Werner Herzog Delivers Keynote at Film Independent Forum, Panelists Announced

by Anne Thompson
September 22, 2011 7:43 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
Forget the same old indie exec giving the annual Film Independent Forum keynote speech. This year the keynote speaker won't be Mark Gill, Ted Hope or Joe Drake (who gave great keynotes) but wily German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams), who tells filmmakers to read a book a day if they want to make great films.

Non-profit L.A.-based Film Independent, which also produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, adds that Herzog will also answer filmmaking questions from the audience at the seventh annual Film Independent Forum, presented by indieWIRE. The conference packs discussions, solutions, and case studies dealing with today's film industry into one weekend, October 21-23 at the Directors Guild of America (more details below).

Werner Herzog was born in Munich on September 5, 1942. He grew up in a remove mountain village in Bavaria and never saw any films, television, or telephones as a child. He started traveling on foot from the age of 14. He made his first phone call at the age of 17. During high school he worked the nightshift as a welder in a steel factory to produce this first films and made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than fifty films, published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with discussions on production, distribution and new media for both narrative and documentary films, and a chance to connect with filmmakers. Additional panelists include:


• Jason Michael Berman, producer, Learning Uncle Vincent
• Sheldon Candis, director, Learning Uncle Vincent
• Leslie Fields-Cruz, National Black Programming Consortium
• Marc Fienberg, writer/director/producer, Play the Game
• Paul Hanson, QED International
• Doug Jones, Los Angeles Film Festival
• Karyn Kusama, director, Jennifer’s Body
• Elise Pearlstein, producer, Food, Inc.
• MJ Peckos, Dada Films
• Don Roos, screenwriter, Happy Endings
• Katherine Fairfax Wright, director, Call Me Kuchu
• Malika Zouhali-Worrall, director/producer, Call Me Kuchu

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