By Max O'Connell | Indiewire January 24, 2014 at 10:44AM
Mark Elijah Rosenberg, director of the upcoming film "Ad Inexplorata", has been named the winner of the 2014 Sundance Institute/NHK Award. The award, which was presented at a private ceremony at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was created in 1996 by the Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) to celebrate 100 years of cinema.
The award supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. The Sundance Institute staff work closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films. Films previously supported by this award include Cherien Dabis's "May in the Summer," the opening film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which went on to win the Grand Jury Dramatic Prize at Sundance, the Camera D'Or (or Best First Film Award) at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Zeitlin.
Rosenberg is a filmmaker and the Founder and Artistic Director of Rooftop Films, a New York-based nonprofit organization known for the Rooftop Film Summer Series, which holds screenings of new independent features and shorts from June through September each year. Rosenberg has produced and directed several short films and recently co-produced and co-directed "Orbit(Film)," an omnibus movie about our solar system. He has participated in the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program June Screenwriters Lab and Creative Producing Lab, and is the recipient of the Institute's Creative Producing and Indian Paintbrush grants.
Rosenberg's "Ad Inexplorata" is a multi-media fictional story about Captain William D. Stanaforth, an astronaut alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown. Mark Strong is attached to star in the lead role. Charles Baker (best known as Skinny Pete on "Breaking Bad") is also listed as a cast member.