Co-presented by Women In Film Los Angeles and Sundance Institute

The global COVID pandemic has caused immense shifts across the film industry. With productions halted, film festivals postponed or canceled, and movie theaters closed for the foreseeable future, what does this mean for independent filmmakers seeking to finance their next project? 

The event consists of two portions - the first hour focusing on fiction features, and the second on documentary features. Each portion engages a panel of industry leaders with expertise in the changing world of film finance. They unpack their insights on the short and long-term ramifications of the pandemic and offer critical guidance for artists seeking to pivot their financing strategies accordingly.

Confirmed Panelists include:


Heather Rae, Illuminative

Maren Olson, CAA

Tracy van Slyke, Pop Culture Collaborative

Julie Rapaport, Amazon Studios


Carrie Lozano, IDA

Cara Mertes, Ford Foundation

Kevin Iwashina, Endeavor Content

Ruth Ann Harnisch, The Harnisch Foundation

Resources for Artists

Los Angeles, CA, USA
Karim Ahmad was the Director of Outreach & Inclusion at the Sundance Institute, where he oversaw emerging artist outreach initiatives and cross-discipline creative / professional development activations and partnerships. He also lead inclusion strategy across the organization, and advocacy for marginalized artists in the field. Previously, he was Senior Strategist for ITVS, where he oversaw numerous film funds and headed digital content production and creative development for episodic and immersive media. He was the Creator and Senior Producer of Indie Lens Storycast, an Independent Lens branded YouTube channel on PBS’ Digital Studios MCN, and the Creator and Showrunner of the iconic sci-fi series, FUTURESTATES . Karim is also an independent cross-platform writer and producer and can be found on Twitter as @thatkarimahmad. more...
Heather Rae has produced such films as Academy Award–nominated FROZEN RIVER, Netflix originals TALLULAH AND DUDE, festival darling I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS, award-winning THE DRY LAND, and more recently, BULL, which premiered at Cannes. Rae has been recognized as one of Variety’s “Producers to Watch” and won the Piaget and Cinereach producers awards. more...
Kevin Iwashina is Head of Endeavor Content Documentary, a global leader in the production, distribution, financing and sales of premium film, television, and audio content. In his role, Iwashina identifies financing opportunities, handles sales and provides advisory services for media companies, global corporations and content creators in the premium non-scripted space. more...
Carrie Lozano is the Director of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program and Artist Programs, and is an award winning documentary filmmaker and journalist. Prior to Sundance, she was director of the International Documentary Association's Enterprise Documentary and Pare Lorentz funds, where she supported more than 60 diverse films and filmmakers at the intersection of documentary and journalism, including WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, A THOUSAND CUTS, and THROUGH THE NIGHT. more...

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