Showcasing the past, present, and future of independent storytelling, IFP Week Talks give a stage to pressing issues and vital projects.


"What's Now" Talks

Monday - Thursday, September 17th - 20th

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Kick off your morning with a "What's Now" Talk! These hour-long conversations showcase innovative work from outspoken storytellers and offer in-depth looks at what's happening now across platforms in film, TV, audio, and VR.

  • How Do We ReFrame the Conversation on Intersectionality and Diversity?, presented in association with ReFrame. Panelists include: Karyn Kusama (director, Destroyer), Yolonda Ross (actor, The Chi), Christine Vachon (co-founder, Killer Films), and Judith Williams (Consultant, The ReFrame Project).

  • Dissecting 'Frankenstein A.I.,' a gothic-immersive experience exploring the evolution of conversation, creation, and artificial intelligence. After the talk, pass holders will be offered the chance to take part in the latest prototype.

  • Classic Stories for New Platforms, presented in association with The Space. Panelists include: Tom Cairns (director, A Christmas Carol), Simon Callow (actor, A Christmas Carol), Brook Crowley (producer, Artificial Things), Fiona Morris (Chief Executive and Creative Director, The Space), and Russell Stearman (digital producer, The Boy in the Book).

  • A Look at ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcasts, presented in association with ESPN and 30 for 30 Podcasts. Panelists include Jody Avirgnan (Host and Executive Producer, 30 for 30 Podcasts), Erin Leyden (Senior Producer, ESPN Films), and Ryan Nantell (Producer, 30 for 30 Podcasts).


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Screen Forward Talks: Time for Action Forum

Saturday, September 15th

12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

The Time for Action Forum is an energizing, inspiring, no-B.S. day of panels and participatory talks centering on representation, inclusion, and political activism in media. Through a combination of moderated conversations, town hall-style discussions, and breakout roundtables, we’ll tackle the most pressing issues facing our industry from diversity to politics. 

  • 12:30pm - 1:20pm - #MeToo and the Ripple Effects: The #MeToo movement burst the floodgates of systemically pent-up abuses across the film and media industry... and beyond. Its reverberations are fresh, but in the long view of history, how do we move forward? Panelists include: Anne Carey (producer, Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Amy Fox (screenwriter, Equity), and Shruti Rya Ganguly (founder, Honto88).

  • 1:30pm - 2:20pm - Shattering Gender and Queer Standards on Screen: Identity is not a taboo, but a basic right of expression and humanity. Moving beyond mere visibility, actors and filmmakers alike are challenging the status quo and redefining women, men, trans, and non-binary representation on screen and behind the camera. Panelists include: Asia Kate Dillion (actor, Billions), Christina King (producer, We the Animals), and Kimberly Reed (director, Dark Money).

  • 2:30pm - 3:20pm - Midterms, 2020, and Beyond: Why Stories Matter: Words like "narrative" and "truth" now hold new meaning in conversation and through the media in light of Trump's ascendency to office. In short, every action is political, every story matters. How do we as artists and creators make them count towards a better tomorrow? Panelists include: David France (director, How to Survive a Plague), Nadia Hallgren (director, She’s the Ticket), and Jim McKay (director, En el Septimo Dia).

This day of programming aims to create a fluid, open dialogue between our invited speakers and our attendees. By breaking down these barriers, we can get to work on progress and change in our industry—for the artist, citizen, and human in us all. Panelists and featured guests will be announced in the upcoming weeks.


Screen Forward Talks: Notes to the Future

Sunday, September 16th

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Thousands of projects and a countless number of stories, IFP Week has seen a lot in its forty years. "Screen Forward Talks: Notes to the Future" celebrates this history by showcasing the progress and promise of independent storytelling across generations and platforms. 

  • 11:00am - 11:45 am - Lessons from IFP Alumni Then, Now, and Beyond: an incredible group of alumni across multiple generations to wax about their experiences launching their first project, what lessons they’ve learned, and what wisdom they can impart to future film artists. Featuring Ryan Koo (Amateur), Ryan O’Nan (Queen of the South), Roger Ross Williams (Life, Animated), Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs).

  • 12:00pm - 12:45 pm - Shaking the Zeitgeist: Random Acts of Flyness: Creator Terence Nance and select members of the Random Acts of Flyness writers room and production team discuss creating the genre-disrupting “talk of the summer” series, described by the New York Times as, “hypnotic, transporting, uncategorizable.”

  • 1:00pm - 1:45 pm - Through the Generations: Queen Sugar: Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar is a thoughtful, impeccably wrought TV show now entering its 4th season. It’s also a groundbreaking show behind the scenes: all of the show’s directors are women, and many are women of color. Featuring IFP Alums Kat Candler (Hellion), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), DeMane Davis (Lift), Lauren Wolkstein (The Strange Ones).

  • 3:00pm - 3:45 pm - The Truth Kicks Ass: The Year in Documentary 2018: Filmmakers from two of this year's breakout box documentary hits of the year (and two of the highest grossing docs ever!) discuss the insides and outs of being a doc filmmaker in 2018. Featuring Julie Cohen (RBG), Betsy West (RBG), and Nicholas Ma (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?).

  • 4:00pm - 4:45pm - On Reinvention and the Hustle: Top Film Producers Sound Off: Sit down with some of the top movers-and-shakers in the film industry, as they discuss film producing in 2018, and the ways they’ve tackled reinventing the profession… and themselves. Featuring Josh Braun, Julie Goldman, Riva Marker, and James Schamus.

  • 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Listen to What I Want: Sorry to Bother You: Join writer-director Boots Riley and producer Nina Yang Bongiovi as they discuss how they got what they wanted in making Sorry to Bother You, the revolutionary neo-surrealist hit of Summer 2018.