Autograph Collection is launching the Independent Film Initiative in January 2017. This dynamic, experiential cultural programme will celebrate independent film – an art form that shares Autograph Collection Hotels’ goals of championing individuality and diversity. The initiative will be curated by respected names working at the forefront of independent cinema including Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO of The Black List, and digital entertainment distributor, FilmBuff.Programme highlights will include film premieres, live performances, director talks, screenwriter residencies, a signature cocktail as well as Autograph Collection Hotels’ very own indie film channel for guests.The Independent Film Initiative will kick off during January 2017’s Sundance Film Festival with the launch of the Autograph Collection Hotels & The Black List Sundance Social Space (19 – 23 January 2017). This will take shape as a vibrant networking hub at Autograph Collection’s Hotel Park City, where filmmakers will gather with Leonard and The Black List team. One of the week’s focal points will be the bestowal of Autograph Collection Hotel Residencies to five screenwriters shortlisted on the 2016 Annual Black List.“We are thrilled to partner with The Black List and FilmBuff to shine a light on storytelling,” said Amanda Altree, Senior Director, Brand Marketing, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our ‘exactly like nothing else’ hotels are products of passion that inspire stories with their unique design and unmatched guest experiences – and we look forward to sharing those stories with the independent film community.”Through January 2017, Autograph Collection Hotels will serve as settings for other Black List events. The 2017 Black List Screenwriter Labs – weeklong, intensive workshops where promising yet non-professional screenwriters gather and enjoy one-on-one sessions with established professionals – will be staged at select Autograph Collection properties. The brand will also co-sponsor the Black List Live staged script readings, productions that bring to life Black List scripts as talented actors animate them on stage.“When you find another organisation that shares your values, it only makes sense to work together to further them,” said Franklin Leonard, Founder & CEO, The Black List. “Both The Black List and Autograph Collection Hotels champion craftsmanship and specificity in order to leave lasting impressions, and working together, we’ll be empowered to do more of both.”Autograph Collection Hotels will also host The Black List Happy Hour. These global gatherings happen monthly so The Black List’s community of scriptwriters can meet and exchange ideas offline. To commemorate the first Happy Hour, The Black List, a signature cocktail, created by an Autograph Collection mixologist and Mr. Leonard, will debut and henceforth be featured on hotel bar menus.Meanwhile, FilmBuff will curate the Autograph Collection’s Independent Film Channel. This will be a guest entertainment channel that will broadcast a range of titles from FilmBuff’s critically acclaimed library of 1500 titles. The content will include feature films, award-winning documentaries, shorts, TV shows and webisodes. Tailored to guests’ interests, the programming will focus on art, design, food and music.Autograph Collection Hotels Premieres by FilmBuff – a series of three debuts of FilmBuff releases – will be showcased through 2017 in screening rooms and iconic spaces at Autograph Collection Hotels. Each premiere will be preceded by a pre-curtain cocktail reception and followed by a film-festival-style Q&A with the production’s director.