LACMA, Film Independent collaborate on new film series


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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which nearly did away with its 41-year-old film program two years ago before a public outcry reversed the decision, announced Wednesday morning that it had entered into partnership with Film Independent to create a new film series. The museum’s agreement with the nonprofit organization behind the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival is effective immediately, with new programming to begin in September.


‘In conversations with the film community over the past year, we have decided that collaboration and partnership is the most effective way to advance the shared mission of our organization,’ Michael Govan, LACMA director, said in a statement.

Not part of this new partnership is Ian Birnie, who has been with LACMA’s film department for 15 years and is currently the museum’s consulting curator. He will be leaving in the fall. Birnie’s final film series will be a Tim Burton retrospective this summer that is timed with the Burton exhibition opening at the museum on May 29.

Film Independent’s programming department and a new lead programmer, starting this summer, will serve as curators; the New York Times is the series’ sole presenting sponsor.

As in the past, the new programming will include previews of feature-length narrative and documentary films, archival films and repertory series, international films, along with conversations with new and veteran filmmakers and artists, family films and special guest-curated programs. There will also be monthly post-screening receptions.

And senior citizens who frequent the Tuesday matinees at the Leo S. Bing Theatre will be happy to know that those screenings will continue under the new arrangement.

‘Our partnership with LACMA,’ Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson said in a statement, ‘is a wonderful way for Film Independent to further strengthen our commitment to championing film artists and bringing their work to a larger audience.’

For the record, 10:53 a.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the announcement about the new film series was made Tuesday.


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-- Susan King