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Meet Film Independent’s 8 Directing Lab Fellows for 2016

Meet Film Independent's 8 Directing Lab Fellows for 2016

Film Independent, which produces the Indie Spirits, the L.A. Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA, has chosen eight fellows for its 2016 Directing Lab, an eight-week intensive that allows emerging filmmakers to rehearse and shoot scenes from their in-progress feature films, under the guidance of industry veterans — including, this year, creative advisors Daniel Barnz (“Cake,” “Phoebe in Wonderland”), Catherine
Hardwicke (“Twilight,” “Thirteen”) and
James Ponsoldt (“The End of the Tour,” “Smashed”). 

Other 2016 mentors include casting consultants Meg Morman and Sunday Boling; producer Joan Scheckel
(“Beginners,” “Transparent”); and editing advisor Darrin Navarro (“Talullah,” “The End of the Tour”). After selecting, workshopping, and shooting scenes from their feature-film projects, with digital camera, lighting packages, and stipends provided by Film Independent, fellows will screen their work for advisors and Film Independent staff. 

The Directing Lab is supported by The Time Warner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Past fellows include Sian Heder (“Tallulah”), Andrew Ahn (“Spa Night”), Sheldon Candis (“LUV”), Cherien Dabis (“Amreeka”), and Robbie
Pickering (“Natural Selection”). Read the full list of 2016 Directing Lab
participants and their projects below.

Clinch (Jules
Nurrish – director)
A gifted boxer risks his
family and career when he starts an affair with another man.

In the Shadows of the
Godbe Lipman – writer/director)
A strung out 23-year-old
Club Kid escapes New York City in 1992, venturing home to a rural pot commune
to make amends with the people who raised her. She soon discovers the hippy
paradise she left as a child has grown fanatical, and her estranged family
hides peculiar secrets behind cult-like dogma.

Midwestern (Danny
Jacobs & Darren Grodsky – co-writers/directors)
After the Social Security
Administration mistakenly declares him dead, failed travel agent Harry Pfeiffer
attempts to save his crumbling marriage and restart his life by collecting the
life insurance, only to wind up in a labyrinth of murder and corruption that he
is ill equipped to handle.

Rita Mahtoubian Is Not A
(Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman –
When Iranian-­born Rita
Mahtoubian sets out to change her life from ordinary to extraordinary she
accidentally captures the attention of a homeland security agent in this
fractured, fresh comedy about romance, terrorism and trying to be a better

Skin Deep (Maggie
Kiley – director)

In Skin Deep, two teenage girls cast a
spell that makes them incrementally more attractive. The catch? It only works
when they hurt people. As the never-ending quest for beauty consumes them,
these two best friends will maim, mutilate, and mangle their way to perfection.
And only one of them will be left standing.

Up With The Joneses (Rani
DeMuth – writer/director/producer)

When an eccentric mother
leaves her family to pursue a career in performance art, the family all
struggles to find meaning in their lives; especially when the mom returns home.

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