Free time at Laemmle for IFP/West members

Screenings part of new member services

Filmmakers who are members of Independent Feature Project/West will be able to hold free screenings of their pictures at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theaters in Los Angeles under a new program announced Thursday.

The screenings are part of what IFP/West said are a number of new services “that will give support to its members in the new millennium.” Under the program, members may screen 16mm or 35mm films on Thursday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.

“It makes no sense for our theater to be empty when we are not using it, and it seems perfect to offer it to filmmakers who could really use the screening facilities,” said Greg Laemmle, vice president of Laemmle Theatres. “We all hope that this might help get a film acquired, and then one day they can come back and eventually open here.”

Dawn Hudson, exec director of the non-profit IFP/West, founded in 1980, said she is “thrilled and grateful that businesses like Laemmle Theatres have given back to the independent film community in a such a visible way.”

In addition to the screening program, the organization has established an equipment rental program that enables filmmakers to use Canon and Sony DV digital camera packages at low rates. The rental fee includes training from industry professionals.

IFP/West is also sponsoring IndieLink, a program of quarterly gatherings that give members a chance to meet one another and discuss their work. Each session is limited to 25 craftspeople and 25 filmmakers. Last month, the series paired cinematographers and directors.

Also instituted recently:

  • The Resident Line Producer Program, which enables filmmakers to consult, at no cost, with professional line producers who will evaluate both script and production schedules. The introductory consultation is a one-hour session covering the production basics, while the production consultation is a two-hour session that goes into more detail, including budgets and shooting schedules;

  • The Filmmakers’ Forum , in which industry professionals and indie filmmakers can discuss specific aspects of filmmaking, from conception to completion. Each series covers a different topic for four consecutive weeks, and each topic is looked at in four different ways — examining the craft, business and legal issues, and a practical skills workshop.

Reservations, for members only, can be scheduled through the IFP/West resource coordinator at (310) 475-4379, ext. 24.

IFP/West has 4,500 members, part of a nationwide membership of 8,000. It supports the development, production and distribution of independent films in the United States.