Thirteen Set for Sundance’s June Filmmakers and Screenwriters Lab
by Eugene Hernandez
Sundance Institute has unveiled participants for June’s Filmmakers and Screenwriters Labs at the Sundance Village in Utah. This year’s Filmmaker’s Lab will run from May 25 – June 24, featuring three weeks of work on narrative projects by eight filmmakers and then a week in which a group of screenwriters arrive to work on their scripts with advisors.
“The projects selected for the Lab represent the distinctive and innovative voices of an exciting group of emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and around the world,” said Michelle Satter, Director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, in a prepared statement. “Individually, and as a whole, the projects explore the diversity and complexity of our contemporary culture with originality, humor, and emotional truth. During the Lab, the filmmakers will have the opportunity to further develop their talent and projects in a creative community that values risk-taking and bold ideas.”
The participants and projects selected for the 2004 June Filmmakers Lab are (information provided by Sundance Institute):
Aditya Assarat (writer/director), “HI-SO,” Thailand: A coming-of-age love story that captures the music, the mood, and the ethos of modern day Bangkok.
Sterlin Harjo (writer/director), “Four Sheets to the Wind,” U.S.A.: A mythical story that follows an American Indian, Cufe Smallhill, and his family as they come to terms with tragedy in a small town in Oklahoma.
Peter Himmelstein (writer/director), “Peep World,” U.S.A.: A darkly comic day in the life of a family tormented by fact, fiction, and mortality.
Zoe Hopkins (writer/director), “Cherry Blossoms,” Canada: A young Native girl decides to build a relationship with the father she never knew as part of her ceremonial passage into womanhood.
Orlando “Dito” Montiel (writer/director), “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” U.S.A.: A quintessentially American story of a young man’s hunger for experience, his dawning awareness of the bigger world across the bridge, and of the loyalties that bind him to a violent past and to the flawed and desperate saints that have guided him.
Kieran and Michele Mulroney (co-writers/co-directors), “Paper Man,” U.S.A.: A frustrated writer spends a lonely winter on Cape Cod, where he is forced to choose between a world-weary superhero, an extinct bird and a 17-year-old local girl in this coming-of-middle-age story.
Kazuo Ohno (writer/director), “Mr. Crumpacker and the Man From the Letter,” U.S.A.: An overbearing boss who has done everything in his life decides to reconfigure his company as a place of philosophical inquiry.
Richard Press (writer/director), “Virtual Love,” U.S.A.: The true story of Paul Monette’s harrowing friendship with Tony Johnson, a charismatic 15-year-old abuse survivor and cause celebre who became one of the most important people in Paul’s life until it began to seem that maybe he didn’t actually exist.
2003 June Screenwriters Lab participants and projects (information provided by Sundance Institute):
Ryan Eslinger (writer/director), “When A Man Falls in the Forest,” U.S.A.: The lives of three lonely men intersect as they struggle to overcome their deepening isolation as they search for connection.
Ryan Fleck (co-writer/co-director) and Anna Boden (co-writer/co-director), “Half Nelson,” U.S.A.: An inner-city junior high school teacher with a serious drug addiction forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers his secret life.
Juliana Francis (writer), “Saint Latrice,” U.S.A.: A 13-year-old mall worker retreats into her secret world, populated by a trio of divine girl pop stars, to escape the reality of her inappropriate relationship with an unhappy 40-year-old carpet salesman.
Fatima Jebli-Ouazzani (writer/director), “Halima’s Paradise,” Netherlands: An unconventional love triangle between a Moroccan woman, her husband, and the second wife he brings into their home to bear him a son.
Catherine Stewart (writer/director), “The Moon, Under Late Capitalism,” South Africa: Set in post-apartheid South Africa, an ensemble of characters from different racial and class backgrounds find unexpected fulfillment when their paths cross on the streets of Johannesburg.