Virtual via Zoom
Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) for two virtual panels, the first at 1pm PT and the second at 3pm PT.
At 1pm PT, join NFMLA for a conversation about the documentary THE LAST OUT, which premieres on POV this October, with Oscar® nominated director Sami Khan and documentary subject Carlos González. We will discuss the filmmaking process, the narrative which ties together sports and social change, as well as the film’s themes of immigration, family, exile, and the Cuban community.
THE LAST OUT won the Special Jury Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Hot Springs Documentary Festival. The film tells the story of three Cuban baseball players who leave their families and risk exile to chase their dreams of playing in the United States. At the shadowy nexus of the migrant trail and pro sports, The Last Out chronicles their harrowing journey, from immigration obstacles to the broken promises of dubious agents. Against all odds, these young athletes try to hold onto their hope while fighting for a better life for their families.
About Sami Khan (Director)
SAMI KHAN is an Oscar-nominated writer/director whose work in scripted and documentary filmmaking has been supported by the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes, Rooftop Films, the Gotham, the Berlinale, and the NBC/Universal’s Directors Fellowship. His films have screened at leading festivals, including Tribeca, Toronto, Hot Docs, and Mumbai.
Sami’s latest release is “Guha” an episode he directed for the Apple TV Plus docuseries HOME, produced by A24. He is also currently developing series and features for the Springhill Company, the Roots’ Two One Five Entertainment, Will Arnett’s Electric Ave, and Peter Dinklage’s Estuary Films, among others. Sami’s 2019 short documentary ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN was nominated for an Academy Award. Sami’s narrative shorts 75 EL CAMINO and THE WORKOUT both premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
KHOYA, Sami’s fiction feature debut was selected for the Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access fellowship and was released in 2016. The film was co-produced by the filmmakers behind Cannes prize-winner THE LUNCHBOX and received financial backing from Spike Lee. The Globe & Mail called KHOYA “an often startling work of compact storytelling. He recently served as Consulting Producer on Season 2 of NBC’s scripted drama TRANSPLANT about a Syrian refugee turned hero doctor in Toronto.
About Carlos González (Documentary Subject)
From the small pueblo of Mayari in Holguin Province, CARLOS O. GONZÁLEZ was a formidable starting pitcher in the Serie Nacional for five years. Despite his relatively small stature for a pitcher, Carlos dominated some of Cuba’s toughest hitters and pitched alongside New York Yankees’ fireballer Aroldis Chapman. In 2014, Carlos was convinced to leave Cuba to sign with Cuban-American sports agent Gustavo Dominguez and his Top Ten Sports operation in Costa Rica. With little more than a promise from strangers, Carlos took a chance on Gus and left for Costa Rica.
About Carlos Aguilar (moderator)
Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar was chosen as one of 6 young film critics to partake in the first Roger Ebert Fellowship organized by RogerEbert.com, the Sundance Institute and Indiewire in 2014. Aguilar’s work has appeared in prestigious publications such as Los Angeles Times, The Wrap, Indiewire, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, MovieMaker Magazine, Remezcla, Filmmaker Magazine, Variety Latino, Slate, Bustle, Americas Quarterly, among others. He is a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).
Besides his work in journalism, Aguilar regularly works as a screener for the Sundance Film Festival and a screenplay reader for Sundance’s Screenwriters Lab. Carlos Aguilar has also been on the jury at renowned festivals such the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, the Gasparilla International Film Festival, the Louisiana International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival.
Aguilar currently co-hosts, One Week Only, a weekly podcast highlighting independent and international cinema. He also regularly participates in panel discussions about the importance of people of color in film criticism and his experience as a DACA recipient working in the film industry.
At 3pm PT, join NFMLA for a panel with film festival programmers Claudia Puig (Program Director, Santa Barbara International Film Festival), Céline Roustan (Programmer, SXSW and Palm Springs International Film Festival), and Paul Sloop (Short Films Programming Manager, Cleveland International Film Festival).
About Claudia Puig
Claudia Puig is programming director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a nationally recognized entertainment journalist and film critic. Currently a critic for NPR’s Film Week show and podcast, she is also contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition. Puig was USA Today’s film critic for 18 years and host of the website’s The Screening Room video series. Prior to that she was a Los Angeles Times staff writer for 11 years. Claudia is currently program director for the Mendocino Film Festival and for Film Fest 919 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and was previously program director for the Napa Valley Film Festival. She has served as a juror for film festivals from Ashland to Zurich. Much in demand as a moderator for entertainment industry Q&As, she has a consulting business specializing in cultural and diversity consulting and teaches a college class on Diversity in the Media. A native Spanish speaker, Claudia studied at Universidad Ibero-Americana in Mexico City. She has a B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA and an M.A. in Communications from USC’s Annenberg School. She was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times as one of 14 film critics making media more inclusive and is the winner of the Roger Ebert Award for Excellence in Film Criticism from the African-American Critics Association.
About Céline Roustan
Céline Roustan is a film curator, working for the website Short of the Week, championing filmmakers and their respective films. She is also a programmer at SXSW and the Palm Springs ShortFest, having previously programmed at several festivals. Recently, she joined French production company Films Grand.
About Paul Sloop
Paul Sloop has been the lead programmer of short films for the Oscar qualifying Cleveland International Film Festival since 2002. In addition to his long-standing role in Cleveland, he is also the Director of Programming for both Film Pittsburgh and the Cordillera International Film Festival in Reno/Tahoe, NV. He is the proud father of seven daughters and one son and lives in Mentor, OH with his wife, of over 20 years, Sarah.
This panel will take place virtually over ZOOM. Ticket purchasers will receive a ZOOM link to this panel 2 hours before the published start time. If you don’t already have the ZOOM app, please make sure to download on your device before the panel start time.