Chloe Zhao, Emerald Fennell Announced as Film Independent's Directors Close-Up Panelists

100% of this year’s DCU panelists will be 2021 Spirit Award nominees

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Film Independent, the nonprofit organization that produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, has announced its panelists for the 2021 Directors Close-Up panel series.

Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), Edson Oda (“Nine Days”), Eliza Hittman (“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”), James LeBrecht (“Crip Camp,”) Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”) Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”), Radha Blank (“The 40-Year-Old Version”) and Steve McQueen (“Small Axe”) are just a few of the panelists announced. As previously announced, 100% of this year’s panelists will be 2021 Spirit Award nominees, which is a first in the history of the long-running program.

The Directors Close-Up series offers TV and film creators and fans the opportunity to hear some of the most celebrated filmmakers of the year discuss their craft. It will take place every Wednesday over the course of two months. You can view the schedule and how to attend here.

“This year’s Directors Close Up encompasses everything Film Independent stands for: a confluence of emerging talent with veteran filmmakers,” María Raquel Bozzi, Film Independent’s Senior Director of Education and International Initiatives, said in a statement. She added that this year’s DCU panelists are “creating the most provocative, imaginative, and inclusive stories in Film and TV on a global scale.”

Previous panelists over the years have included Sean Baker, Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, Barry Jenkins, Richard Linklater, Issa Rae, Josh and Benny Safdie, Justin Simien and Denis Villeneuve, among many more.

More participants will be announced soon and you can see the full list of announced panelists below.

Alex Thompson (director, Saint Frances)
Alexander Nanau (director, Collective)
Alice Wu (writer/director, The Half of It)
Andy Siara (writer, Palm Springs)
Anna Winger (creator, Unorthodox)
Chaitanya Tamhane (writer/director, The Disciple)
Channing Godfrey Peoples (writer/director, Miss Juneteenth)
Chloé Zhao (writer/director/editor, Nomadland)
Christine Clusiau (co-director, Immigration Nation)
Darius Marder (co-writer/director, Sound of Metal)
Edson Oda (writer/director, Nine Days)
Eliza Hittman (writer/director, Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
Emerald Fennell (writer/director, Promising Young Woman)
Emily V. Gordon (creator, Little America)
Garrett Bradley (director, Time)
Heidi Ewing (co-director, Love Fraud and co-writer/director, I Carry You With Me)
Isabel Sandoval (writer/director, Lingua Franca)
James LeBrecht (co-director, Crip Camp)
James Sweeney (writer, Straight Up)
Jasmila Žbanić (writer/director, Quo Vadis, Aida?)
Juliano Dornelles (co-writer/co-director, Bacurau)
Kelly O’Sullivan (writer/actor, Saint Frances)
Kelly Reichardt (writer/director, First Cow)
Kirsten Johnson (director, Dick Johnson is Dead)
Kitty Green (writer/director, The Assistant)
Kleber Mendonça Filho (co-writer/co-director, Bacurau)
Kumail Nanjiani (creator, Little America)
Lee Eisenberg (creator, Little America)
Lee Isaac Chung (writer/director, Minari)
Lili Horvát (writer/director, Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time)
Maite Alberdi (writer/director The Mole Agent)
Maro Chermayeff (director Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children)
Merawi Gerima (writer/director, Residue)
Mike Makowsky (writer, Bad Education)
Nicole Newnham (co-director, Crip Camp)
Noah Hutton (writer, Lapsis)
Patricia Vidal Delgado (writer/director, La Leyenda Negra)
Peter LoGreco (executive producer/director, We’re Here)
Rachel Grady (co-director, Love Fraud)
Radha Blank (writer/director/actor, The Forty-Year-Old Version)
Robert Machoian (writer/director, The Killing of Two Lovers)
Sam Pollard (director, Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children)
Shaul Schwarz (co-director, Immigration Nation)
Steve James (director, City So Real)
Steve McQueen (creator/director, Small Axe)

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