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December 17, 2005 12:49 AM
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Sundance Announces Slate for Winter '06 Screenwriters Lab

Park City, UT last year during the Sundance Film Festival. Photo by indieWIRE

The Sundance Institute has announced the 12 film projects it has invited to its January 2006 Screenwriters Lab. The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day workshop during which time selected participants focus exclusively on developing their feature film scripts. Established writers provide workshop participants with creative guidance. Todd Graff, Allison Anders, John August, Anthony Drazan, Naomi Foner-Gyllenhaal, John Lee Hancock, Erik Jendresen, Douglas McGrath, Christopher McQuarrie, Walter Mosley, Ron Nyswaner, Frank Pierson, Jeremy Pikser, Daniel Pyne, Howard Rodman, Susan Shilliday and Zachary Sklar will serve as advisors at the upcoming Screenwriters Lab, which will run January 13–18 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.

"The search for human connection and family are themes explored with humor, pathos and originality in many of the projects at the January 2006 Screenwriters Lab," said Michelle Satter, director of Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program, in a statement.

The chosen screenwriters and their projects are:

Kit Hui (writer/director), United States/China, "A Breath Away"
The residents of a Hong Kong high-rise prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Ellen.

Rolin Jones (writer/director), United States, "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow"
An American woman uses her technological genius in her search for her Chinese birth mother.
(cowriter/director) and Paula Markovitch (cowriter), Mexico, "Lake Tahoe"
A 13-year-old boy sets out to rebuild his crashed car, which was his late father's final gift to him.

Kirsten Johnson (writer/director), United States, "My Habibi"
A Moroccan immigrant's past starts to catch up with him, complicating his relationship with an American photographer in post-Sept. 11 New York City.

Greg Harrison (writer/director), United States, "The Radioactive Boy Scout"
To become a famous scientist and dealing with the breakup of his family, a 16-year-old boy constructs a nuclear reactor in his backyard.

Cary Fukunaga (writer/director), United States, "Sin Nombre"
Two youths attempt a difficult crossing from Central American into the United States.

Briar Grace-Smith (writer) and Armagan Ballantyne (director), New Zealand, "The Strength of Water"
A young Maori boy in rural New Zealand refuses to accept the death of his twin sister.

So Yong Kim (writer/director), United States/Korea, "Treeless Mountain"
Two young sisters struggle to adapt to life with their unsympathetic aunt after their mother leaves them in her care.

Milford Thomas (co-writer/director), United States, "Uncloudy Day" (from a script cowritten with Kristin Gorell)
An Alabama man is tormented by the spirit of a dangerous animal.

Carter Smith (co-writer/director), United States, "Warm" (from a script cowritten with Dennis Cooper)
Two male Los Angelos youths engage in a complicated relationship.

Victoria Mahoney (writer/director), United States, "Yelling to the Sky"
The youngest of three mixed-race sisters, who live in a violent, high-crime neighborhood, tries to forge a life of purpose beyond her environment.

Eran Merav (writer/director), Israel, "Zion and His Brother"
A 14-year-old who was complicit in the death of a classmate must choose whether to keep his domineering older brother in his life.

Seven films that have received support from Sundance's Feature Film Program -- which hosts Directors Labs in addition to Screenwriters Labs -- will premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The seven films are Dito Montiel's "Guide To Recognizing Your Saints"; Ryan Fleck's "Half Nelson," based on a script he cowrote with Anna Boden; Laurie Collyer's "Sherrybaby"; Hilary Brougher's "Stephanie Daley"; Goran Dukic's "Wristcutters: A Love Story"; Cam Archer's "Wild Tigers I Have Known" and Andrucha Waddington's "House Of Sand."

