The Sundance Institute has partnered up with film company Indian Paintbrush for a new fellowship program aimed at filmmakers in the Institute’s Feature Film Program. Filmmakers selected will receive grants to support the development, pre-production, post-production, distribution and/or marketing of their work. The first fellows were announced Friday and they include Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), Ry Russo-Young (“You Won’t Miss Me”) and Robbie Pickering (“Natural Selection”).
In addition, the Institute and Indian Paintbrush will be giving out a Producer’s Award (accompanied by a $10,000 grant) to one producer whose film will premiere at the festival. The inaugural award will be presented at the Producers Lunch at next year’s event.
The first Indian Paintbrush Fellows and their projects are listed below with synopses courtesy of Sundance:
Writer/Director: Liliana Greenfield-Sanders
In this dark comedy, an eccentric teenage girl with Munchausen syndrome pushes her medical theatrics to extremes in order to win the heart of a handsome paramedic.
Born and raised in the East Village of New York City, Liliana Greenfield-Sanders’ first film Ghosts of Grey Gardens premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival, screened at the Museum of Modern Art and made its television debut on PBS. Her short films have since won the Lifetime Student Filmmaker Prize, Best Short & Audience Awards at 10 major festivals including Woodstock, Austin and Gen Art, and screened at over 50 more. Greenfield-Sanders is a Masters Candidate at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film program and the Director of the Wassaic Project’s film program, and she attended the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Labs. Adelaide will mark her feature directorial debut.
“Little Accidents” (USA)
Writer/Director: Sara Colangelo
A small American coal-mining town, rocked by the devastating effects of a mining accident a year ago, must now deal with the mysterious disappearance of a 14-year-old boy.
Sara Colangelo is a Student Academy Award-nominated director and recent graduate of NYU’s Graduate Film Division. Her first film, the short documentary Halal Vivero, was a National Finalist at the 2006 Student Academy Awards; her second short film, Un Attimo di Respiro, has screened at over 15 film festivals, including Tribeca and SXSW, and received a Wasserman Prize for Best Direction at NYU. Colangelo’s most recent short film, Little Accidents, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It has garnered numerous awards, including Grand Jury prizes at the Seattle International Film Festival, Arizona Film Festival, and San Francisco ShortsFest. Colangelo participated in the 2011 Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Labs.
“Ad Inexplorata” (USA)
Writer/Director: Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Ad Inexplorata is a multi-media fictional story about Captain William D. Stanaforth, a NASA pilot alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown.
Mark Elijah Rosenberg is the Founder and Artistic Director of Rooftop Films, a New York-based non-profit organization whose mission is to engage diverse communities through the medium of film. As a curator and filmmaker, he has programmed for festivals around the world and produced and directed numerous short films, and he was also a participant in the Sundance Institute June Screenwriters Lab. Rosenberg recently co-produced and co-directed Orbit(Film), an omnibus movie about our solar system.
“Nobody Walks” (USA)
Co-writer/Director: Ry Russo-Young
Co-writer: Lena Dunham
When a driven young artist invades the home and family of a Hollywood sound designer helping her finish her first film, their professional connection triggers a sexual and emotional entanglement that lays bare the needs, narcissism, and questionable morality of everyone involved. Nobody Walks participated in a Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Labs and is currently in post-production with a cast that includes John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby and Rosemarie Dewitt.
Ry Russo-Young’s second feature film, You Won’t Miss Me, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win a 2009 Gotham Award. Her debut feature, Orphans, received a Jury Prize at the 2007 SXSW Film Festival and is now available through Netflix and Amazon. Russo-Young’s films have screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MoMA and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. She currently resides in New York.
Lena Dunham’s first feature, Creative Nonfiction, premiered at SXSW 2009; her latest, Tiny Furniture, premiered in competition at SXSW 2010 and won the Jury Prize for Best Narrative and the Chicken & Egg Award for Best Emerging Female Director. She has made two webseries, Tight Shots and Delusional Downtown Divas, and a short film, Dealing, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival. Lena also created and stars in the new HBO show “Girls”.
“Natural Selection” (USA)
Writer/Director: Robbie Pickering
When a dutiful, albeit barren, housewife discovers that her ailing husband has an illegitimate son, she sets out to find the young man and reunite him with her husband before he dies.
Born and raised in Jersey Village, Texas, Robbie Pickering graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has written and directed several award-winning short films and commercials. Natural Selection marks his feature directorial debut and won the Grand Jury Prize, Best Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Score at SXSW 2011. The film is being distributed by The Cinema Guild.