Founders

Jacqueline Lyanga, Founder

Jacqueline Lyanga is the Artistic Director of Film Independent in Los Angeles. In this role, she is developing strategies for Film Independent’s year-round programming initiatives, and partnerships, and curating screenings and events for the organization at venues across Los Angeles, including the immersive storytelling showcase The Portal, which she launched as Guest Director at LA Film Festival in 2018, and The New Wave, in partnership with KCRW and MOCA, a new event that launched in October 2019 that is a showcase of inspiring, dynamic, and bold visions of inclusion, independence and innovation.

Prior to working at Film Independent, Jacqueline was the Director of AFI FEST presented by Audi, the American Film Institute’s (AFI) annual international film festival in Los Angeles for eight years, from 2010 to 2018. She worked for AFI as a programmer and producer of year-round and festival programs prior to that from 2005 to 2009.

Jacqueline has been a guest and moderator of industry panels at the Berlinale, the Cannes Film Festival, the Forbes Women’s Summit and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and has been a member of the grants review committees for the Austin Film Society, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She has served on international film festival juries at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, SFFILM in San Francisco, and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). She has also worked for TIFF, and prior to working for festivals and non-profit film organizations, she worked for a number of other film and entertainment organizations and companies including, ABC/Disney, BET, Lifetime Television, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, and the Independent Film & Television Alliance’s American Film Market. In 2014, she was featured on Essence Magazine’s list of the 75 most powerful black women in Hollywood, and in Variety’s Women’s Impact Report as one of the female entertainment industry leaders in Hollywood deemed a game-changer and innovator.

Jacqueline was recently appointed to the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government for her promotion of French film and culture in the United States. She has also been awarded the Order of the Crown from the Kingdom of Belgium.

Jasmine Jaisinghani, Co-Founder

Jasmine Jaisinghani is a native Los Angelena with cultural roots from India and Mexico. Jaisinghani’s professional background in theatre, filmmaking and the music industry shaping the lens of diversity she brings to each project.

Jasmine’s professional background began at Capitol Records, segueing her to the estate of George Harrison. Her credits include the music documentary Concert For George; The Dark Horse Years box set and Harrison’s posthumous Grammy winning album Brainwashed.

As a producer, Jasmine has developed diversity driven feature film content for studios and international producers and continues to consult in world cinema from development to campaign strategy. She has produced two films for ITVS including Beholder directed by Nisha Ganatra (Late Night) and Tent City for Aldo Velasco (The Infiltrators). Jasmine served as the first Artistic Director for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles at ArcLight Hollywood, one of the oldest US festivals focused on Indian and diasporic cinema. 

Jasmine has worked extensively with AFI FEST, a program of the American Film Institute where she oversaw Cultural Relations and promoted international talent and collaborated with cultural agencies.  Additionally at AFI FEST she aided the revival of their Screen Education program for nearly 2,000 students predominantly from Title 1 schools.

Jasmine inspired to work with youth produced an Intensive Media Training Program at USC for GlobalGirl Media which trained young 19 women ages 15 – 22 from underrepresented communities to use digital journalism and storytelling to effect social change.

Jasmine is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama Program in Directing and talent development programs at the Tribeca Film Institute and Film Independent (Producers Lab and Fast Track Program). Jasmine recently consulted for Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program for their Latinx Fellowship and programmed The New Wave with Film Independent’s Artistic Director, Jacqueline Lyanga in partnership with KCRW at MOCA.

Jasmine independently mentors youth and supports programs for female skateboarders.