Cinema Speakeasy was created because good independent film is seldom seen in a group setting, because ideas need to be shared, because creative practices need to be encouraged, because communities need to be fostered, because there is a scarcity of exhibition opportunity for independent media, and because we believe that curation is the answer to media oversaturation. Mainly, though, we just want to show you a good time- which usually involves drinking with a large group of your new best friends.
We feature independent content in curated programs in venues across California. Further to that, we support filmmakers and artists by helping them with marketing, aligning them with new audiences, and providing creative support. We focus on creating multi-media events across all creative practices. We are a not-for-profit and all screening proceeds go towards our filmmakers and artists, our venues and promoting the films we show. All our events are 21+ unless otherwise noted.
The brainchild of artist and advocate Saskia Wilson-Brown, Cinema Speakeasy was launched in collaboration with ace television producer Georgi Goldman in June of 2009, in partnership with the Echo Park Film Center.
In addition to overseeing the organization as a whole, Georgi and Saskia co-produce and co-curate the Los Angeles and Palm Springs screenings. They have recently been joined in their efforts by Kate Sullivan Green, former co-directress of the SF chapter and a new convert to Southern California.
Cinema Speakeasy: Palm Springs started in 2011 as a quarterly event series in the city that knows no shade. CS:PS events are presented in partnership with ACE Hotel + Swim Club.
Cinema Speakeasy: San Francisco started in 2010 as a monthly event series in partnership with GAFFTA. Regular programming for CS:SF is on hiatus for 2012 as the three co-directresses move on to new cities. If you are interested in taking over running our events in SF, please contact us. And have no fear, we’ll be around in SF: Watch the upcoming events page for news.
An (unofficial) Philadelphia edition was launched in June 2010 by Nadine Patterson, as part of the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association (PIFVA). An (unofficial) Monterey edition was also launched in early 2010 by Scott Grover, and hosts regular screenings at The Alternative Cafe. Both were started on our model and with our blessing.
Cinema Speakeasy is committed to showing independent film, in all its permutations, funny and tragic, short and feature-length alike. We show stuff you will rarely see in a big theatre chain, but that is – we promise – always worth watching. We also enjoy pairing creative practices across disciplines, and we supplement our screenings with work in the realm of fine art, design, theatre and music.
- Film Workshops: Our ever popular short film and feature film workshops.
- Feature screenings: Edgy, auteur-driven independent film, culled from the festival circuit and beyond.
- Shorts screenings: The best shorts we could find, in curated thematic programs for your viewing pleasure.
- Drink-Alongs: Because sometimes a good night out should involve screaming at the screen while sloshing a forty on your foxy neighbor.
- Exhibitions and non-film events: There’s more to creative practices than filmmaking, and we like to cross the streams.
Cinema Speakeasy regularly partners with local venues and film & arts groups in the communities that it serves. Select past partnerships have included these fine folks:
- 89.3 KPCC
- Crawford Family Forum
- Ace Hotel + Swim Club (Palm Springs)
- Space 15 Twenty (LA)
- BBQ Films (NY)
- Machine Project (LA)
- Kernspiracy (LA)
- Big City Forum (LA)
- CINEFIST (LA)
- Film Courage (LA)
- WorkBook Project (NY)
- Slamdance Film Festival (LA/Park City)
- Wholphin (SF)
- Shooting People (NY/London)
- Downtown Independent (LA)
- GAFFTA (SF)
- Echo Park Film Center (LA)
- Royal/T (LA)
- Newcastle Ale
- Thank You For Coming
- Transbay Fest
WE HAVE A TRAILER (AND IT’S SO PRETTY)