150 New Films in Development from Emerging & Established Filmmakers
Showcased at IFP’s 2011 Project Forum
August 11, 2011 (New York, NY) – Gearing up for the 33rd edition of Independent Film Week this September18-22 at its new home Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center, IFP announced its slate of projects for the Project Forum today. Hosted by IFP – the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit for independent film – the Forum consists of a number of initiatives aimed at building industry interest for new work, as well as general audience support for independent film projects.
Project Forum is the centerpiece of Independent Film Week, designed specifically as a place for industry to meet with new talent, as well as discover fresh projects from emerging and veteran filmmakers. The program is also qualitatively and quantitatively the best opportunity in the nation for independent film and media artists to find funders, supporters and/or producers.
"We are thrilled to be moving Independent Film Week to Lincoln Center and to bring together so many diverse filmmakers with unique and original voices from across the U.S. and around the globe," says Joana Vicente, Executive Director, IFP. "Independent Film Week is THE destination for these filmmakers to connect with industry and peers to further their projects in an environment that promotes community, growth, and career sustainability above all."
All projects showcased in the Project Forum are features and documentaries ranging from films in development, or the early stages of production, to those nearing completion (i.e. in postproduction or at the rough cut stage). 150 projects have been selected, evenly split between documentary and narrative features and have had little previous industry exposure.
Narrative program highlights from the 2011 Project Forum includes new work represented by established independent producers Jeff Kusama-Hinte (The Kids Are Alright), Darren Goldberg & Chris Marsh (The Art of Getting By (formerly Homework), Paul Hall (Why Do Fools Fall In Love?), Ben Howe (Return), Katie Mustard (Restless City), Heather Rae (Frozen River), Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree), Ron Simons (Gun Hill Road), Derrick Tseng (Life During Wartime), and executive producers Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce), Jan Chapman (Bright Star), and Diane Nabatoff (The Proposition).
Projects from acclaimed indie directors Ed Gass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs), Bruce La Bruce (Otto: Or Up With Dead People), Allen Moyle (Empire Records), and Rose Troche (Go Fish), as well as follow- up features by Alrick Brown (Kinyrwanda), Adam Bowers (New Low), Dave Boyle (White on Rice), Javier Fuentes-Leon (Undertow), David Lowery (St. Nick), David Robert Mitchell (The Myth of the American Sleepover), Lanre Olabisi (August the First), Cora Olson (Good Dick), Calvin Reeder (The Oregonian), and Michael Tully (Septien) are also in the mix.
Noted directors with new documentary projects include Judith Ehrlich (The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers), Ramona Diaz (Imelda), Caveh Zahedi (I Am a Sex Addict), Catherine Tambini & Carlos Sandoval (Farmingville), Susan Froemke (Lalee’s Kin), Daniel Anker (Scottsboro: An American Tragedy), Sam Pollard (Eyes on the Prize), Peter Gilbert (At the Death House Door), Rebecca Richman Cohen (War Don Don), Madeleine Sackler (The Lottery), Hilla Medalia (To Die in Jerusalem), Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo), Nicole Opper (Off and Running), Ian Cheney (The Greening of Southie), and Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell).
“IFP has distinguished itself as a place of true discovery. Our job at Film Week is not to re-introduce work that’s already made the rounds in marketplace but instead, to take calculated risks on new voices and fresh projects that have not been seen elsewhere. While many projects do have wider commercial prospects, the films we are most proud of in this year’s slate tackle controversial subjects, introduce wildly engaging and often hilarious worldviews, and offer financiers, producers and distributors the rare and wonderful opportunity to be early champions of original and provocative storytellers,” says Amy Dotson, Deputy Director of Programming.
ABOUT THE PROJECT FORUM
A full listing of this year’s accepted projects is attached below. All selected participants take part in one of four sections:
Emerging Narrative has become the premiere U.S. talent pool for producers, agents and managers, and development execs to discover projects in development from new voices on the independent scene. Presenting 20 scripts in early development by up-and-coming writers and writer/directors, all projects and participants have minimal previous exposure to the marketplace.
As part of the program, IFP is proud to present three scripts in conjunction with our partners at Rooftop Films, who have co-curated projects written by alumni of their screening series.
IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs is currently the only program in the nation that supports 21 diverse filmmakers throughout the completion, marketing and distribution of their first feature film. The program has become the leading U.S. forum for executive producers, agents and managers, sales agents and festival programmers to discover and support fresh talent on the independent scene just prior to their introduction to the marketplace. All projects presented in the Labs section are completing post-production and will be premiering at domestic and international film festivals over the next 18 months.
