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Bart Layton and Musician K’naan Among Those Selected for Sundance’s 2013 Directors and Screenwriters Labs

Bart Layton and Musician K'naan Among Those Selected for Sundance's 2013 Directors and Screenwriters Labs

The Sundance Institute today revealed the 13 lucky projects selected for its annual June Directors and Screenwriters Labs, taking place from May 17-June 27. This year’s high-profile Fellows include “The Imposter” director Bart Layton and rapper K’Naan.

The annual workshops give selected films a leg up in the independent
film community in terms of financing and representation and make them
likely candidates for the institute’s signature film festival. Ten films previously supported by the Institute’s Feature Film Program screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, including “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “May in the Summer” and “Blue Caprice.”

Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Feature Film Program, said, “We are very excited to support such a rich selection of projects that reflect the diversity of stories, artistic vision and innovation in narrative form that embraces the next generation of independent filmmakers. The support we provide through the Directors and Screenwriters Labs will allow each artist to develop the tools and confidence to more fully realize the promise of their first and second features.”

Go to page two for the full slate of projects, with descriptions courtesy of Sundance.The projects and
participants selected for the 2013 June Directors Lab (May 27 – June
20) are:

Pamela Romanowsky (writer/director) /
The Adderall Diaries (U.S.A.): Writer Stephen
Elliott reaches a low point when his estranged father resurfaces, claiming
that Stephen has fabricated much of the dark childhood that that fuels his
work. Adrift in the precarious grey area of memory, Stephen has to navigate
the unstable terrain of truth and identity, led by two sources of
inspiration: a new romance, and a murder trial that reminds him more than a
little of his own story. Based on the memoir by Stephen

Pamela Romanowsky is a New York-based writer and
director. Her short films Live Girls and Gravity have
played at festivals nationwide, including Slamdance, Woodstock, and the
Maryland Film Festival. In 2011, Romanowsky won the National Board of
Review’s Student Grant Award and NYU’s prestigious
Wasserman/King Award for excellence in filmmaking. In 2012, she wrote and
directed a piece for Tar (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Jessica
Chastain, Zach Braff), a multi-director narrative film based on the life
and poetry of CK Williams, which premiered at the Rome International Film
Festival and is awaiting a U.S. theatrical release. She studied documentary
filmmaking with Barbara Kopple, and narrative filmmaking at New York
University’s MFA film program.

Jan Kwiecinski (writer/director) /
The Incident (U.S.A.): When a young man decides
to cover up an accidental murder, his whole life comes into focus in ways
he never expected.

Jan Kwiecinski graduated from the filmmaking
departments of the London Film School and the Wajda’s Master School of
Directing. He also holds an MA degree in Theatre Studies from the Theatre
Academy in Warsaw. His award-winning short film, The Incident,
screened internationally at many festivals including the Shanghai
International Film Festival and the T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival.
Recently, Kwiecinski directed the segment entitled Fawns of the
omnibus feature The Fourth Dimension, co-directed by Alexey
Fedorchenko and Harmony Korine. The film premiered in the Narrative
Competition at the 2012 San Francisco Film Festival.

Eva Weber (co-writer/director) and
Vendela Vida (co-writer) / Let the Northern
Lights Erase Your Name
Twenty-eight-year-old Clarissa discovers on the day of her father’s funeral
that everything she believed about her life was a lie. She flees San
Francisco and travels to the Arctic Circle to uncover the secrets of her
mother, who mysteriously vanished when Clarissa was fourteen. Based on the
novel by Vendela Vida.

Originally from Germany, Eva Weber is a London-based
filmmaker working in both documentary and fiction. Her award-winning films
have screened at numerous international film festivals, including Sundance,
Edinburgh, SXSW, BFI London, and Telluride; and have also been broadcast on
UK and international television. Her documentary short film The
Solitary Life of Cranes
was selected as one of the top five films of
the year by critic Nick Bradshaw in Sight & Sound’s
annual film review in 2008. Earlier this year, she received the Sundance
Institute Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award to further support the
development of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your

Vendela Vida is the author of four books, including
the novels Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The
. She is a founding co-editor of the Believer magazine
and co-writer of the film Away We Go, which was directed by Sam

Russell Harbaugh (co-writer/director)
and Eric Mendelsohn (co-writer) / Love After
(U.S.A.): Love After Love is a messy and
desperate love story about grief, sex, and the separation of a

Russell Harbaugh’s short film Rolling on the Floor
played the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and many other
festivals around the world including the FSLC/MoMA co-curated New
Directors/New Films, Maryland Film Festival, Sarasota International Film
Festival, Milano, Warsaw, and others. Harbaugh received his MFA from
Columbia University in 2011 and is originally from Evansville, Indiana. He
lives in New York.

Eric Mendelsohn’s feature film Judy Berlin,
starring Edie Falco and Madeline Kahn, was an Official Selection of the
Cannes Film Festival, won Best Director at Sundance, Best Independent Film
at the Hamptons Film Festival and was nominated for three Independent
Spirit Awards. His short film, Through An Open Window, premiered
at Sundance, was an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival and
garnered him a guest spot on The Tonight Show. Mendelsohn’s most
recent feature, 3 Backyards, premiered in 2010 at Sundance and
garnered the Best Director award, making him the only person in the
festival’s history to have received the award twice.

K’naan (writer/director) /
Maanokoobiyo (Somalia/U.S.A.): In war-torn
Somalia, an artistic orphan named Maano joins the mercenary killing squad
of a notorious warlord, only to discover his adoptive father and gang
leader is responsible for wiping out his family.

