Feature Film Projects for the Sundance
Institute's annual Filmmakers and Screenwriters Labs
The following is a complete list of feature film projects that have been
selected for the Sundance Institute’s annual Filmmakers and Screenwriters
Labs which will take place June 2 – July 2 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
Descriptions and biography information is included:
Yoshiyasu Fujita (Writer/Director), “The Bleep Brothers”:
Yoshiyasu Fujita currently works as a commercial director in Tokyo, Japan.
A graduate from Kobe University, Yoshiyasu has won numerous awards
including the 1998 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. “The Bleep
Brothers” is a dark comedy, set in Osaka in the 1980’s, about two stand-up
comedians. Together they must learn to deal with success, censorship and
sibling rivalry as they strive to have their work shine through in all its
Sherman Alexie (Writer/Director), “Indian Killer”:
Sherman Alexie is a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian and author of ten books of
prose and poetry including The Summer of Black Widows and Indian Killer.
He also wrote the screenplay for “Smoke Signals” which won the Audience
Award and the Filmmaker’s Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. The
film will be released by Miramax this summer. “Indian Killer” is a literary
thriller about racial identity and interracial violence.
Patricia Cardoso (Writer/Director), “Jose Gregario”:
Patricia Cardoso, born in Bogotá, Colombia, made her first film when she
was eight. Since then, she has studied archaeology in Colombia, film
studies at UCLA and won various awards at international film festivals as
well as two Directors Guild of America Awards. Patricia recently finished
two additional screenplays with co-writer Lynda Scheer. “Jose Gregario” is
the magical, comedic story of a doctor who dies tragically only to arrive
in heaven as a reluctant “saint-in-training.”
Gina Prince (Writer/Director), “Love and Basketball”:
Gina Prince grew up in Pacific Grove, CA and later attended UCLA Film
School. Her film, “Stitches”, won her the Ray Stark Memorial Award for
Most Outstanding Undergraduate. She went on to write for television,
including stints on “A Different World” and “Courthouse”. “Love and
Basketball” recounts the lives of two girls, Monica and Quincy; growing up
next door brought them together, growing older pulled them apart, but
through it all, two things remained – – love and basketball.
Myra Paci (Writer/Director), “Searching for Paradise”:
Myra Paci received an MFA from NYU and received an Excellence in
Screenwriting Award while at Tisch School of the Arts. She has lectured on
her work at Yale University, the Institute of Fine Arts and others. Her
short films “Transeltown” and “Girls Night Out” have played at numerous
international festivals. “Searching for Paradise” is the funny and
poignant story of a young woman’s search for the truth about her father,
her family and the enigmatic bonds of love.
Alex Smith (co-Writer/Director) and Andrew Smith (co-Writer/Director), “The
Alex Smith received a BA from Berkeley and spent four years working in film
production. His short stories have been published in Story Magazine,
Prism, and Playboy. Andrew Smith is a filmmaker and poet from Montana. He
received a MA in Film Studies and a MFA in poetry from the University of
Iowa where he also taught film and literature. The Slaughter Rule” is the
story of a Montana high school boy drawn into the world of “six-man
football.” He forms an uneasy bond with the outsider coach who brought him
into the game, but is repelled by the increasing evidence that the coach is
sexually attracted to his teenage players.
Rodrigo Garcia (Writer/Director), “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her”:
Rodrigo Garcia is a cameraman from Mexico City. He is a graduate of the
American Film Institute and his credits as director of photography include
“Mi Vida Loca”, “Indictment: The Mc Martin Trial” and “Four Rooms”. He was
a camera operator on “Reality Bites”, “A Walk in the Clouds” and “The
Birdcage”. “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her” tells five loosely
related stories all touching on yearning, love and loss in women’s lives.
Evan Handler (Writer/Director), “Time on Fire”:
Evan Handler is an author and actor living in New York. He has written for
Elle, Mirabella and The New Yorker and has appeared on screen in “Ransom”,
“Natural Born Killers”, “Taps”. He has appeared on Broadway in “Six
Degrees of Separation”, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Broadway Bound”.
