Posted by Larry Gleeson

Eva Longoria to discuss the lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film

Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington and Alfre Woodward Among “Indie Contenders” to Be Spotlighted 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— October 24, 2019, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the program for the inaugural AFI Summit that will take place at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi. The lineup includes a conversation with producer, director, actress, and activist Eva Longoria and founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Dr. Stacy Smith to discuss the latest findings from the Initiative about the alarming lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film; an in-depth and wide-ranging conversation between Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix; The Hollywood Reporter’s Indie Contenders Roundtable moderated by Scott Feinberg; the Los Angeles Times’ Doc Roundtable moderated by Amy Kaufman; a panel led by Brickson Diamond, Chairman of Blackhouse, with three pairs of entertainment executives of color discussing diversifying the film industry; and Shoot the Book where film rights managers pitch their projects.


Join AFI and Amy Kaufman of the Los Angeles Times as we bring together the leading directors behind some of the most talked-about and acclaimed documentaries of the year including Alex Gibney (CITIZEN K), Eva Orner (BIKRAM: YOGI, GURU, PREDATOR), Steven Bognar (AMERICAN FACTORY), Roger Ross Williams (THE APOLLO), Feras Fayyad (THE CAVE), Waad Al-Kateab (FOR SAMA), Lauren Greenfield (THE KINGMAKER) and Nanfu Wang (ONE CHILD NATION).


Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Dr. Stacy Smith and producer, director, actress, and activist Eva Longoria delve into the latest findings from the Initiative that show an alarming lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film, both behind and in front of the camera — and address a solutions-driven path forward.


Brickson Diamond, Chairman of Blackhouse, discusses the status of diversifying the film industry with three pairs of senior and junior executives who are serving in key roles in Hollywood.


Hear from a diverse panel of artists who have done standout work in independent film this year. Presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, the panel will feature a discussion with the artists about their careers and influences, as well as the challenges and rewards of working on indies. Panelists include Awkwafina (THE FAREWELL), Sterling K. Brown (WAVES), Cynthia Erivo (HARRIET), Jimmie Fails (THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO), Jon Hamm (THE REPORT), Florence Pugh (FIGHT WITH MY FAMILY and MIDSOMMAR), Kerry Washington (AMERICAN SON) and Alfre Woodard (CLEMENCY).


Organized by the French Embassy’s Cultural Services and the Institut Français, the panel moderated by Variety’s Steven Gaydos, features international publishers presenting their latest thriller and crime novels that are available for independent producers and filmmakers to option.


Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory, sits down for an in-depth and wide-ranging conversation with Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix.  This is a Private AFI Conservatory Session for AFI Fellows.

Dates and times for all AFI FEST screenings and events will be available at


AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles. Screenings, Galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Hollywood Roosevelt and will open with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s QUEEN & SLIM. The festival will close with the World Premiere of Apple’s THE BANKER. Additional announcements including Galas, Documentaries, Special Screenings, Tribute and World Cinema can be found here. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.

Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2019. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.

Passes are available at Individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members beginning October 29 and for the general public on October 30.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present, and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations.  Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at Film and

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
Now in its 33rdyear, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe to captivated audiences in Los Angeles. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming, the eight-day festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. World premieres, Galas and other special events take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt. This year’s edition takes place on November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at Connect with AFI FEST at

About Audi 

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.812 million vehicles globally in 2018. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 224,000 vehicles in 2018. 2019 marks 50 years for the brand in the U.S. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

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(Source: AFI press release)


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