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L.A. Film Fest taps Stephanie Allain as director

Move is latest of numerous changes at indie org

Newly-named Los Angeles Film Fest director Stephanie Allain said that “Los Angeles needs a film festival that everyone goes to — particularly to discover young talent. They shouldn’t have to go to Sundance and Toronto to do that.”

Film Independent tapped the producer to replace Rebecca Yeldham, who recently stepped down for personal reasons after three years.

Allain said she’s looking to build on Yeldham’s efforts to make the festival an indispensable event for filmmakers and fans, and looking to spike interest in the fest by bringing in music events, much like South by Southwest.

Film Independent has seen numerous changes in the past year: In April, the org’s topper, Dawn Hudson, jumped to AMPAS just days after launching a new film program in association with LACMA. Elvis Mitchell was brought on as curator of the LACMA program in June, and earlier this month, Sean McManus and Josh Welsh were named co-toppers of the org, replacing Hudson.

Allain will be working with festival managing director Gloria Campbell and festival artistic director David Ansen on the event set to run June 14-24.

Allain has worked with Film Independent for several years, serving on the board of directors since 2007 and chairing the Spirit Awards nominating committee.

“Stephanie has a clear vision for the festival, a stellar track record as a producer and a deep commitment to the festival’s filmmaker-centric focus,” said McManus.

Welsh also lauded Yeldham’s work, noting that she led the fest’s move from Westwood to downtown L.A. in 2010.

Allain worked for a decade at Columbia, rising to senior VP of production, and was involved in John Singleton’s “Boyz n the Hood,” Robert Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi” and Darnell Martin’s “I Like It Like That.” She served stints at Jim Henson Pictures and 3 Arts, then formed Homegrown Pictures and produced Craig Brewer’s “Hustle and Flow.”

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