Back to IndieWire

Sun Valley Film Festival Names 2016 Competition Finalists (EXCLUSIVE)

Sun Valley Film Festival Names 2016 Competition Finalists (EXCLUSIVE)

The Sun Valley Film Festival has revealed the finalists for its 2016 competitions, including The
Film Lab, Screenwriters Lab High Scribe, Nat Geo WILD TO INSPIRE, and One

READ MORE: “Sun Valley Film Festival Slate Features ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity,’ ‘I Saw the Light’ (EXCLUSIVE)”

The Film Lab 
Hosted by Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth, The Film Lab,
which presents two films in their final post-production stage. With the director, producer, and
writer of each on hand, The Film Lab’s audience will have the opportunity
to meet the filmmakers, give feedback, and participate in voting for the top work-in-progress.  The Lab’s winning film will
receive $5,000 in finishing funds courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. The 2016 Film Lab finalists are:


Directors: Ari Issler, Ben Snyder

Writers: Ari Issler, Ben Snyder, Victor Almanzar

Producers: Danny Mendoza, Joshua Blum, Gia Walsh, Kara
Baker, Matthew Thrum

Cast: Victor Almanzar

U.S. Marine Nelson Sanchez has run out of time. After being
honorably discharged and returning to his economically depressed hometown,
Nelson must face the consequences of the violent past he thought he had
escaped. Trying desperately to survive the day, Nelson charts an unlikely path
to redemption. In a place where the only options appear to be the street or the
military, 11:55 captures a young man’s escape from the cycles of violence that
have defined him. 80 min./U.S.A.


Writer/Director/Producer: Takuji Masuda

Creative Supervisor: Stephan Gaghan

Co-Producers: Art Brewer, C.R. Stecyk III

Featuring: Bunker Spreckels, Ellie Silva, Tony Alva, Laird
Hamilton, Johnny Knoxville

The Chronicle of the wild and brief life of a 1970’s most
controversial surf star and international playboy from Los Angeles, Bunker
Spreckels. 87 min./U.S.A.

Sun Valley Screenwriters Lab and High Scribe 
Screenwriters Lab, sponsored by Boise State University, is one of SVFF’s signature educational forums. Hosted by Mark Duplass, and judged by
Oscar-winning screenwriter Nat Faxon, the Lab includes the ‘High Scribe’ screenplay competition, with submissions of
original screenplays and TV pilots from aspiring writers. At this year’s festival, the Lab will open with a
talk by Duplass about his career, followed by a Q&A with the audience. The
High Scribe Award, presented by Silver Creek Writers Residency, is announced
during the Lab, where a scene from the winning script is brought to life during
a live table read with professional actors and a cash prize of $1,000 is awarded. The 2016 High Scribe finalists are:    

Michael Tyburski (“Palimpsest”)

Ben Nabors (“Dream Feeds”)

Kerry McPherson (“All the Pretty Ones”)

Nikki Braendlin (“Pampered”)

Karen Tenkhoff (“Welcome to

2016 is the third year of this international competition by Nat Geo WILD, in partnership with the Sun
Valley Film Festival. The winner will travel on an expedition to Africa to document
wildlife for Nat Geo WILD viewers, through video diaries, photos, social media, and more. The top four finalists will screen their films for festival attendees, a panel of judges, and
Nat Geo WILD executives. The winner will be announced at the festival’s closing
ceremony. The 2015 WILD TO INSPIRE winner, Filipe
de Andrade, will also premiere his new Nat Geo short, “Girls Can Be
Scientists?” The 2016 WILD TO INSPIRE finalists are:

Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles,” by Mike Lemery (Schenectady, NY)
Mike is a video producer and filmmaker based in Schenectady,
New York, with more than eight years of professional video experience in
documentary style and television production. In “Conowingo Dam Bald Eagles” viewers witness the
resurgence of the bald eagle population at the Conowingo dam in Maryland, where
hundreds of bald eagles fiercely fight for stunned fish who make it through the
dam’s turbines.

In Search of a Moment,” by David Fontneau (Honolulu, HI)

David is a self-taught photographer and cinematographer who
seeks to inspire others through his passion for nature and photography. In his film, “In Search of a Moment”, David describes
his search for what he can best describe as the purity of a moment.

To the Explorers” by Alex Goetz and Justin Grubb (Toledo,
Alex Goetz and Justin Grubb are filmmakers who focus on
telling the stories of conservation and wildlife around the world, in an effort
to raise awareness of the issues that affect our planet. This short film is an ode to all the adventurers, explorers
and conservationists that dedicate everything they have to conservation,
wildlife and the outdoors.  It is
also a ‘thank you’ to those who inspire us to tell our stories as filmmakers.

Wild Heroes of Uganda,” by Marlina Moreno (Los Angeles,

Marlina is a freelance cinematographer with a passion for
sharing the stories of people doing wonderful things to protect our planet’s
biodiversity. This fall she will graduate with a Master’s in conservation
biology. In “Wild Heroes of Uganda” Marlina pays tribute to the
wildlife conservation heroes she met while exploring Uganda.

One Potato 
Launched in 2015, the One Potato Film Initiative is designed to support emerging filmmakers and encourage and incentivize
filmmaking in the state of Idaho. Last year’s winning screenwriter, Christian Lybrook of Boise, Idaho,
received $2,500 towards producing his short film, “Carbon,” which was shot in Idaho this fall and will world premiere
during the 2016 festival. The winning 2016 One Potato script will receive $5,000
towards filming on location in Idaho and will have its world
premiere at the 2017 festival, as well as hands-on mentoring from industry professionals and other benefits. As a producing partner on the film,
SVFF will connect the winner with seasoned filmmaker participants,
award-winning filmmaker advisors, broker deals on production resources, and
help build a presence for the film. The 2016 One Potato finalists are:

Kevin Nielsen – “Death by Acquaintance”

Eva Konstantopoulos – “There is No Arthur”

Dusty Aunan & Cody Gittings – “Man In A Dress”

Kristen Mico – “This Ole Highway”

Stephen Heleker – “The

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox