Fisher.

“These are especially turbulent times for the world of independent filmmaking, both on the creative and business sides. Through these panels we hope to empower filmmakers with the knowledge to enable them to survive and even thrive in the immediate future,” says Michelle Fang, Panels Producer. Fang was joined by David Dixon and Samantha Bui in developing the panels.

The panels are being provided by DTLA Film Festival in partnership with the nonprofit HNDP at the Boyle Heights Technology Youth Source Center. For more thanr 15yrs, the Boyle Heights Technology Youth Source Center has provided low-income youth between the ages of 14 to 24 with paid internships, resources surrounding career paths, and job training.

Additional details about the panels and the panelists can be found here.

All three panels are free, ticketed events available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis with limited seating. Tickets can be reserved on the festival’s website here. The 15th annual DTLA Film Festival will be held Nov. 1-5 at Regal LA LIVE and event venues throughout downtown Los Angeles.

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About DTLA Film Festival
Founded in 2008 as a nonprofit (501)(c)(3) arts organization, DTLA Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing films by and about groups underrepresented by Hollywood in the historic center of the Creative Capital of the World. The festival also strives to reflect in its programming the unique cultural and ethnic diversity of the neighborhoods of downtown Los Angeles and its surrounding communities. For more information about the 2023 DTLA Film Festival, visit: https://dtlaff.com

About HDNP
Since 2009 HNDP has offered free entertainment industry mentorship programs to youth throughout Los Angeles and surrounding cities. Together, the Boyle Heights Technology Youth Source Center and HNDPcombine as a solution to community development that focuses on dissolving poverty in the most impoverished communities throughout Los Angeles. By bringing experiences, like the DTLA Film Festival, to the community level, we are adding to the opportunities that exist for the next generation of creative professionals to find that career path and get the needed spark of inspiration. More: www.HNDP.LA and follow us on Instagram @HDNP.LA

Press Contact
Greg Ptacek