Over the years, No Borders International Co-Production Market has become the premiere U.S. forum for buyers, sales agents and financiers to meet with established independent producers who have strong track records for producing films in the international marketplace. All 45 projects presented at No Borders have at least 15% financing in place; many also have additional cast and/or principal attachments. Of the projects selected for presentation this year, 50% will be represented by producers from the U.S. including six projects from our sole U.S. Partner, The Sundance Institute.
Remaining projects are represented by producers sponsored by No Borders’ international partners and support organizations. These included established funding bodies Film-und Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany), Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum (China), Israel Film Fund, National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa), New Zealand Film Commission, Screen Australia, and Telefilm Canada as well as support organizations ACE/Ateliers du Cinema Européen (France), Berlin International Co-Production Market (Germany), CineMart (The Netherlands), NFDC Cinemas of India/Film Bazaar, and TGP – Tokyo Gathering Project.
Documentary has played an important role in IFP’s history from the very beginning of the organization. In particular, the Spotlight on Documentaries program has been an extremely successful and viable forum for U.S. and international buyers, sales agents, and financiers to meet with filmmakers with new documentary feature projects. Presenting 60 documentaries ranging from those at an early financing stage (i.e. early development or in production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in postproduction or at the rough cut stage), this section includes emerging and established filmmakers in non-fiction.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT FORUM
The Project Forum has had a prolific history in the independent community supporting both emerging and established independent filmmakers at critical stages in their development processes. The organization championed the early work of pioneering independent filmmakers Charles Burnett, Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Michael Moore, Joel and Ethan Cohen, Kevin Smith, and Todd Solondz. Recently, it has also played a vital role in launching the first films of many of today’s rising stars on the independent scene including Debra Granik (Down to the Bone), Miranda July (Me, You and Everyone We Know), and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden (Half Nelson).
Currently, there are many Independent Film Week alumni playing on the international festival circuit as well as theatrically and on television. These films received direct support as a result of participating in Independent Film Week and include: Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine (The Weinstein Co.), Michael Collins’ Give Up Tomorrow (BBC), Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group), Braden King’s Here (Strand Releasing), Susan Saladoff’s Hot Coffee (HBO Documentary), Marshall Curry’s If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Oscilloscope), Zeina Durra’s The Imperialists Are Still Alive! (Sundance Selects), Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (Sony Pictures Classics), Doug Block’s The Kids Grow Up (HBO Documentary Films), Alrick Brown’s Kinyarwanda (AFFRM), Jason Springarn-Koff’s Life 2.0 (OWN), Laura Poitras’ The Oath (Zeitgeist Films), Dee Rees’ Pariah (Focus Features), Matt Porterfield’s Putty Hill (Cinema Guild), Jalmari Helander’s Rare Exports (Oscilloscope), Rebecca Richman Cohen’s War Don Don (HBO Documentary Films), Heather Courtney’s Where Soldiers Come From (P.O.V.) and Tariq Tapa’s Zero Bridge (The Film Desk).
For more information about Independent Film Week: www.independentfilmweek.com
MAJOR PROGRAM SUPPORTERS
Independent Film Week’s Premier sponsors are Royal Bank of Canada, HBO and Eastman Kodak Company. Gold sponsors are A&E IndieFilms, SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild and Stella Artois. Silver sponsors are Deluxe, National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa, Screen Australia and Telefilm Canada. Official Independent Film Week Partner is Film Society of Lincoln Center. Independent Film Week is supported, in part, by funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts.
After debuting with a program in 1979 New York Film Festival, the nonprofit IFP has evolved into the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, and also the premiere advocate for them. Since its start IFP has supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers – voices that might not otherwise have been heard. IFP fosters the development of 350 new feature and documentary films each year through its Project Forum of Independent Film Week, Independent Filmmaker Labs and projects in its fiscal sponsorship program.
