Filmmaker John Sayles will be talking about his new film, "Go for Sisters," in a live chat Friday at noon Pacific time with Times staff writer Mark Olsen. Sayles can answer your questions too; use the hashtag #AskLATimes on Twitter now and during the chat.

A two-time Academy Award nominee, for the original screenplay to "Lone Star" in 1996 and "Passion Fish" in 1992, Sayles has long been considered one of the key figures in the development of American independent filmmaking. Writing the screenplays for such films as "Piranha" and "The Howling," Sayles also began making films of his own, beginning with 1979's "Return of the Secaucus Seven."

Since then, he has continued on his own distinctive, diverse path, from the lesbian-themed drama of 1983's "Lianna"; the politically charged comedy of 1984's "The Brother from Another Planet"; and on through the union drama "Matewan"; the true-life baseball story "Eight Men Out"; the Irish fable "The Secret of Roan Inish"; and many more films, including the more recent "Amigo."

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In "Go for Sisters," Sayles explores female friendship overlaid with a mystery story set along the U.S.-Mexico border. Bernice (LisaGay Hamilton), a parole officer, searches for her missing son by turning to an estranged friend, Fontayne (Yolanda Ross), whose life has gone down a very different path. They enlist the aid of a former police detective (Edward James Olmos).

In a review in the Los Angeles Times, Sheri Linden noted "the three lead performances give the film its quiet center," and Sayles has long had a keen eye for casting. "Lone Star" was an early key role for Matthew McConaughey, and the 1983 film "Baby It's You" was an early lead part for Rosanna Arquette. Actor David Strathairn appeared in Sayles' debut "Return of the Secaucus Seven" and a number of his other films. Chris Cooper has been something of a Sayles regular as well. "Eight Men Out" had an enviable young cast that included John Cusack, Charlie Sheen and D.B Sweeney.  

So join us at noon on Friday as Sayles talks about "Go for Sisters" and his long and inspiring career as one of the leading figures of truly independent filmmaking.

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Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus