Jennifer Cochis Replaces Stephanie Allain as L.A. Film Festival Director

Dave McNary
Variety

Stephanie Allain has stepped down as the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival and been replaced by Jennifer Cochis, who has been the festival’s creative director.

Allain, whose credits include “Hustle & Flow” and “Beyond the Lights,” said she want to focus on producing. She’s in production on Justin Simien’s Netflix series “Dear White People” and in post production on Gerard McMurray’s “Burning Sands.” She’s also prepping “Juanita,” an Alfre Woodard vehicle to be directed by Clark Johnson.

“Jennifer Cochis is a brilliant new force on the Festival scene and I am extremely happy to have her step into this new role,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “She brings so much experience, intelligence and passion to everything she does. She’s worked closely with the mighty Stephanie Allain on the Festival for the past two years, first as Senior Programmer and then as Creative Director, turning the Festival into a powerful platform for discovering new and diverse talent.”

Allain became the L.A. Film Festival’s director in 2012, replacing Rebecca Yeldham, and has overseen the move of the festival this year from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City in partnership with the Arclight chain. She’s has also emphasized focusing the festival on minority and women filmmakers.

“It has been such an honor to shine a spotlight on women and directors of color,” Allain said, “and leaving is bittersweet. But I know that the festival is in extremely capable hands with Jennifer Cochis at the helm because she helped me build it.”

Cochis has produced James Ponsoldt’s “Smashed,” Drake Doremus’ “Douchebag,”  Marius Markevicius’ “The Other Dream Team” and Elise Salomon’s “Los Wild Ones.”

“It’s an incredibly exciting challenge to build upon the great work that Stephanie has done at the LA Film Festival these past five years,” Cochis said. “I am passionate about continuing to grow this Festival, bringing together audacious and brave visual storytellers with the audiences of Los Angeles.”

The 23rd L.A. Film Festival, which will take place June 14 – 22, is currently accepting submissions. The early deadline for submissions is Oct. 28, the regular deadline is Nov. 18 and the late deadline is Dec.16.

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