(SEE APPENDIX/NEXT PAGE FOR ALL 2011 PROJECT FORUM ACCEPTED PROJECTS)
2011 IFP Project Forum Slate
20 Feature Scripts in Development
The Buck Decision written by Laura Oaksmith. A reporter and an up-and-coming politician uncover the truth behind a hospital's unethical and disturbing past, revealing our country's hidden eugenic policies. (Drama, Based on a True Story)
Cowboys Versus Indians written by Ambarish Manepalli and Christopher VanDijk, directed by Ambarish Manepalli, and produced by Geoffrey Quan. Home to play Thanksgiving football and attend a wedding, Raj discovers he's in love with the bride...and her husband-to-be is on the opposing team. (Drama)
Dig Two Graves written, directed, and produced by Hunter Adams. The mysterious death of a young boy triggers the unearthing of a town's long-buried secrets. (Thriller)
Gifted & Talented written by Samantha Davidson Green. Two dads risk their jobs, families, and freedom in a desperate deal to gain their children admission to New York's most elite kindergarten programs. (Comedy)
Half-Life written and directed by Jeremy Engle. Two kids growing up in East Harlem in the early 1970s, one Irish and one Puerto Rican, are damaged by their colorful but chaotic childhoods. Twenty-five years later, they meet and try to save each other from who they have become. (Drama)
Man-child written and directed by Ryan Koo. A talented basketball player at a small Christian school gets ranked nationally and must choose between schools, coaches, and faiths – all at the age of thirteen. (Drama, Coming-of-Age)
Mint written by Chris Newberry. Lured by a shady co-worker, an unassuming teenager devises a complex counterfeiting and money-laundering scheme, risking his bright future in the process. (Drama, Coming-of-Age)
Newlyweeds written and directed by Shaka King and produced by Michael Matthews and Jim Wareck. A stoner couple struggles to get by, get high, and get lost. (Comedy)
Nikki is a Punk Rocker written by Kat Candler and Elizabeth Chatelain and directed by Kat Candler. An all-girl teen punk band embark on a small tour to land a record deal before college. But unfortunately, Nikki's mom is chaperoning. (Comedy)
Obvious Child written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. A romantic comedy about an unplanned pregnancy, an abortion, and a great first date in an unlikely location. (Romantic Comedy)
Rules for Drowning written by Katherine Scharhon and directed by Danielle Morgan. A stolen typewriter, mysterious breathing attacks, and a girl-crush gone wrong send twenty-four-year-old Jamie and her uptight friend Quin on a misadventurous road trip in the Pacific Northwest. (Dramedy)
Salvage written by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder, directed by Ari Issler, and produced by Ron Simons, Ben Snyder, and Ed Vassallo. A loathsome Seymour Rubin alienates his family and attacks his only friend. Will Seymour find salvation? (Drama)
Sequoia Blue written and directed by Josiah Signor. The Johnstons are a typical Christian, suburban, all-American train-wreck of a family with a happy façade...that happen to bond over a murder. (Dark Comedy)
The Singing Road written and directed by Thomas (Hyungkyun) Kim and produced by Luci Kim. Once upon a time in communist North Korea, a "half-black" baby was accidentally born. (Drama)
Sister Sarah written and directed by Harrison Witt and produced by Jourdan Henderson. Alone and desperate, two orphaned sisters fall prey to a country doctor's perverse obsessions in this American Gothic nightmare of medical experiments and familial rage. (Horror)
Sweetheart of the West written and directed by Calvin Lee Reeder. A small town, LSD-addicted ventriloquist accidentally kills a famous country music singer. (Dark Comedy)
There Are No Strangers Here written by Alka Khushalani. An Indian woman searches for her sister, who has vanished without a trace in a small Midwestern American town. (Drama)
Treble written by Alrick Brown and Micah Schaffer, directed by Micah Schaffer, and produced by Alrick Brown and Deatra Harris. Dr. James West, physicist and inventor, is an undisputed master of sound. But only when his wife disappears does he himself learn to truly listen. (Drama)
Useless People written, directed, and produced by David Woods. When a group of trailer park residents lose their jobs and find their homes threatened, they confront their fears and discover the courage to transform their lives. (Drama)
We’re a Wasteland written and directed by Adam Bowers and produced by Brad Petrigala and Adele Romanski. An aimless twentysomething is told that his father was "just like him at his age," and must fight his genetics or become a deadbeat loser, too. (Comedy)
INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER LABS
21 Feature and Documentary Projects in Post-Production by first-time directors
Booster written and directed by Matt Ruskin, produced by Andrea Roa, and executive produced by Troy Johanson. When Simon's brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted. (Drama)
The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best written and directed by Ryan O’Nan, produced by Jason M. Berman and Kwesi Collisson, and executive produced by Sergio Aguero and Mark G. Mathis. Two musicians on the verge of abandoning hope drive across the country armed with a guitar, a broken heart and an arsenal of children's instruments. (Musical Comedy)
