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DAILY NEWS: Sundance Labs 2000; "Rising" Secured TV Deals; Miramax Cannes Buy

DAILY NEWS: Sundance Labs 2000; "Rising" Secured TV Deals; Miramax Cannes
Buy




by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE


>> Sundance Invites 13 Projects to June 2000 Lab


(indieWIRE/05.16.00) -The Sundance Institute has unveiled the list of 13
feature film projects that have been selected as part of its June Filmmakers
and Screenwriters Lab
which kicks off May 30th and runs through June 29th in
Utah.


The two part Lab begins with a three week section that includes the shooting and
editing of key scenes, and the filmmakers working with professional actors and
video crews. During the following week, screenwriting participants attend
story conference with advisors.


The participants are Isaac Webb ("Blackbottom"), Phil Bertelsen ("Caucasia") Jim Mendiola ("Come and Take it Day"), Gary Hawkins ("Downtime"), Cauleen Smith ("I Am Furious Black"), Michael Burke ("The Mudge Boy"), Tom E. Brown ("Pushing Dead"), and Laura Colella ("Stay Until Tomorrow"). Screenwriting participants include Alex Rivera ("Death of a Cybracero"), Stefany Mathias
("Native Land"), Jamie Mayer ("Painless"), Duane Dell1Amico ("Shut Up Little Man") and Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal ("The Unknown").


"We are thrilled to be supporting such a diverse and bold group of next
generation filmmakers. The material, which varies in tone from the dramatic
to the darkly comedic, ranges from a gender-bending murder mystery to a love
story that unfolds in the new world order of Mexico/U.S. relations, circa
2029," explained Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Institute's
Feature Film Program, in a prepared statement.


Recent Lab projects include Kimberly Peirce's "Boys Don't Cry,"Gina
Prince-Bythewood
's "Love and Basketball," Tony Bui's "Three Seasons," and two Cannes entries, Rodrigo Garcia's "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her" and Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream." Among the Lab projects in completion are Dan Minahan's digital project, "Series 7: The Contenders," and John Cameron Mitchell's adaptation of his off-Broadway musical, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."


Gyula Gazdag will serve as the Artistic Director for the 2000 Filmmakers and
Screenwriters Labs
. This year1s creative advisors include: Jon Amiel, Paul
T. Anderson, Alice Arlen, John August, Jon Avnet, Paris Barclay, Walter
Bernstein, Kathryn Bigelow, Aida Bortnik, Robert Caswell, Gurinder Chadha,
Joan Darling, Allen Daviau, Suzy Elmiger, Sally Field, Gary Fleder, Naomi
Foner, Bart Gavigan, Carlin Glynn, Keith Gordon, Robbie Greenberg, Stephen
Gyllenhaal, Reginald Hudlin, Leslie Jones, Millard Kaufman, Michael Lehmann,
Delroy Lindo, Peter Masterson, Chris McQuarrie, Peter Medak, Mira Nair,
Steven Poster, Robert Redford, Howard Rodman, Susan Shilliday, Stewart
Stern, Wesley Strick, and Audrey Wells. [Eugene Hernandez]


A complete list of participants follows (information and descriptions
provided by the Sundance Institue):


Isaac Webb (writer/director), BLACKBOTTOM: Born and raised in a small mill
town in western Pennsylvania, Isaac Webb went on to earn his degree at
Northwestern University. After college, Isaac moved to New Orleans to
become an elementary school teacher with the Teach for America program.
After working on the staff of the New Orleans Video Access Center, he
produced, wrote and directed four short films. Of special note was THE
WEDDING, which won the Lumiere Award as the best Louisiana film in the New
Orleans Film and Video Festival and was shown as part of the Showtime Movie
Networks African-American Filmmakers Showcase. Isaac was recently awarded a
2000 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for BLACKBOTTOM. BLACKBOTTOM: After
her college graduation, a young woman haunted by her past finds herself
drawn back to her hometown, where the line between reality and memory is
blurred beyond recognition.


Phil Bertelsen (writer/director), CAUCASIA: Phil Bertelsen recently received
his MFA in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. While
there, Phil was a Johnson Scholar and Spike Lee Fellow. His short film,
AROUND THE TIME, received the First Place, Wasserman Award as Best Graduate
Film at NYU, and went on to win a Student Academy Award, a Roger Award for
Best American Short at the New York/Avignon Film Festival, and Best Short at
the Urban World Film Festival. It was ultimately featured at the 44th Annual
Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and currently airs on Sundance Channel. Phil
is now a resident of Manhattan where he is finishing a documentary film, THE
SUNSHINE, about one of the last remaining flophouses on New York City's skid
row. CAUCASIA marks his first feature effort as a writer/director. Based on
the novel by Danzy Senna, CAUCASIA is a coming of age story about a mixed
race teen on the lam with her fugitive mother in the 1970's. Forced to pass
for white, she soon realizes what it means to fit in and stand out.


Jim Mendiola (writer/director), COME AND TAKE IT DAY: Jim Mendiola is a
writer/director who divides his time between San Francisco and his hometown
of San Antonio, TX. He was awarded a 1997 Rockefeller Intercultural Media
Fellowship for AN AMERICAN ARTIST, as well as a 1999 Gateways Fellowship for
documentary research on Mexican American family photos in Texas. His
award-winning half-hour film, PRETTY VACANT

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