NFMLA Panel: Effie T. Brown on Producing
Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) for a conversation with film and television producer Effie T. Brown. We will discuss producing for film and scripted television, the current production landscape and best practices for producers who are launching their career. This discussion will be Moderated by NFMLA Board Member, Filmmaker and TV Director Varda Bar-Kar.
- About Effie T. Brown:
Effie T. Brown is the CEO of Gamechanger Films, which launched in 2013 as the first film fund for women filmmakers and now under Brown’s leadership includes projects by and about people of color, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities as well as its expansion into television and digital content. Brown is also an award-winning film, television, and digital producer known for her highly acclaimed, multi-platform repertoire as well as championing inclusion and diversity in Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera. Brown has produced several critically acclaimed films and award-winning projects including Real Women Have Curves (directed by Patricia Cardosa), Dear White People (2015 Independent Spirit Awards Best First Screenplay), HBO’s Project Greenlight (Executive Produced by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck), among several others. Brown also served as an executive producer on Lee Daniels’ STAR on FOX and Disney Channel’s Zombies. Prior to Gamechanger, Brown founded Duly Noted Inc., a company dedicated to ground-breaking narratives that use genre to challenge and advance our culture in a disruptive way. Brown’s dream is to change the world through film and TV – celebrating our differences while bringing us all closer together.
- About NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA):
NFMLA champions emerging and diverse filmmakers and storytellers from around the world and provides a forum where filmmakers can be recognized for their contributions, have open audience discussions about their work and connect with industry professionals for insight on distribution, production and representation. In an effort to showcase, support, educate and build relationships for next-gen filmmakers, NFMLA has rapidly expanded beyond the NFMLA Monthly Film Festival to host an array of workshops, panels, competitions and networking programs, including the InFocus initiative which combats the lack of diversity in media by celebrating underrepresented voices.
- Moderator (Varda Bar-Kar):
Award-winning director Varda Bar-Kar has directed over forty productions, including documentaries, episodic television, web series, short films, branded content, and viral videos. Varda was born in London, England, and had lived on three different continents by the time she was ten years old. Her international upbringing provides her with a truly global perspective. She is an activist filmmaker focusing her lens on meaningful stories exploring the breadth and diversity of the human condition. She faces society’s challenges with an uplifting approach that speaks into possibility.
Varda developed her directing voice creating short films, including the festival-winning Window starring Louis Gossett, Jr. Window garnered the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, screened at Cannes and aired across the United States on local affiliate stations including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, in honor of Black History Month.
Shoot Magazine selected Varda for their prestigious New Director Showcase; Lincoln Mercury’s Rising Stars Campaign awarded her music video Race to the Sky the Grand Prize and aired it during the Grammy Awards. Varda was also selected to participate in Ryan Murphy’s HALF Director Mentorship Program, and then directed for the hit FOX show 9-1-1.
Varda has just completed the two-year production of Fandango at the Wall an exuberant music documentary celebrating the lives and music of the masters a mystical three-hundred-year-old Mexican folk music tradition called son jarocho. The film follows the son jarocho masters to the United States-Mexico border where they join renowned New York Maestro Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for a transformational music festival taking place on both sides of the border. Quincy Jones, Andrew Young, Carlos Santana, and Kabir Sehgal serve as the film’s Executive Producers. It was funded in part by the Ford Foundation & Miranda Foundation. Sony music serves as the project’s sales agent and the film was released by HBO, HBO Max and HBO Latin America.
Varda’s feature documentary Big Voice received the “Best Documentary Award” from the Heartland Film Festival, NewFilmmakers LA and The South Dakota Film Festival. Big Voice chronicles a challenging year in the life of a determined high school choir director and his most advanced ensemble. The documentary was picked up by Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon, and was broadcast on PBS winning a Bronze Telly Award.
Varda’s viral videos have amassed tens of millions of views for non-profits including The Humane Farming Association, Feeding America, MZA Events, The Chopra Center, and Unify among others. YouTube honored Varda’s viral video What Kind of Planet Are We On with their Most Innovative Non-profit Video Award and featured it on their homepage. What Kind of Planet Are We On was screened for the United States Congress as part of a campaign for Social Security equality for same-sex couples.
Varda is on the board of NFMLA and a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Documentary Association & Film Fatales.
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