K’naan is a Somali poet, rapper and singer,
songwriter. He spent his childhood in Mogadishu, Somalia and was on one of
the last commercial flights out of the country before its collapse. He rose
to prominence with the success of his song “Wavin’ Flag” after
it was chosen as the anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He lives in New

Ian Hendrie (co-writer/co-director)
and Jyson McLean (co-writer/co-director) /
Mercy Road (U.S.A.): Based on true events,
Mercy Road traces the spiritual odyssey of a small town housewife
and mother, as she becomes willing to commit violence and murder in the
name of God.

Ian Hendrie is a San Francisco–based filmmaker
and the co-founder of Fantoma, a production company and independent DVD
label which has been releasing premium edition DVDs of films by such famed
auteurs as Francis Ford Coppola, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Samuel Fuller,
Fritz Lang, Kenneth Anger and Alex Cox, among others, since

Jyson McLean has been a commercial director for over
nine years. His work includes spots for Bud Light, Career Builder, and
Quaker Oats. He has won the ITVA PEER award three years in a row, and has
worked with numerous award winning advertising agencies including DDB Los
Angeles, BBDO London and Fred & Farid, Paris. He is currently signed at
Contagious LA and Magali Films, Paris for commercial representation in
America and Europe respectively.

Hendrie and McLean are recipients of a Fall 2011
SFFS/KRF Filmmaking Grant and SFFS FilmHouse residents.

Meredith Danluck (writer/director) /
State Like Sleep (U.S.A.): Under the surreal
cloud cover of northern Europe, a young American widow reluctantly revisits
her past when her mother is hospitalized in Brussels. While coping with the
bleak reality of parental loss, Katherine explores her deceased husband’s
secret life of underground sex clubs and finds comfort in a relationship
with a stranger as equally broken as she is.

Meredith Danluck is an artist and filmmaker. Her work
has screened at major art institutions internationally including MoMA, PS1,
Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, and Reina Sofia, as well as various
film festivals including SXSW, TIFF, Doc NYC, Margaret Mead and Hamburg
International. Her four-screen film installation North of South, West
of East
recently screened as part of the New Frontier exhibition at
the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Miguel Calderón
(writer/director) / Zeus (Mexico):
Sporadically employed and still living with his mother, Joel finds his only
joy in falconry in the flatlands outside Mexico City, until an encounter
with a down-to-earth secretary forces him to face reality.

Miguel Calderón works in various mediums but
has focused mostly in photography, video and writing. He was a co-founder
of the non-profit art space, “La Panaderia,” which helped
promote new tendencies of art in Latin America beginning in 1994. His
exhibitions include the Rochester Art Center, the Sao Paolo Biennial, Museo
Tamayo, The Yokohama Triennial and Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
His book projects include Thumbs Down (onestar press, 2012),
Backstabbing Gemini
(Rochester Art Center, 2012), Eden is a Magic
(littlebigman books, 2011), and Miguel Calderón
(Turner, 2007). He lives in Mexico City.

The projects and
participants joining the Directors Lab Fellows for the 2013 June
Screenwriters Lab (June 22-27) are:

Ray Tintori (writer/director) /
Untitled Cabal Project (U.S.A.): Young
revolutionaries in love take on the world and each other in a
kaleidoscopically complicated universe that’s coming apart at the

Ray Tintori is an American director, screenwriter, and
founding member of the Court 13 filmmaking collective. His directorial
credits include Death to the Tinman and the music videos off
MGMT‘s first record. Besides directing, he’s worked in various
capacities on Court 13 productions, including production designer and story
co-writer on Glory at Sea, and Aurochs and Special Effects Unit
Director on Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Bart Layton (writer/director) /
The Heist (U.K.): This fiction/documentary hybrid
tells the unlikely but very true story of four privileged Kentucky students
who, seeking an escape from mundane middle America, hatch a plan to steal
millions of dollars of rare books from their university

Bart Layton is a multi-award winning director and
producer. His most recent documentary film, The Imposter, received
almost unanimous critical acclaim after premiering at Sundance, won the
Grand Jury Prize at Miami, the Golden Eye in Zurich and the Filmmakers’
award at Hotdocs before winning a BAFTA and being shortlisted for the
Oscars. Layton lives in London and is the Creative Director of leading
British production company, RAW.

Andrew Ahn (writer/director) /
Spa Night (U.S.A.): Struggling to escape his
crumbling family life, a closeted Korean-American teenager follows his
desires and finds more than he bargains for at the Korean spa.

Andrew Ahn is a Korean-American filmmaker born and
raised in Los Angeles. His short film Dol (First Birthday)
premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and received the Outfest
Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short Film. He graduated from
Brown University with a degree in English and received an MFA in Film
Directing from the California Institute of the Arts.

Nikole Beckwith (writer/director) /
Stockholm, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.): When a young
kidnapping victim is reunited with her family after 19 years, her mother
discovers she has to work harder than ever to find her daughter, at any

Nikole Beckwith is from Newburyport, Massachusetts.
Her plays have been developed with The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons
and The National Theatre of London among others. Stockholm,
(2012 Nicholl Fellowship, 2012 Black List) is her first
screenplay, adapted from her stage play of the same name.

Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio
(writer/director) / Story Box of Dreams
(Peru): In a rural community outside Lima, a young boy escapes from home to
become a story box artisan, a sophisticated craft practiced only by a
select group of families who have passed their skills down over

Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio is an organizational
psychologist and filmmaker from Peru. He received his BSC and MSC from the
London School of Economics and Political Science and attended film
directing workshops at the London Film Academy. He wrote and directed the
award-winning short film El Acompañante (The Companion),
which played at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and many other festivals
around the world including Rotterdam International Film Festival, La
Habana, Palm Springs, Miami, Cork, Leeds, Atlanta, Indie Lisboa, Nashville,
and Maryland, among others.

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