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by Brian Brooks
December 14, 2009 9:30 AM
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12 Projects Named for Sundance Screenwriters Lab

Twelve projects have been selected by the Sundance Institute for its January Screenwriters Lab, taking place next month (January 15 - 20) at the Sundance Resort in Utah. This year's group includes filmmakers from regions throughout the world, including the United States, China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. According to the Institute, the "common thread amongst the projects is that each one represents the inimitable, personal vision of its creator in a way that will challenge and engage audiences."

The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writers' workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work "intensely" on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking.

The fellows will work with a distinguished group of creative advisors, including Lab Artistic Director Scott Frank, Sebastian Cordero, Naomi Foner, Rodrigo Garcia, Nelson George, Michael Goldenberg, Deena Goldstone, John Lee Hancock, Erik Jendresen, Richard LaGravenese, Jessie Nelson, Tom Rickman, Susan Shilliday, Zach Sklar, Dana Stevens and Tyger Williams.

"The projects selected for the Lab celebrate the breadth of independent filmmaking with screenplays that boast originality, innovation, and deeply personal voices," said Michelle Satter, Director of the Feature Film Program in a statement. "For the first time, the Lab will support a transmedia project, which expands the narrative possibilities of a feature film by creating a storyworld that embraces film, gaming and technology to reach audiences across multiple screens in new and engaging ways."

The projects selected for the 2010 January Screenwriters Lab are:

"Bluebird" by Lance Edmands (writer/director), U.S.A.
"Canary" by Craig Zobel (writer/director), U.S.A.
"Drunktown's Finest" by Sydney Freeland (writer/director), U.S.A.
"40 Days of Silence" by Saodat Ismailova (writer/director), Uzbekistan
"HiM" by Lance Weiler (co-writer/director) and Chuck Wendig (co-writer), U.S.A.
"How Many Trainings Must I Take Before I Can Be as Hard as Steel?" by Cao Baoping (writer/director), China
"Martha Marcy May Marlene" by Sean Durkin (writer/director), U.S.A.
"May in the Summer" by Cherien Dabis (writer/director), U.S.A., Jordan
"My Favorite Nightmare" by Myna Joseph (writer/director), U.S.A.
"Postcards from the Zoo" by Edwin (co-writer/director) and Daud Sumolang (co-writer), Indonesia
"Slobs and Nags" by Dash Shaw (writer/director), U.S.A.
"Unicorn Store" by Samantha McIntyre (writer), U.S.A.

Seven films supported by the Feature Film Program will screen at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. They include the Dramatic Competition selections "Howl," co-written and co-directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; "Night Catches Us," written and directed by Tanya Hamilton, and "Three Backyards," written and directed by Eric Mendelsohn. World Cinema Competition selections "Boy," written and directed by Taika Waititi, and "Son of Babylon," co-written by Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge and Mithal Ghazi and directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji. The Spotlight selection "Women Without Men," co-written and co-directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari and the NEXT selection "The Tacqwacores," written by Michael Muhammad Knight and directed by Eyad Zahra. In addition, Feature Film Program films "Sin Nombre," written and directed by Cary Fukunaga; "Amreeka," written and directed by Cherien Dabis; "Cold Souls," written and directed by Sophie Barthes and "Treeless Mountain," written and directed by So Yong Kim all recently received multiple Independent Spirit Award nominations.

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