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Film Independent Reveals 6 Directors Selected for 15th Directing Lab (Anthony Onah Made the Cut)

Film Independent Reveals 6 Directors Selected for 15th Directing Lab (Anthony Onah Made the Cut)

Congratulations to Anthony Onah who has been selected as one of 6 filmmakers to participate in Film Independent’s 15th annual Directing Lab – an intensive 8-week program designed to support emerging independent film directors as the prep their feature film. A primary focus of the Lab is on working with actors in the rehearsal process.

Under the guidance of the Creative Advisors, Directing Fellows select short scenes from their scripts to workshop and shoot. Film Independent provides Fellows with digital camera and lighting packages and small stipends to shoot their scenes, and offers access to experienced casting directors, cinematographers, and editors with whom to collaborate and consult. The process creates an opportunity to see the work through from pre- to post-production, and culminates in a group screening for the Advisors, Film Independent Staff and Fellows.

The selected directors also attend Film Independent’s Directors Close-Up series that offers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the best independent directors and their collaborators, as they explore specific aspects of their craft, further states the press release.

The Fellowship includes a $10,000 unrestricted cash grant to assist filmmakers in development and production.

Directors Daniel Barnz, Catherine Hardwicke and James Ponsoldt are the 2015 Directing Lab Creative Advisors. Other industry advisors include leading directing teacher, Joan Scheckel, and casting director, Heidi Levitt. 

“This year’s Directing Lab Fellows embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision, the pillars of our mission at Film Independent. We are looking forward to nurturing these exceptional artists through the Lab and helping these vital stories become realized as extraordinary independent films,” said Jennifer Kushner, Director of Artist Development at Film Independent.

Upon completion, participants become Film Independent Fellows, receiving year-round support, including eligibility for grants and awards, access to Film Independent’s annual film education offerings and a pass to the Los Angeles Film Festival. 

Past Directing Lab Fellows include Ana Lily Amirpour who went on to direct the Spirit Award Nominated “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” Sheldon Candis with “LUV” (2012 Sundance Film Festival), Cherien Dabis with “Amreeka” (2009 Sundance Film Festival, FIPRESCI Award Winner at 2009 Cannes Film Festival), and Robbie Pickering with “Natural Selection” (2012 Spirit Award Nominee for Best First Feature, Winner SXSW Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award). 

Past Film Independent Fellows and their projects can be found in The Time Warner Foundation funded Film Independent Talent Guide at

The Directing Lab is one of Film Independent’s Artist Development Programs, which include a Documentary Lab in the spring, a Screenwriting Lab running late summer, and a Producing Lab running in the fall. Additional information and an application form can be found at

The 2015 Directing Lab participants and their projects are:

Dara JuAnthony Onah – writer, director

A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path.

Ghosts In The GraveyardKevin Parker Flynn – writer, director

Ghosts in the Graveyard is a coming-of-age film set in small town America told through the rotating first person point of view of seven 12/13-year-olds on a single night.

Nancy: Christina Choe – writer, director

A psychological drama about Nancy, a serial imposter who lives at home with her abusive, elderly mother. Desperate for love, she creates a fake blog and catfishes a lover, but her hoaxes cause epic and tragic consequences.

Norway: Sylvia Sether – writer, director, producer

A troubled young woman returns to Norway to say goodbye to her dying father, and in the process, finds deliverance through love and letting go.

The Space Between: Philiane Phang – writer, director

On her journey to becoming a professional bodybuilder, a woman is forced to confront her tragic past with her father when she unexpectedly falls in love.

The Time Capsule: Erwann Marshall – co-writer, director

In the near future, a jaded politician fresh off an electoral loss escapes with his controlling wife to the French beach home where he spent summers as a teen. Their vacation is disrupted by the appearance of his first love, who has just returned from a 20-year space voyage and hasn’t aged a day.

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