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by Andy Lauer
July 13, 2009 10:03 AM
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Sundance Launches Doc Producing Lab, Unveils Participants

Sundance Institute has announced the expansion of its Creative Producing Initiative, including a new Documentary Creative Producing Lab, and the feature and documentary participants for its upcoming 2009-2010 edition.

The program's goal is to back independent producers with project-specific support through labs, grants, and long-term advisor relationships and also reinvigorate dialogue within the independent producing community. For 2009-2010, the Initiative will include the re-conceived Creative Producing Summit (formerly the Independent Producers Conference), the Creative Producing Lab supporting six Fellows from the Feature Film Program and, new for this year, four from the Documentary Film Program, as well as Sundance Industry Meetings to connect filmmakers with industry members at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

Fellows from four of Sundance Institute's programs: Feature Film Program, Documentary Program, Sundance Film Festival, and Native American Program have been selected to participate in Creative Producing Initiative activities, to bring a wide range of projects, experiences and backgrounds.

"The vitality of independent producers is crucial to the quality and abundance of independent cinema, and we are committed to deepening the Institute's support with the expanded Creative Producing Initiative," said Anne Lai, Producer in Residence, Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. "We believe this expansion will not only support the next generation of independent producers, but renew the community of veteran producers committed to the vibrancy of independent film."

The Creative Producing Summit, to be held July 24-26 at the Sundance Resort, is an invitation-only event for up to 40 producers and directors. Over the three-day gathering, the Summit provides a forum for industry professionals, producers, and directors to focus on three primary avenues of dialogue: narrative producing, documentary producing, and the state of the independent film industry. Twenty panelists representing the best of the independent film industry will be on hand for one-on-one meetings, round tables, and case study reviews.

The Feature Film Creative Producing Lab, a five-day Lab for narrative feature film producers takes place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from July 20-24, 2009, just prior to the Summit. The Lab is designed to develop a producer's creative instincts in all stages of film production and to evolve his/her communication and problem-solving skills. The fellows will also attend the Creative Producing Summit, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, receive ongoing creative and strategic support throughout the year from industry mentors and the Feature Film Program staff, and also grants for further development and pre-production.

The Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab launches this year and is scheduled for two-and-one-half days over July 22-24. Invited producers are chosen from a pool of Sundance Documentary Fund grantees and will participate in one-on-one consultations, pitch trainings and presentations aimed at honing the craft or creative documentary producing. They will also attend the Creative Producing Summit and receive on-going creative and technical support throughout the year from Advisors and Documentary Film Program staff.

The Fellows and projects attending the Feature Film Creative Producing Lab and selected for the Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship are:

"Arcadia" - Julien Favre
Greta’s dad is moving the family cross-country, promising a California paradise and packing half the household into a dented station wagon. All that’s missing is Mom.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" - Dan Janvey, Josh Penn
In this epic comedy, a ferocious ten-year-old girl refuses to evacuate her home in the Louisiana Delta without her dying father as the Southern Apocalypse descends upon them.

"On the Ice" - Cara Marcous
On the snow-covered Arctic tundra, at the top of the world in Barrow, Alaska, two Inuit teenagers try to get away with murder.

"Skeleton Twins" - Thomas Woodrow
Estranged twins Milo and Maggie coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront how and why their lives went so wrong in this offbeat dark comedy.

"You're A Big Girl Now" - Mynette Louie
A Singaporean orphan is bought by a brothel, escapes to Hong Kong with an older prostitute, then returns to Singapore to uncover the mysteries of her childhood. Based on a true story.


The Documentary Creative Producing Lab Fellows are:

"¿Dónde Están?" - Kaye Pyle
Margarita Zamora, an investigator and a survivor of the civil war in El Salvador, tracks down disappeared children and reunites them with their families.

"El General" - Daniela Alatorre
The great-granddaughter of one of Mexico's most controversial presidents inherited precious audio cassettes, and a conflicting history of injustices and revolts. In 1810, Mexico waged its war of Independence from Spain; in 1910, the Mexican Revolution ended a thirty-year dictatorship. As we approach 2010, as if frozen in time, the same political cries ring out like an echo from the past.

"Give Up Tomorrow" - Marty Syjuco
A high-profile miscarriage of justice landed a young man on death row in the Philippines. Tireless grass-roots campaigning sets off a chain of events that resulted in the abolition of the death penalty in the Philippines.

"Match +" - Ann S. Kim
Dr. Solomon and her staff launch a matrimonial matchmaking service for their HIV positive patients at the Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE) clinic in Chennai, India.

For more information, visit the Sundance Insitute's website.

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