The Sundance Institute has announced the 12 film projects it has invited to its January 2006 Screenwriters Lab. The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day workshop during which time selected participants focus exclusively on developing their feature film scripts. Established writers provide workshop participants with creative guidance. Todd Graff, Allison Anders, John August, Anthony Drazan, Naomi Foner-Gyllenhaal, John Lee Hancock, Erik Jendresen, Douglas McGrath, Christopher McQuarrie, Walter Mosley, Ron Nyswaner, Frank Pierson, Jeremy Pikser, Daniel Pyne, Howard Rodman, Susan Shilliday and Zachary Sklar will serve as advisors at the upcoming Screenwriters Lab, which will run January 13–18 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
“The search for human connection and family are themes explored with humor, pathos and originality in many of the projects at the January 2006 Screenwriters Lab,” said Michelle Satter, director of Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, in a statement.
The chosen screenwriters and their projects are:
Kit Hui (writer/director), United States/China, “A Breath Away”
The residents of a Hong Kong high-rise prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Ellen.
Rolin Jones (writer/director), United States, “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow”
An American woman uses her technological genius in her search for her Chinese birth mother.
(cowriter/director) and Paula Markovitch (cowriter), Mexico, “Lake Tahoe”
A 13-year-old boy sets out to rebuild his crashed car, which was his late father’s final gift to him.
Kirsten Johnson (writer/director), United States, “My Habibi”
A Moroccan immigrant’s past starts to catch up with him, complicating his relationship with an American photographer in post-Sept. 11 New York City.
Greg Harrison (writer/director), United States, “The Radioactive Boy Scout”
To become a famous scientist and dealing with the breakup of his family, a 16-year-old boy constructs a nuclear reactor in his backyard.
Cary Fukunaga (writer/director), United States, “Sin Nombre”
Two youths attempt a difficult crossing from Central American into the United States.
Briar Grace-Smith (writer) and Armagan Ballantyne (director), New Zealand, “The Strength of Water”
A young Maori boy in rural New Zealand refuses to accept the death of his twin sister.
So Yong Kim (writer/director), United States/Korea, “Treeless Mountain”
Two young sisters struggle to adapt to life with their unsympathetic aunt after their mother leaves them in her care.
Milford Thomas (co-writer/director), United States, “Uncloudy Day” (from a script cowritten with Kristin Gorell)
An Alabama man is tormented by the spirit of a dangerous animal.
Carter Smith (co-writer/director), United States, “Warm” (from a script cowritten with Dennis Cooper)
Two male Los Angelos youths engage in a complicated relationship.
Victoria Mahoney (writer/director), United States, “Yelling to the Sky”
The youngest of three mixed-race sisters, who live in a violent, high-crime neighborhood, tries to forge a life of purpose beyond her environment.
Eran Merav (writer/director), Israel, “Zion and His Brother”
A 14-year-old who was complicit in the death of a classmate must choose whether to keep his domineering older brother in his life.
Seven films that have received support from Sundance’s Feature Film Program — which hosts Directors Labs in addition to Screenwriters Labs — will premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The seven films are Dito Montiel’s “Guide To Recognizing Your Saints“; Ryan Fleck’s “Half Nelson,” based on a script he cowrote with Anna Boden; Laurie Collyer’s “Sherrybaby“; Hilary Brougher’s “Stephanie Daley“; Goran Dukic’s “Wristcutters: A Love Story“; Cam Archer’s “Wild Tigers I Have Known” and Andrucha Waddington’s “House Of Sand.”