“Time on Fire” is a refreshingly caustic look at what happens when a
disease is supposed to kill you but doesn’t.
The 1998 Screenwriters Lab will feature the following projects:
Cory McAbee (Writer/Director), “The American Astronaut”:
Cory McAbee was born in San Rafael, California. He began work on his first
animated film, “Billy Nayer”, while simultaneously writing for and creating
a musical performance group of the same name. The film, “Billy Nayer” went
on to premier at the Sundance Film Festival in 1993 and received best
animated short in 1993 at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. Cory has also
released several albums including music from his film. “The American
Astronaut” is a dark and surly sci-fi musical.
Oni Faida Lampley (Writer), “The Dark Kalamazoo”:
Oni Faida Lampley is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and a
Founding Member of Drama Department. Her first play “Mixed Babies”, won
the 1991 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. She has also
contributed stories to Mirabella magazine, which published her first
personal essay, “The Wig and I.” “The Dark Kalamazoo” is the story of a
young African American woman’s year abroad in West Africa, which turns into
a journey into her own identity.
Everton Sylvester (Writer), “Dilly Dally”:
Everton Sylvester is a Jamaican-born Brooklyn High School teacher, former
optician, and former New York City cab driver. His work illuminates the
politics of everyday life with sly wit and irony. As the lead poet for the
Brooklyn Funk Essentials, he has toured Europe and the United States and is
a 1993 James Michner Fellow. “Dilly Dally” tells the story of the
conflicts faced by a Caribbean immigrant on his journey from cabbie to poet
in New York City.
Mark Decena (co-Writer/Director) and Tim Breitbach (co-Writer), “Dopamine”:
Mark Decena and Tim Breitbach’s backgrounds include bartending, fencing,
journalism, acting, and filmmaking. Mark’s short film “One of Those Days”
played at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Currently the two are partners
in the San Francisco-based company Asylum. Founded in 1995, Asylum creates
content for various venues in the arts and the multimedia arena.
“Dopamine” is a wry look at two people trying to figure out if their love
is chemistry or chemical. Set in modern day San Francisco’s multimedia
gulch, “Dopamine” depicts a time and place where millions are made, dreams
are shattered and the nature of love explored.
Ira Sachs (co-Writer/Director) and Michael Rohatyn (co-Writer), “Forty
Shades of Blue”:
Ira Sachs, a literature graduate from Yale, shot his first feature, “The
Delta”, in his hometown of Memphis, TN. The film went on to screen in many
international festivals including Toronto and Rotterdam and was released
theatrically in the US in 1997. Michael Rohatyn has composed musical
scores for numerous film including Sachs’ “The Delta”, Rebecca Miller’s
“Angela”, and Larry Fessenden’s HABIT. “Forty Shades of Blue” tells the
story of a rock-n-roll producer’s kept woman and her life-changing affair
with his shiftless son.
Lorna Simpson (Writer), “Wish You Were Here”:
Lorna Simpson lives and works in New York. She received an MFA from the
University of California, San Diego. Her critically acclaimed work in the
visual arts has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The
Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. “Wish You
Were Here”, is a story of three women who think they know all about one
another, but when one admits to having been involved in a murder, tension
rises beginning a series of revelations and admissions.
Juan Carlos Martínez-Zaldívar (Writer/Director), “Violenta”:
Juan Carlos Martínez-Zaldívar is a Cuban-born writer, director and editor.
He completed both his BFA and MFA in film studies at Tisch School of the
Arts. His thesis film, “The Story of the Red Rose”, received a Silver
Plate Award at the Chicago International Film Festival. As a sound editor
he has been nominated for an EMMY and a Golden Reel Award. “Violenta” is
the adventurous tale of a Cuban-American super hero, whose powers come to
full force only when he is dressed like a woman.