An accomplished film producer and former studio executive, Ms. Allain has been an advocate for visionary filmmakers for more than two decades. She started her career at Columbia Pictures supervising independently spirited films and launched the careers of then first time filmmakers John Singleton, Robert Rodriguez, and Darnell Martin. She rose from reader to Sr. Vice President of Production - the highest position for an African American in over a decade. After a stint as President of Jim Henson Pictures, where she produced Muppets From Space and Elmo in Grouchland, she formed her own production company, Homegrown Pictures, and produced Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan, Sanaa Hamri’s Something New, Tim Story’s Hurricane Season, Tina Gordon Chism’s Peeples, Justin Simien’s Dear White People, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights, and first time director duo Wade and Jesse Allain Marcus’ French Dirty. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Producer’s Guild of America, and sits on the board of Women in Film. Allain has been the Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival since 2012.
Mel Jones, Director of Development
Mel Jones is a passionate independent content producer and storyteller. Upon graduation from Howard University with a Film Degree, she entered the world of non- fiction television, working full time at Discovery Communications. As her interest in narrative filmmaking grew she applied to the American Film Institute (AFI) and was awarded the highly coveted Hewlett Packard Scholarship to attend AFI. Shortly after earning her MFA in Producing, Jones gained employment at Participant Media, her former internship, as a development assistant. She later began a mentorship with independent Producer Stephanie Allain, who later hired her. Mel has risen through the ranks and is currently the Director of Development at Homegrown Pictures. Mel most recently served as a producer on Homegrown’s latest independent feature, French Dirty, and is at the helm of Homegrown’s expansion into short form content.