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3 Comments

  • indrakaran | January 10, 2006 11:25 AMReply

    Date1-10-2006
    An Open letter to Robert Redford- At Sundance CINEMA takes a Backseat.
    Dear Robert,
    It is quite regretful of me that I have to write you, of my long standing faith and belief in your work and sprit of Sundance, which is of late shattered. Perhaps it would not be an overstatement, if I say my life in US which has been a tale of untold tragedy but for hope and sprit of the existence of institutions like Sundance and people like you. Rather sadly soon after I come to US for a graduate study in film at Chapman University, I choose to volunteer at Sundance as part of my long cherished dream to be associated with it. Given my previous experience in film making and organizational skills, I was invited to take part as a volunteer ( among the so called top fifteen organizers), but soon to my utter bewilderment I receive disparate phone calls from the volunteer coordinator that they don't need me. As I was almost on my way to Sundance.( SLC), I recive a trivial concession that I can if I choose to volunteer as a ticket collector at the gate. I would have gladly if it was a not a matter of a certain malicious intent behind ( by whom ? ). During that time I had all ready written to ALICIA WESTON about the possibility to attend screen writer?s workshop, In response she had written to me that I do have more than required credentials to attend the workshop.(Graduated both in film and theatre in addition studied philosophy and taught both theatre and film for graduate students and written on cinema if I might say so). But what soon fallowed is a series of unfortunate events which took me on a long journey from California to New York with the hope of finding some employment. As time passed by I was reminded of my destiny so I travel down to SLC four months early, soon I contact Alicia Weston referring to my earlier correspondence with her as a result I send in my application. I also send in my query to MAC MOHAN, who has responded encouragingly to my synopsis and treatment of a proposed project.
    http:// peacockforest.blogspot.com
    http://saavirahe.blogspot.com
    But I was not far from apprehension as I could see the possibility of powerful forces flexing their muscle to destroy every chance that I might have for my love of cinema. As I look at this year?s selection of projects for screen writers work shop I do have word or two to speak about. As a Critic I can say it looks very contrived as most of the selected people and the projects don?t need the assistance of Sundance. It is not the job of Sundance to promote film makers (Professional) who are all ready good at it. But it is to find, discover a talent who hold promise and require help and opportunity to hone their skills at film making if I might say so.
    Off course this might sound like a letter from disgruntled voice. I do accept I am no where near the masters of Cinema (It is also possible my project do not merit any attention) nor I am a person of some standing in Hollywood, So why am I writing this letter- The only standing that I have that qualifies me to speak out is the truth and the facts that are there for verification. It not me who is qualified to speak but it is truth that qualifies me to speak. In the first place an institution like Sundance a 25 years of dream and Hard work which now stands inspiring many film lovers from allover the world for its free sprit of independent Cinema now stands to be compromised and influenced by external forces whose only contribution to cinema is to send it in to back seat, out of theatres (Broke back Mountain) if possible throttle it?s voice or of those ones who stand and speak for it.
    But I could remain to keep quite and further not invite trouble and danger to my life, but then if it is love it can not remain silent? it ought to speak no matter what?.
    Apart from tragedies like mine now and then, I wish you will continue to make Sundance a place, where many film lovers can hope to find inspiration.
    With warm regards,
    Raja Indra Karan.
    Provo, Utah.
    indrakaran@yahoo.com

  • indrakaran | January 10, 2006 11:25 AMReply

    Date1-10-2006
    An Open letter to Robert Redford- At Sundance CINEMA takes a Backseat.
    Dear Robert,
    It is quite regretful of me that I have to write you, of my long standing faith and belief in your work and sprit of Sundance, which is of late shattered. Perhaps it would not be an overstatement, if I say my life in US which has been a tale of untold tragedy but for hope and sprit of the existence of institutions like Sundance and people like you. Rather sadly soon after I come to US for a graduate study in film at Chapman University, I choose to volunteer at Sundance as part of my long cherished dream to be associated with it. Given my previous experience in film making and organizational skills, I was invited to take part as a volunteer ( among the so called top fifteen organizers), but soon to my utter bewilderment I receive disparate phone calls from the volunteer coordinator that they don't need me. As I was almost on my way to Sundance.( SLC), I recive a trivial concession that I can if I choose to volunteer as a ticket collector at the gate. I would have gladly if it was a not a matter of a certain malicious intent behind ( by whom ? ). During that time I had all ready written to ALICIA WESTON about the possibility to attend screen writer?s workshop, In response she had written to me that I do have more than required credentials to attend the workshop.(Graduated both in film and theatre in addition studied philosophy and taught both theatre and film for graduate students and written on cinema if I might say so). But what soon fallowed is a series of unfortunate events which took me on a long journey from California to New York with the hope of finding some employment. As time passed by I was reminded of my destiny so I travel down to SLC four months early, soon I contact Alicia Weston referring to my earlier correspondence with her as a result I send in my application. I also send in my query to MAC MOHAN, who has responded encouragingly to my synopsis and treatment of a proposed project.
    http:// peacockforest.blogspot.com
    http://saavirahe.blogspot.com
    But I was not far from apprehension as I could see the possibility of powerful forces flexing their muscle to destroy every chance that I might have for my love of cinema. As I look at this year?s selection of projects for screen writers work shop I do have word or two to speak about. As a Critic I can say it looks very contrived as most of the selected people and the projects don?t need the assistance of Sundance. It is not the job of Sundance to promote film makers (Professional) who are all ready good at it. But it is to find, discover a talent who hold promise and require help and opportunity to hone their skills at film making if I might say so.
    Off course this might sound like a letter from disgruntled voice. I do accept I am no where near the masters of Cinema (It is also possible my project do not merit any attention) nor I am a person of some standing in Hollywood, So why am I writing this letter- The only standing that I have that qualifies me to speak out is the truth and the facts that are there for verification. It not me who is qualified to speak but it is truth that qualifies me to speak. In the first place an institution like Sundance a 25 years of dream and Hard work which now stands inspiring many film lovers from allover the world for its free sprit of independent Cinema now stands to be compromised and influenced by external forces whose only contribution to cinema is to send it in to back seat, out of theatres (Broke back Mountain) if possible throttle it?s voice or of those ones who stand and speak for it.
    But I could remain to keep quite and further not invite trouble and danger to my life, but then if it is love it can not remain silent? it ought to speak no matter what?.
    Apart from tragedies like mine now and then, I wish you will continue to make Sundance a place, where many film lovers can hope to find inspiration.
    With warm regards,
    Raja Indra Karan.
    Provo, Utah.
    indrakaran@yahoo.com

