From July 27 to August 3 at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Institute holds its Creative Film Producing Initiative including its latest series of Labs and a special Summit that brings together over 50 industry leaders. The focus is on nurturing the next generation of indie producers.
Participants of the Feature Film Creative Producing Lab (July 27 – July 31) work under Creative Advisors including producers Lindsay Doran (“Sense and Sensibility”), Lynette Howell Taylor (“The Place Beyond the Pines”), Gina Kwon (“Me and You and Everyone We Know”), Paul Mezey (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Jay Van Hoy (“Beginners”) and director Matthew Ross (“28 Hotel Rooms”).
The Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab (July 27 – August 1) brings together documentarians under Creative Advisors include producers Julie Goldman (“Best of Enemies”), Bonni Cohen (“3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets”), Ryan Werner (of Cinetic Media), Maxyne Franklin (Britdoc) and Wendy Cohen (Picture Motion).
The Creative Producing Summit takes place immediately following the Labs, July 31 – August 3. More than 50 industry leaders will participate in a series of curated panels, case studies, roundtables, and one-on-one meetings addressing financing, distribution, audience engagement, marketing and sustainability. Ace panelists this year include Len Amato (HBO Films), Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics), Dori Begley (Magnolia Pictures), Josh Braun (Submarine), Dan Cogan (Impact Partners), Victoria S. Cook (Frankfurt Kurnit), Danielle Di Giacomo (The Orchard), Fred Dust (IDEO), Ted Hope (Amazon), Micah Green (CAA), John Hoffman (Discovery Channel), Marcus Hu (Strand Releasing), Charles King (MACRO), Jessica Lacy (ICM Partners), Stephanie Langhoff (Duplass Brothers), David Magdael (TCDM Associates), Victor Moyers (Broad Green), Annie Roney (ro*co Films), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Graham Taylor (William Morris Endeavor) and Jay Van Hoy (Parts & Labor).
The Fellows and projects selected for the 2015 Feature Film Creative Producing Lab, with language courtesy of Sundance Institute, are:
“50 Miles From Boomtown”
Producing Fellow: Alex Scharfman
After years of saving for her hard-earned dream, the only woman working on the fracking fields of North Dakota can finally quit but unexpectedly finds herself falling in love with the young man she’s training to take her place. (writer/director Flo Linus Baumann).
Mark Silverman Honorees and Producing Fellows: Blake Pickens and Stephen Love Jr.
In sunny San Antonio, Texas, where nothing ever changes, a town is turned on its head when a delusional Texas housewife accidentally poisons her son’s fiancée, learning that killing people is an efficient way to solve her problems. (Co-writer/director Catherine Grieve, co-writer Dylan Slocum)
Producing Fellow: Drew Houpt
A restless teenager becomes obsessed with a mysterious Colombian woman who exploits his desire and lures him into her plot for revenge. (Writer/director Mary Angélica Molina)
“Rita Mahtoubian Is Not A Terrorist”
Producing Fellow: Deanna Barillari
When Iranian-born Rita Mahtoubian sets out to change her life from ordinary to extraordinary, she accidentally captures the attention of a homeland security agent in this satirical comedy about romance, terrorism and trying to be a better person. (Co-writers/directors Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman)
“The Space Between”
Producing Fellow: Angela C. Lee
A female body builder devotes her life to turning ‘pro’ when she unexpectedly falls in love, forcing her to confront her fractured past with her dying father. (Writer/director Philiane Phang)
The Fellows and projects selected for the 2015 Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab are:
Co-Directors/Producers: Jessica Dimmock & Christopher LaMarca
“Brick” reveals the raw emotional and physical experience of being a middle aged to senior transgender woman coming out for the first time in the Pacific Northwest. The film follows three intersecting stories of individuals who have lived their whole lives as men and decided this burdensome secret is one they can no longer keep.
“The Island and the Whales” (working title)
Director/Producer: Mike Day
The pilot whale hunters of the Faroe Islands believe that hunting is vital to their way of life, but when a local professor makes a grim discovery about the effects of marine pollution, and the seabirds populations collapse, environmental changes threaten to change the community and their way of life forever.
“The Road From Hainan”
Director/Producer: Nanfu Wang
State surveillance. Harassment. Imprisonment. Human rights activist Ye Haiyan, AKA Sparrow, knew she faced these risks when she went to Hainan Province to seek justice for six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. But the scale and intensity of the government’s reaction surprised even the most seasoned activists across China. The Road From Hainan follows Sparrow as she was chased from town to town by local governments, national secret police, and even her own neighbors.
“Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four”
Director/Producer: Deborah Esquenazi
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four excavates the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of allegedly gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio, Texas. The film also unravels the sinister interplay of mythology, homophobia and prosecutorial fervor which led to this modern day witch hunt during the ‘Satanic Sexual Abuse Panic’ of the late-80’s and early-90’s in the United States.