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Made in LA: Show us your LA and your vision for the future

Film Independent

Non-profit organization

Made in LA highlights LA’s diversity by selecting 50 short films by LA residents to be featured in an online interactive map and at the LA Film Festival.



What does your organization do?

Film Independent is dedicated to helping filmmakers get their films made, building the audience for independent film and increasing diversity in the film industry.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

To show the diversity and beauty of what it means to live in LA today (and hint at its future), we will engage people through a call for submissions to create films focused on their LA neighborhood or community. 50 films representing 50 LA neighborhoods will be hosted on a playlist on Film Independent’s YouTube channel and on an interactive online map. A free community screening at the 2019 LA Film Festival will feature a selection of these films, followed by a discussion and networking event.

Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Attendance at cultural events
  • Residential segregation
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to CREATE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Trainings and/or in-person engagements
  • Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement
  • Allow Angelenos to tell the public about their own diverse communities and the people and places that make them special.

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?

LA is one of the most diverse places on earth and is home to people from every country and culture. It is also home to the film industry — a place that falls dramatically short of reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles. To quote Mayor Garcetti, “When ‘Oscars So White’ and ‘Time’s Up’ put a spotlight on inequality in Hollywood, they captured the frustrations of people shut out of the opportunity in what the world knows as LA’s signature industry.” With Made in LA, we aim to open the door for those opportunities, giving a voice to everyone in LA and creating a more connected sense of community by including these important stories in the conversation. We will empower 50 filmmakers (or 50 filmmaker teams) to show us their LA through a series of shorts to be featured as part of an online interactive map and with select films premiering at the LA Film Festival.

Film Independent will host an open call for community members to submit short films inspired by a three-part prompt: 1) show us your LA, 2) tell us who you are and 3) speak to your future hopes for your neighborhood or the county. There will be no cost to submit, eliminating barriers for filmmakers. Submissions will be solicited via outreach to film schools, LA-based cultural organizations, Film Independent online presence (one million subscribers) and more. All submissions will be reviewed by our Digital Content and LA Film Festival programming team. 50 short works will be selected to represent every corner of the county—from Malibu to East LA and from Long Beach to the Valley. Creators will be diverse, representing an inclusive spectrum of race, gender, ability, sexuality, immigration status and socio-economic status. Likewise, creators are encouraged to explore the prompt across a variety of genres.

The call for entries will be announced at the LA Film Festival in September 2018. Allowing time to finalize selections, the shorts will begin to premiere online in February 2019. The films will roll out over approximately six months and will be added to a custom playlist on YouTube. The primary digital activation will be on an interactive microsite at filmindependent.org featuring a map of LA, with tiles for the short films placed over their neighborhood that play and expand when clicked. Each short film will include bios, headshots and social media info for the filmmakers. As each film is released, our marketing team will promote the film through social channels, inviting Angelenos to have open discussions about the future of LA and connect on social media. A selection of shorts will play on the big screen as part of a free community event at the LA Film Festival including a conversation with filmmakers discussing how to get more involved in your community followed by a networking event, serving as a way for people to engage and connect in-person. We intend to open up a dialogue about LA and its future by inviting all Angelenos to participate in the conversation and have their stories told.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect

The Made in LA truly democratizes the way in which Angelenos can connect to one another in their vision for the future of Los Angeles. The activation encourages community members to come together and learn about the diversity that makes Los Angeles a beautiful place to live. At Film Independent, we believe that visual storytelling has the power to change the way people see the world. As Roger Ebert said, “Movies are the most powerful empathy machines in all the arts.” Content creators have the power to foster understanding, to change hearts and minds and to help sustain a modern, pluralist society. Our community is enriched when the stories told through film reflect the visions of diverse independent artists. Through this activation, we are inviting all Angelenos to create content, regardless of their filmmaking (or lack of filmmaking) background. This activation will represent all populations and communities across the County.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

Film Independent is wholly committed to this activation and will measure success using a variety of quantitative and qualitative benchmarks. Quantitative measures include number of people who attend the event at the LA Film Festival, number of people who submit films for consideration, number of people who view the films on the interactive microsite and on the YouTube playlist and number of people who engage on social media. We aim to engage creators and community members who reflect the broad demographics of Los Angeles across race, gender, ability, sexuality, immigration status and socio-economic status. We will collect these stats to meet program benchmarks. Additionally, qualitative measures include collecting the sentiments of engagement on social media, the points of view and stories we receive from all submissions, not just the selected short films and the conversations that arise out of the LA Film Festival event. We will survey the Festival attendees to ask demographic questions, as well as open ended questions about whether they are inspired to participate in future community discussions, whether they feel like they learned about other neighborhoods in LA, how eager they are to visit neighborhoods across the county, whether or not they connected with the filmmakers on social media and more.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

We expect that in five years, this map will continue to be a way for Angelenos to learn about the diversity of their community and the different neighborhoods our unique county includes. Film Independent is always exploring ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the film industry and find exciting avenues to engage artists and community members. This activation will further our goals for serving community members and filmmakers alike. It will provide a forum for talented, diverse filmmakers with unique voices to celebrate all that LA offers and encourage their peers to create stories that draw from their own diverse surroundings.


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