  • indrakaran | January 10, 2006 11:22 AMReply

    Date1-10-2006
    An Open letter to Robert Redford- At Sundance CINEMA takes a Backseat.
    Dear Robert,
    It is quite regretful of me that I have to write you, of my long standing faith and belief in your work and sprit of Sundance, which is of late shattered. Perhaps it would not be an overstatement, if I say my life in US which has been a tale of untold tragedy but for hope and sprit of the existence of institutions like Sundance and people like you. Rather sadly soon after I come to US for a graduate study in film at Chapman University, I choose to volunteer at Sundance as part of my long cherished dream to be associated with it. Given my previous experience in film making and organizational skills I was invited to take part as a volunteer ( among the so called top fifteen organizers), but soon to my utter bewilderment I receive disparate phone calls from the volunteer coordinator that they don?t need me. As I was almost on my way to Sundance.( SLC), all the more she makes a trivial concession that I can if I choose to volunteer as a ticket collector at the gate. I would have gladly if it was a not a matter of a certain malicious intent behind ( by whom ). During the time I had all ready written to ALICIA WESTON about the possibility to attend screen writer?s workshop, In response she had written to me that I do have more than required credentials to attend the workshop.(Graduated both in film and theatre in addition studied philosophy and taught both theatre and film for graduate students and written on cinema if I might say so). But what soon fallowed is a series of unfortunate events which took me on a long journey from California to New York with the hope of finding some employment. As time passed by I was reminded of my destiny so I travel down to SLC four months early, soon I contact Alicia Weston referring to my earlier correspondence with her as a result I send in my application. I also send in my query to MAC MOHAN, who has responded encouragingly to my synopsis and treatment of a proposed project.
    http:// peacockforest.blogspot.com
    http://saavirahe.blogspot.com
    But I was not far from apprehension as I could see the possibility of powerful forces flexing their muscle to destroy every chance that I might have for my love of cinema. As I look at this year?s selection of projects for screen writers work shop I do have word or two to speak about. As a Critic I can say it looks very contrived as most of the selected people and the projects don?t need the assistance of Sundance. It is not the job of Sundance to promote film makers (Professional) who are all ready good at it. But it is to find, discover a talent who hold promise and require help and opportunity to hone their skills at film making if I might say so.
    Off course this might sound like a letter from disgruntled voice. I do accept I am no where near the masters of Cinema (It is also possible my project do not merit any attention) nor I am a person of some standing in Hollywood, So why am I writing this letter- The only standing that I have that qualifies me to speak out is the truth and the facts that are there for verification. It not me who is qualified to speak but it is truth that qualifies me to speak. In the first place an institution like Sundance a 25 years of dream and Hard work which now stands inspiring many film lovers from allover the world for its free sprit of independent Cinema now stands to be compromised and influenced by external forces whose only contribution to cinema is to send it in to back seat, out of theatres (Broke back Mountain) if possible throttle it?s voice or of those ones who stand and speak for it.
    But I could remain to keep quite and further not invite trouble and danger to my life, but then if it is love it can not remain silent? it ought to speak no matter what?.
    Apart from tragedies like mine now and then, I wish you will continue to make Sundance a place, where many film lovers can hope to find inspiration.
    With warm regards,
    Raja Indra Karan.
    Provo, Utah.
    indrakaran@yahoo.com