AFI Fest: 8 Standouts From 2017 Indies Set to Appear on THR Panel

Sean Baker_Richard Gere_Salma Hayek_Diane Kruger_Kumail Nanjiani_Robert Pattinson_Margot Robbie_Lois Smith_Split - Getty - H 2017
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Eight filmmakers currently generating awards buzz for their work on independent films unveiled in 2017 will appear at the 31st AFI Fest on the fourth annual Indie Contenders Panel, hosted by The Hollywood Reporter.

This year's participants will be Sean Baker (co-writer and director, The Florida Project); Richard Gere (lead actor, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer); Salma Hayek (lead actress, Beatriz at Dinner); Diane Kruger (lead actress, In the Fade); Kumail Nanjiani (co-writer and lead actor, The Big Sick); Robert Pattinson (lead actor, Good Time); Margot Robbie (lead actress, I, Tonya); and Lois Smith (supporting actress, Marjorie Prime).

The panel will take place over 90 minutes on Nov. 12 in front of 200 AFI Fest badgeholders and ticketholders at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It will feature clips and conversation about the challenges and rewards of making indie films. Video will exclusively appear on this blog shortly thereafter.

The 2016 edition, which you can watch here, featured Kate Beckinsale (lead actress, Love & Friendship), Adam Driver (lead actor, Paterson), Sally Field (lead actress, Hello, My Name Is Doris), Rebecca Hall (lead actress, Christine), Margo Martindale (supporting actress, The Hollars), Viggo Mortensen (lead actor, Captain Fantastic), Ruth Negga (lead actress, Loving), Chris Pine (lead actor, Hell or High Water) and Miles Teller (lead actor, Bleed for This).

The 2015 edition, which you can watch here, featured Ramin Bahrani (writer/director, 99 Homes), Blythe Danner (lead actress, I'll See You in My Dreams), Saoirse Ronan (lead actress, Brooklyn), Jason Segel (supporting actor, The End of the Tour), Sarah Silverman (lead actress, I Smile Back), Lily Tomlin (lead actress, Grandma) and Olivia Wilde (lead actress/producer, Meadowland).

And the 2014 edition, which you can watch here, featured J.C. Chandor (writer/director, A Most Violent Year), Damien Chazelle (writer/director, Whiplash), Marion Cotillard (lead actress, Two Days, One Night), Jake Gyllenhaal (lead actor, Nightcrawler), Bill Hader (lead actor, The Skeleton Twins), Michelle Monaghan (actress, Fort Bliss), Kristen Stewart (supporting actress, Still Alice and Clouds of Sils Maria) and Tilda Swinton (lead actress, Snowpiercer).