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IFP’s Independent Film Week Project Forum: Highlights of 150 Participating Projects

IFP's Independent Film Week Project Forum: Highlights of 150 Participating Projects

IFP’s 33rd Independent Film Week boasts 150 new projects in development for the 2011 Project Forum. This year it will be held at Lincoln Center’s spanking new Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center. The main event of the Independent Film Week, Project Forum seeks to network and expose new talent and their projects to the industry. Says IFP’s Joana Vicente: “Independent Film Week is THE destination for these filmmakers to connect with industry and peers to further their projects in an environment that promotes community, growth, and career sustainability above all.” Veterans of the program include Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, Laura Poitras’ The Oath and Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Gun Hill Road (pictured).

The feature and documentary projects featured in the showcase are in various stages of development and production and have had little or no previous exposure to the industry. Each will participate in one of four sections at the Project Forum; Emerging Narrative, Independent Filmmaker Labs, No Borders International Co-Production Market or the Spotlight on Documentaries program. More details below, in addition to highlights of the participating projects:

Narrative program highlights from the 2011 Project Forum includes new work represented by established independent producers Jeff Kusama-Hinte (The Kids Are Alright), Darren Goldberg & Chris Marsh (The Art of Getting By (formerly Homework), Paul Hall (Why Do Fools Fall In Love?), Ben Howe (Return), Katie Mustard (Restless City), Heather Rae (Frozen River), Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree), Ron Simons (Gun Hill Road), Derrick Tseng (Life During Wartime), and executive producers Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce), Jan Chapman (Bright Star), and Diane Nabatoff (The Proposition).

Projects from acclaimed indie directors Ed Gass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs), Bruce La Bruce (Otto: Or Up With Dead People), Allen Moyle (Empire Records), and Rose Troche (Go Fish), as well as follow- up features by Alrick Brown (Kinyrwanda), Adam Bowers (New Low), Dave Boyle (White on Rice),  Javier Fuentes-Leon (Undertow), David Lowery (St. Nick), David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover), Lanre Olabisi (August the First), Cora Olson (Good Dick), Calvin Reeder (The Oregonian), and Michael Tully (Septien) are also in the mix.

Noted directors with new documentary projects include Judith Ehrlich (The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers), Ramona Diaz (Imelda), Caveh Zahedi (I Am a Sex Addict), Catherine Tambini & Carlos Sandoval (Farmingville), Susan Froemke (Lalee’s Kin), Daniel Anker (Scottsboro: An American Tragedy), Sam Pollard (Eyes on the Prize), Peter Gilbert (At the Death House Door), Rebecca Richman Cohen (War Don Don), Madeleine Sackler (The Lottery), Hilla Medalia (To Die in Jerusalem), Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo), Nicole Opper (Off and Running), Ian Cheney (The Greening of Southie), and Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell).
All selected participants take part in one of four sections:
• Emerging Narrative has become the premiere U.S. talent pool for producers, agents and managers, and development execs to discover projects in development from new voices on the independent scene. Presenting 20 scripts in early development by up-and-coming writers and writer/directors, all projects and participants have minimal previous exposure to the marketplace.

As part of the program, IFP is proud to present three scripts in conjunction with our partners at Rooftop Films, who have co-curated projects written by alumni of their screening series.

• IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs is currently the only program in the nation that supports 21 diverse filmmakers throughout the completion, marketing and distribution of their first feature film. The program has become the leading U.S. forum for executive producers, agents and managers, sales agents and festival programmers to discover and support fresh talent on the independent scene just prior to their introduction to the marketplace. All projects presented in the Labs section are completing post-production and will be premiering at domestic and international film festivals over the next 18 months.
• Over the years, No Borders International Co-Production Market has become the premiere U.S. forum for buyers, sales agents and financiers to meet with established independent producers who have strong track records for producing films in the international marketplace.  All 45 projects presented at No Borders have at least 15% financing in place; many also have additional cast and/or principal attachments. Of the projects selected for presentation this year, 50% will be represented by producers from the U.S. including six projects from our sole U.S. Partner, The Sundance Institute.
Remaining projects are represented by producers sponsored by No Borders’ international partners and support organizations. These included established funding bodies Film-und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (China),  Israel Film Fund, National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa), New Zealand Film Commission, Screen Australia, and Telefilm Canada as well as support organizations ACE/Ateliers du Cinema Européen (France), Berlin International Co-Production Market (Germany), CineMart (The Netherlands), NFDC Cinemas of India/Film Bazaar, and TGP – Tokyo Gathering Project.
• Documentary has played an important role in IFP’s history from the very beginning of the organization. In particular, the Spotlight on Documentaries program has been an extremely successful and viable forum for U.S. and international buyers, sales agents, and financiers to meet with filmmakers with new documentary feature projects.  Presenting 60 documentaries ranging from those at an early financing stage (i.e. early development or in production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in postproduction or at the rough cut stage), this section includes emerging and established filmmakers in non-fiction.

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