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Film Independent Reveals Filmmakers for 2013 Documentary Lab

Film Independent Reveals Filmmakers for 2013 Documentary Lab

Independent has announced its chosen filmmakers for the 2013
Documentary Lab
, an eight-week program designed to assist burgeoning directors currently
in post-production.

This year’s Lab Mentors include documentary filmmakers Doug
Blush (editor, “The Invisible War”), Laura
Gabbert (“No Impact Man”) and Jeff Malmberg (“Marwencol”).

“There is so much great work being done by documentary
filmmakers right now, and it’s exciting to see the projects coming out of our
Lab being celebrated at festivals and beyond,” stated Jennifer Kushner, Film
Independent’s Director of Artist Development. “We’re thrilled to welcome the
new group of filmmakers, and look forward to seeing their films develop in the

Previous Documentary Lab projects include: Hila Medalia’s “Dancing in Jaffa,” Nicholas Wrathall’s “Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia” and Nicole Karsin’s “We Women Warriors,” among others.

The chosen fellows and their films are:


Title: “Birdmen”

Milena Pastreich                                 

Logline: Inner-city men are kept off the streets by their
dedication to pigeons that do flips in the air.

Title: “KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots”

Director/Producer: Heather Lenz

Logline: Trailblazer Yayoi Kusama’s turbulent quest to
become a world famous artist is documented in “KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots”;
as a rival of Warhol in the ‘60s, Kusama battled sexism and racism in America
while her hallucinations of polka dots eventually led her to the Tokyo mental
institution she has called home for over 30 years.

Title: “Maidentrip”

Director/Producer: Jillian Schlesinger

Producer: Emily McAllister

Logline: An intimate coming-of-age adventure set against the
epic backdrop of the open sea, “Maidentrip” explores life through the eyes of
14-year-old Laura Dekker on her quest to become the youngest person ever to
sail around the world alone.

Title: “Mary Woronov, Cult Queen from Warhol to Corman”

Director/Producer: Francesca Di Amico

Producer/Cinematographer: Claudia Unger

Logline: The documentary explores the enigma of actress and
artist, Mary Woronov and chronicles her colorful career spanning from her work
with Andy Warhol to Roger Corman that sealed her reputation as a “Cult Queen”.

Title: “Mateo”

Director/Producer: Aaron Naar                                          

Logline: Matthew dreamed of pop stardom; instead he went to
jail, emerged a mariachi singer and fell in love with a Cuban prostitute.

Title: “Rich Hill”

Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos                 

Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Andrew Droz Palermo                             

Logline: “Rich Hill” intimately chronicles the turbulent
lives of four impoverished boys living in a dying Midwestern town, witnessing
their struggles up-close as they yearn to find self-worth and to imagine a
brighter future.

Title: “Storyteller: the Wonderful, Magical Life of the Man
Who Saved Ben Hur”

Director/Producer: Joe Forte                                                        

Logline: Childless and never married, a real life Forest
Gump sorts through the treasures of his life.

Title: “Top Spin”

Co-Director/Producer: Mina T. Son                     

Co-Director/Editor: Sara Newens

Logline: Facing steep odds, a group of tenacious American
teenagers chase Olympic glory in table tennis – the greatest equalizer in
sports, where regardless of size, age, and gender, anyone can win.

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