Friday, April 3, 2020 @ 2:00pm ET

Producers are the most nimble people in filmmaking. We can pivot at any moment and adapt under any circumstance. But we are also human, dealing with a lot. Right now, we are feeling stuck and unsure how to keep moving projects forward.

Please join producers Effie Brown, Rebecca Green, Avril Speaks, and Kelly Williams in Dear Producer’s first-ever live webinar to discuss how independent producers are navigating the Covid-19 crisis including:

  • Shutting down your production in the middle of a shoot
  • Selling your film without film festivals
  • Keeping momentum on a project during the casting & financing stage
  • Going out to the industry with new projects

The world has been turned up-side down and while we don’t have all the answers, we do have our community to lean on.

Webinar is free to all. Send your questions in advance to [email protected].


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EFFIE BROWN has produced several critically acclaimed HBO Films and award-winning projects including STRANGER INSIDE (directed by Cheryl Dunne, 2001, World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival), REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES (directed by Patricia Cardosa, 2002, winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Performance), EVERYDAY PEOPLE (2004, directed by Jim McKay), IN THE CUT (directed by Jane Campion, 2003) and ROCKET SCIENCE (directed by Jeffrey Blitz, 2007, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Directing at Sundance and recipient of three Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations, including Best First Feature, Best Screenplay and Best Actress).

In 2011, Brown re-teamed producing/directing duo Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia and together they produced over 130 episodes of WIGS, an award-winning, original content channel funded by Google/YouTube and FOX Broadcasting. Brown then went on to produce the highly acclaimed independent feature, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE. The film won multiple awards, including the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and Best First Screenplay at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Given her long standing relationship producing successful content with HBO, they invited her to join the controversial reboot of PROJECT GREENLIGHT (executive produced by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck) and in 2016. Following, Brown joined Lee Daniels Entertainment to executive produce season one of the hit series STAR on FOX and she executive produced Disney Channel’s ZOMBIES, which premiered in 2018.

In January 2020, Brown was named the new CEO of Gamechanger, the first film financing fund by and for women, which launched in 2013.

AVRIL SPEAKS is currently producing DOTTY AND SOUL starring Leslie Uggams, which had to shut down production due to the shelter-in-place order issued by the state of Oklahoma.

Speaks was the lead producer on the feature film JINN, which premiered in Narrative Competition at SXSW in 2018, won Special Jury Recognition for Writing, and gained distribution through MGM/Orion Classics. She is also one of the producers for the feature film, HOSEA, which just completed its festival circuit run, and she is preparing to produce Nijla Mu’min’s follow-up film MOSSWOOD PARK, Yolonda Ross’s film SCENES FROM OUR MARRIAGE, and the South African drama AFRICAN AMERICA.

Speaks is a 2017 Film Independent Producing Lab Fellow and 2019 Rotterdam Producing Lab Fellow. She also worked as a Production Manager for Scripted Programming at BET Networks.

As a former film professor at Howard University, Avril also recognizes the value of education for filmmakers. In conjunction with Film Independent, she has worked to coordinate international film programs such as Global Media Makers and the inaugural Hollywood Foreign Press Association Filmmaker Residency.

KELLY WILLIAMS, along with Jonathan Duffy, produced the feature comedy I USED TO GO HERE, starring Gillian Jacobs and Jemaine Clement and worked as executive producers on RULES FOR WEREWOLVES, a short film starring Finn Wolfhard, both which were set to premiere at SXSW 2020. In addition Willams produced NO FUTURE, starring Catherine Keener and Carlie Heaton, which was set to premiere at Tribeca 2020.

Williams has produced numerous acclaimed films such as the 2019 Independent Spirit Award winner for Best First Feature SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, LIGHT FROM LIGHT starring Jim Gaffigan, and THE LONG DUMB ROAD, directed by Hannah Fidell.

Based in Austin, TX, Williams is a 2012 Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow and a 2015 Sundance Institute Catalyst Fellow. Prior to producing, Williams worked as a film programmer for various film festivals for over a decade. While at the Austin Film Festival, he was awarded the 2007 International Film Festival Summit Excellence Award.


REBECCA GREEN produced two of the top-grossing and critically acclaimed independent films of 2015, IT FOLLOWS and I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, which generated a combined box office total of $30 million worldwide. Most recently, Green produced AND THEN I GO, based on the novel PROJECT X by Jim Shepard, and the documentary feature 44 PAGES, which is a portrait of Highlights magazine.

Prior to producing, Green was the Manager of Producing Initiatives for the Sundance Institute, Vice President of Lynda Obst Productions at Paramount Pictures, and Creative Executive at Lionsgate. A 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow, Green was named one of Variety’s ’10 Producers to Watch,’ was nominated for the Producer’s Award at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Green is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Dear Producer, is a platform where producers share their experiences, celebrate achievements, and provide mentorship for the next generation.


*This information has been pulled directly from the Dear Producer site.


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Apr 03 2020


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