LA-based nonprofit Film Independent has selected six directors for its 15th annual Directing Lab. In this eight-week program under creative advisors Daniel Barnz, Catherine Hardwicke and James Ponsoldt, filmmakers will workshop and shoot short scenes from their scripts. The focus will be on working with actors in the rehearsal process.
Film Independent provides fellows, free of charge, with digital camera and lighting packages and stipends to shoot their scenes, with access to casting directors, cinematographers and editors for collaboration. Other industry advisors include leading directing teacher, Joan Scheckel, and casting director, Heidi Levitt.
Upon completion, fellows receive year-round support including eligibility for grants and awards, access to Film Independent’s annual film education offerings and a pass to the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Previous Directing Lab fellows include Ana Lily Amirpour, who went on to direct the Indie Spirit nominee “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” Cherien Dabis with “Amreeka,” Robbie Pickering with “Natural Selection” and more.
The 2015 Directing Lab participants and their projects are:
Dara Ju: Anthony Onah – writer, director
A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path.
Ghosts In The Graveyard: Kevin Parker Flynn – writer, director
Ghosts in the Graveyard is a coming-of-age film set in small town America told through the rotating first person point of view of seven 12/13-year-olds on a single night.
Nancy: Christina Choe – writer, director
A psychological drama about Nancy, a serial imposter who lives at home with her abusive, elderly mother. Desperate for love, she creates a fake blog and catfishes a lover, but her hoaxes cause epic and tragic consequences.
Norway: Sylvia Sether – writer, director, producer
A troubled young woman returns to Norway to say goodbye to her dying father, and in the process, finds deliverance through love and letting go.
The Space Between: Philiane Phang – writer, director
On her journey to becoming a professional bodybuilder, a woman is forced to confront her tragic past with her father when she unexpectedly falls in love. Film Independent also awarded its inaugural Ammon Foundation Fellowship for a Female Director to Phang, who receives a $10,000 unrestricted cash grant.
The Time Capsule: Erwann Marshall – co-writer, director
In the near future, a jaded politician fresh off an electoral loss escapes with his controlling wife to the French beach home where he spent summers as a teen. Their vacation is disrupted by the appearance of his first love, who has just returned from a 20-year space voyage and hasn’t aged a day.