The fine folks at Film Independent once again brought a filmmaking education right to your eyeballs (virtually and in-person) with their annual DIRECTORS CLOSE-UP, and SAGindie returned as a premier sponsor. This year’s weekly panel series was a hybrid of online and live events, in conjunction with the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards. DCU 2022 took place from January 26 – March 16, and featured Spirit Award-nominated filmmakers talking about their craft and offering advice.

Check out the full schedule and event highlights below!

[UPDATED: 4/8/22]  


January 26 – The Spirit of Independence: Directors Roundtable


  • Janicza Bravo (co-writer/director, Zola)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (writer/director, The Lost Daughter)
  • Lauren Hadaway (writer/director, The Novice)
  • Mike Mills (writer/director, C’mon C’mon)
  • Ninja Thyberg (co-writer/director, Pleasure)
  • Moderated by Josh Welsh (President, Film Independent)


February 2 – Small Screen, Big Picture: TV Creators


  • Rafael Casal (creator, Blindspotting)
  • Daveed Diggs (creator, Blindspotting)
  • Sterlin Harjo (creator, Reservation Dogs)
  • Peter Hoar (director/executive producer, It’s a Sin)
  • Barry Jenkins (creator/director, The Underground Railroad)
  • Moderated by Wendy Calhoun (producer/writer, Prodigal Son)


February 9 – A Different Type of Narrative, Pt. 1 – Feature Documentaries


  • Robert Greene (director, Procession)
  • Jessica Kingdon (director/producer, Ascension)
  • Jonas Poher Rasmussen (writer/director, Flee)
  • Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (director, Summer of Soul)
  • Nanfu Wang (director/producer, In the Same Breath)
  • Moderated by Sandi Tan (writer/director, Shirkers)


February 9 – A Different Type of Narrative, Pt. 2 – Documentary Series


  • Yoni Brook (director/producer, Philly D.A.)
  • Nick Cammilleri (director/executive producer, The Lady and the Dale)
  • David Choe (creator/executive producer, The Choe Show)
  • Zachary Drucker (director/executive producer, The Lady and the Dale)
  • Geeta Gandbhir (director/executive producer, Black and Missing)
  • Soledad O’Brien (executive producer, Black and Missing)
  • Ted Passon (director/producer, Philly D.A.)
  • Paco Raterta (director, The Choe Show)
  • Ry Russo-Young (director/producer, Nuclear Family)
  • Moderated by Eddie Schmidt (executive producer, Ugly Delicious)


February 16 – On the Global Screen: International Filmmakers


  • Pedro Almodóvar (writer/director/producer, Parallel Mothers)
  • Jonas Carpignano (writer/director, A Chiara)
  • Tatiana Huezo (writer/director, Prayers for the Stolen)
  • Juho Kuosmanen (co-writer/director, Compartment Number 6)
  • Céline Sciamma (writer/director, Petite Maman)
  • P.S. Vinothraj (writer/director, Pebbles)
  • Moderated by Alan Poul (executive producer, Tokyo Vice)


February 16 – The Director’s Debut


  • Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr. (writer/director/producer, Wild Indian)
  • Nana Mensah (writer/director, Queen of Glory)
  • Shatara Michelle Ford (writer/director/producer, Test Pattern)
  • Nicole Riegel (writer/director, Holler)
  • Roshan Sethi (co-writer/director, 7 Days)
  • Moderated by Shelby Stone (executive producer, The Chi)


February 23 – The Spirit of Cassavetes: Making a Low Budget Movie


  • Clint Bentley (co-writer/director/producer, Jockey)
  • Talia Lugacy (writer/director/producer, This Is Not a War Story)
  • Alexandre Rockwell (writer/director, Sweet Thing)
  • Emma Seligman (writer/director/producer, Shiva Baby)
  • Dash Shaw (writer/director, Cryptozoo)
  • Moderated by Isabel Sandoval (writer/director, Lingua Franca)


March 2 – From Page to Screen: Writing and Directing


  • Nikole Beckwith (writer/director, Together Together)
  • Vanessa Block (co-writer, Pig)
  • Janicza Bravo (co-writer/director, Zola)
  • Sheldon D. Brown (co-writer/actor, Cicada)
  • Matt Fifer (co-writer/co-director/actor, Cicada)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (writer/director, The Lost Daughter)
  • Jeremy O. Harris (co-writer, Zola)
  • Michael Sarnoski (co-writer/director, Pig)
  • Todd Stephens (writer/director, Swan Song)
  • Moderated by Jane Anderson (writer, The Wife)


March 9 – Casting and Directing Actors


  • Henry Russell Bergstein (casting director, Mass)
  • Allison Estrin (casting director, Mass)
  • Fran Kranz (writer/director/producer, Mass)
  • Moderated by Darrien Michele Gipson (Executive Director, SAGindie)


March 16 – In Conversation with Guillermo del Toro


  • Guillermo del Toro (director/producer/co-writer, Nightmare Alley)
  • Moderated by J.J. Abrams (director/producer, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens)

Film Independent Directors Close-Up 2022 is sponsored by Premier Sponsors SAGindie, Landmark Theatres, and Directors Guild of America (DGA), and Supporting Sponsor Mississippi Film Office.


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