By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire June 9, 2014 at 12:29PM
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has selected 10 narrative features for the 2014 Independent Filmmaker Labs, IFP’s annual yearlong fellowship for first-time feature directors.
Last month, the documentary Labs features were announced.
Chosen from a national pool of 150+ submissions, the creative teams from the selected projects are currently attending the first session of the program – The Time Warner Foundation Completion Labs– taking place June 9-13 in New York City.
IFP also announced the launch of First Run, a new initiative to host weeklong theatrical screenings at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP beginning this fall with three theatrical debuts of IFP Narrative Lab Alumni.
"We are thrilled to provide our Lab alumni and independent filmmakers in our community the opportunity to build audience and critical acclaim through theatrical release in our new state of the art screening room," said Joana Vicente, Executive Director IFP and the Made in NY Media Center, in a statement.
Submissions for the First Run screenings will open in July to all IFP program alumni and members, as well as general inquiry. Films will be programmed based on artistic merit and perceived marketplace and audience engagement potential, according to IFP.
With the 2014 Labs, the IFP marks the 10th anniversary of the mentorship program, which was launched in 2005 by Filmmaker Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Scott Macaulay.
For the First Run program, IFP staff will collaborate with each of the filmmaking teams on audience engagement and will assist with publicity. They will offer a revenue split to all participating filmmakers.
Alumni of the Labs include Lotfy Nathan's "12 O’clock Boys," Alexandre Moors’ "Blue Caprice," Stacie Passon’s "Concussion," Lucy Mulloy’s "Una Noche," Keith Miller’s "Welcome to Pine Hill," Kat Candler's "Hellion," Keith Miller's "Five Star," Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George" and many more films.
Narrative alumni of the most recent Lab "class" of 2013 include Garrett Bradley’s "Below Dreams" (Tribeca 2014), Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly’s "Beneath The Harvest Sky" (Toronto 2013), Lou Howe’s "Gabriel," (Tribeca 2014), Colin Healey’s "Homemakers" (IFF Boston 2014), Paul Harrill’s "Something, Anything" (Sarasota 2014) and Shelli Ainsworth’s "Stay Then Go" (Minneapolis Film Festival 2014).
The Independent Filmmaker Labs are free mentorship program supporting first-time feature directors with projects in post-production as they complete, market and distribute their films. Focusing on low-budget features (<$1million), the Labs provide filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films and careers. The Independent Filmmaker Labs also seek to ensure that at least 50% of the participating projects have an inclusive range of races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and physical abilities in key creative positions.
The selected projects for the 2014 IFP Narrative Lab and Lab Fellows are (descriptions courtesy of IFP):
A down-on-his-luck musician charts a new path when he is introduced to a group of Brooklyn beatboxers. Fellows: Andrew Dresher (Writer, Director), Chip Hourihan (Producer), Jon Furay (Producer), Chris Branca (Editor).
A lonely Christmas tree vendor tries to salvage his holiday spirit as a mysterious woman befriends him. Fellows: Charles Poekel (Writer, Director, Producer), Clare Paterson (Co-Producer).
In the near future, survivors of a global epidemic are plagued by a debilitating symptom of the disease – double amnesia. Claire Carré (Writer, Director, Producer, Editor), Charles Spano (Writer, Producer).
Only a Switch
James saves Emily’s life and they instantly fall in love. Emily’s father leaves James with a decision that will change his life forever. Michael Vincent (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor), Chadd Harbold (Producer, Cinematographer), Jenn Wexler (Producer).
Out of My Hand
A struggling Liberian rubber plantation worker risks family, hearth and home to discover a new life as a Yellow Cab driver in New York City. Takeshi Fukunaga (Director, Writer, Editor), Donari Braxton (Producer, Writer), Owen Donovan (Director of Photography).
Soon after a young man moves to rural Virginia, he finds that life in Appalachia can be more savage than the world he left behind. Fellows: Cameron Nelson (Writer, Director, Producer, Editor), Courtney Ware (Producer).
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Songs My Brothers Taught Me explores the unique world of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation through the eyes of Jashaun, a young spirited Lakota girl, whose faith in her family and community is tested when her brother Johnny threatens to leave the only place they've ever known. Chloé Zhao (Writer, Director, Producer), Mollye Asher (Producer), Umar Riaz (Editor).
Take Me to the River
A teenager’s plan to come out at his family reunion gets derailed when a bloodstain on his cousin’s dress makes him the suspect of abuse. Fellows: Matt Sobel (Writer, Director, Producer).
A young painter is torn between a lifelong obsession with his infamous best friend and a promising new romance with an older, foreign pianist. Fellows: Joey Kuhn (Writer, Director, Producer), Kimberly Parker (Producer), Sarah Perlman Bremner (Producer), Sarah Shaw (Editor).