Film Independent chose 19 filmmakers for its 10th Annual Fast Track program last night at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Reception in Los Angeles. The non-profit arts organization, which produces the Los Angeles Film Festival and Spirit Awards, also awarded a $15,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant, and for the first time this year, a $10,000 grant from Millennium Entertainment.
Fast Track, best described as a three-day film-financing market, is held June 14-24 and runs during the LA Film Festival. Participants have one-on-one meetings where they meet professionals in the film industry like financiers, production companies, agents and managers.
This year, the $15,000 grant went to writer/director Casey Cooper Johnson and producers Casey Fenton and Peter W. Singer for "Unmanned," a film about a young Air Force drone operator who tries to balance family life with going to a war he fights by remote control.
Doron Weber, VP of Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, said the program was "delighted to join Film Independent in supporting such exciting and original work that engages with science and technology themes and characters." Weber also added that "Unmanned" originally won a Sloan Production student production grant at the American Film Institute.
Millennium Entertainment's grant went to producers Mollye Asher and Angela C. Lee for "Lee," a film about a teen forced to take drastic action in face of a tragedy to protect his family as his two best friends leave for college. The tragedy comes at a time when the teen is pondering his future on a Pine Ridge Reservation.
Of this win, Bill Leo, CEO of Millennium Entertainment, said that "Lee" is a "wonderful example of the kind of new talent Film Independent is adept at cultivating."
Winners of Fast Track become Film Independent Fellows, receive year-round support and access to Film Independent's annual film educational offerings, on-staff Filmmaker advisor, and the LA Film Festival upon completion of their program. Membership is free to those accepted into the program.
2012 Fast Track projects and filmmakers:
"C.O.G.," produced by Cookie Carosella and co-written/directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez.
"Dancing in Jaffa," directed/produced by Hilla Medalia and produced by Diane Nabatoff.
"A Killing Frost," directed/produced by Jennifer Arnold and written by Katherine Ruppe.
"Lee," produced by Mollye Asher and Angela C. Lee.
"Revenge Fuck," produced by Dante Di Loreto and written/directed by Jessica Sharzer.
"Studio H," produced by Christine O’Malley and directed by Patrick Creadon. (Patrick is a past LAFF jury member)
"Tokyo Cannonball Rising Sun," produced by Brandon Harris and co-written/directed by Malcolm Murray.
"Unmanned," produced by Casey Fenton and Peter W. Singer, written/directed by Casey Cooper Johnson.
"Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary," produced by Sara Guistini and directed by PJ Raval.