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LAFF: Film Independent Taps 10 Projects for Fast Track Program, Awards Alfred P. Sloan Grants

LAFF: Film Independent Taps 10 Projects for Fast Track Program, Awards Alfred P. Sloan Grants

Today, Film Independent announced the 10 projects selected for the 13th annual Fast Track film financing market. Held during the Los Angeles Film Festival, now underway, the program helps producer/director teams push their projects forward through 60 meetings with top industry decision-makers, from financiers and agents to managers, distributors and granting organizations and production companies.

Three days of intensive meetings will offer exposure and networking opportunities for filmmakers. The Fast Track is supported by Film Independent Artist Development lead funder Time Warner Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, NEA Art Works, EFILM, Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television and Netflix. 

At the annual Film Independent Fast Track Welcome Dinner, Film Independent also presented two Alfred P. Sloan grants to support films that explore science and technology themes or that depict scientists, engineers and mathematicians: Michael Almereyda’s Sundance premiere “Experimenter” took the inaugural Distribution grant, and the 6th annual Production grant went to writer/director Elena Greenlee and producer Márcia Nunes’s in-development “Dark Forest.”

The following filmmakers have been selected to participate Film Independent’s 2015 Fast Track program:

Title: A Paso de Mangles
Producer: Joseph La Morte
Co-Writer/Producer: Gloria La Morte
Co-Writer/Director: Paola Mendoza
Logline: A Paso de Mangles is the story of three women whose lives are caught in the crosshairs of the raging drug war in Colombia. Inspired by true events, these women’s interlocking stories celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of insurmountable odds.

Title: Dark Forest
Writer/Director: Elena Greenlee
Producer: Márcia Nunes
Logline: A hipster-millennial, equally versed in neuroscience and party drugs, steps out of her depth into the complex and psychedelic world of Amazonian shamanism.

Title: Ethel
Producer: Anil Baral
Logline: Based on the true story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and the “crime of the century”, a family is torn apart when a young couple is accused of stealing the secret to the atomic bomb.

Title: First Match
Producer: Chanelle Elaine
Producer: Veronica Nickel
Logline: Hardened by years in foster care, a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, decides that joining the all-boys high school wrestling team is the only way back to her estranged father.

Title: Give Me Liberty
Writer/Producer: Alice Austen
Writer/Producer/Director: Kirill Mikhanovsky
Logline: In this raw dark comedy set in Milwaukee, a naïve immigrant teams up with a Russian thug, breaks the law to save his Alzheimer’s stricken Grandpa, forms deep bonds with a diverse group of iconic under-class characters, and finds love in the unlikeliest of places.

Title: Last Call (documentary)
Director/Producer: Lana Wilson
Logline: A remarkable Japanese Buddhist priest uses a range of unorthodox methods to help desperate men and women re-discover the will to live. But when a health crisis puts him at serious risk, can he live by the same advice he gives out?

Title: Millie to the Moon
Producer: Alexandra Johnes
Director: Jen McGowan
Logline: Millie To The Moon is a comedy about a sarcastic young woman named Millie who, while being displaced from her role as caregiver to her autistic brother and ailing mother, pursues new interests: outer space tourism and her male co-worker.

Title: Shot in the Dark (documentary)
Producer: Daniel Patrick Dewes
Producer: Derek Doneen
Director: Dustin Nakao Haider
Logline: For the players on Orr Academy’s basketball team, the court is a haven. Outside, it’s the Westside – a neighborhood racked with gangs, gun trafficking, and violence. Within those walls, each player has his own struggle. But they’ll need to fight together if they ever want to break out.

Title: The Bad Kids (documentary)
Director/Producer: Keith Fulton
Producer: Molly O’Brien
Director: Lou Pepe
Logline: At a remote Mojave Desert high school, extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad kids.”

Title: Wild Nights
Producer: Megan Gilbride
Director: Kyle Henry
Logline: In Wild Nights, a young Emily Dickinson falls dangerously in love, only to discover her beloved older brother, Austin, has fallen for the same mysterious woman. As her youthful ideals collide with reality, she learns the meaning of love, loss, independence, and compromise.

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