Detroit Unleaded directed and produced by Rola Nashef, written by Jennifer Gingzinger, Heather Kolf, and Rola Nashef, and executive produced by Marwan Nashef and Leon Toomey. Between inner-city Detroit and Arab America, Sami works behind the bulletproof glass of a twenty-four-hour gas station. When the beautiful Najlah walks in, Sami's routine and both their worlds are jolted. (Drama)
Extracted written and directed by Nir Paniry, produced by Gabriel Cowan and John Suits, and executive produced by Kerry Johnson Bailey. An engineer is trapped in the memories of a criminal, and must find a way to get back home to his family. (Sci-Fi)
Future Weather written and directed by Jenny Deller, produced by Jenny Deller and Kristin Fairweather, and executive produced by Jennifer Dubin and Cora Olson. Abandoned by her dreamer single mom, a teenage loner becomes obsessed with ecological disaster, forcing her and her grandmother, a functioning alcoholic, to rethink their futures. (Drama)
The Lost Children directed and produced by Mark Harris and written by Mark Harris, DJ Hazard, Leah Rudlick, and Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr. Evelyn Hamilton joins The Lost Children cult, where she comes to believe in her own mystical powers, and becomes convinced that her death alone can save the world. (Transmedia)
Nancy, Please directed by Andrew Semans, written by Will Heinrich and Andrew Semans, and produced by Dave Saltzman and Vinay Singh. A black comedy that explores obsession, self-righteousness, and the perverse allure of victimhood in New Haven, Connecticut. (Dark Comedy)
Otelo Burning directed and produced by Sara Blecher, written by James Whyle, and executive produced by Kevin Fleischer. South Africa, 1989. Everything is about to change. (Drama)
Pavilion written, directed, and produced by Tim Sutton and executive produced by Russell Brownback and Simon Mikhailivich. A hypnotic narrative of teenagers meandering through endless summer days, "Pavilion" visualizes an innocent way of life coming apart at the seams, constructing an indelible image of the enigma of youth. (Drama)
Pervertigo written and directed by Jaron Henrie-McCrea, produced by Shrihari Sathe, and executive produced by John Fisbeck and Shekhar Sathe. Lloyd Gills, a lonely Peeping Tom, falls in love with the woman of his dreams. Too bad he's been hired to kill her. (Thriller/Comedy)
Welcome to Pine Hill written and directed by Keith Miller and produced by Keith Miller and Elisabeth Holm. A solitary former drug dealer returns to his past, confronts mortality, and seeks freedom in the unknown in this blend of meditative reality and fiction. (Drama)
Herman's House directed by Angad Bhalla, produced by Angad Bhalla and Lisa Valencia-Svensson, and executive produced by Ed Barreveld and Loring McAlpin. What kind of house does a man who has been imprisoned in a six-by-nine-foot cell for over thirty years dream of?
High Tech, Low Life directed by Stephen Maing and produced by Stephen Maing and Trina Rodriguez. Two of China's first and most daring citizen reporters challenge the status quo by reporting on censored news and pushing the boundaries of free speech.
The Light In Her Eyes directed by Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix and produced by Julia Meltzer, Laura Nix, and Orwa Nyrabia. A documentary about an inspiring female Qur’an teacher giving women and girls the tools to challenge cultural traditions in Damascus, Syria.
Northern Light directed by Nicholas Bentgen and produced by Lisa Kjerulff. Framed against a bleak and unforgiving winter, three families live paycheck to paycheck in the northwoods of Michigan. Debts loom, children grow, marriages endure.
Oscar's Comeback directed by Lisa Collins, co-directed by Mark Schwartzburt, produced by Lisa Collins and Mark Schwartzburt, and executive produced by Lisa Cortés and Stephen Winter. An all-white town. Its black native son. Worlds collide. Witness the melodrama and hijinks fueling the annual Oscar Micheaux Film Festival in Gregory, South Dakota.
Sister directed and produced by Brenda Davis. On the ground with maternal health workers in Ethiopia, Cambodia, and Haiti. No white, talking heads, no policy makers, and no blood banks.
Sun Kissed directed by Adi Lavy and Maya Stark and produced by Jocelyn Glatzer, Adi Lavy, and Maya Stark. When both their children are diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, a Navajo couple uncovers a hidden link between their disease and American colonialism.
The Twelve O’Clock Boyz directed by Lotfy Nathan and produced by Eric Blair and Patrick Wright. Pug, a young boy growing up in the West Baltimore hood, seeks out the notorious, law-evading dirt bike group called the Twelve O'Clock Boyz.
Us Naked: The Adventures of Trixie and Monkey directed by Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander and produced by Kirsten D’Andrea Hollander and Scot Hollander. Acrobatic burlesque duo Trixie and Monkey aren't satisfied as underground superstars; they perform relentlessly, trying to make their way from weirdly subversive to wildly successful.
Welcome To The Machine directed, produced, and written by Avi Zev Weider. Upon fathering triplets, filmmaker Avi Zev Weider explores the nature of technology, revealing that all its discussions are about what it means to be human.
No Borders International Co-Production Market
44 Scripts in development (with 15% financing and established producers in place)
Ad Inexplorata produced by Danielle DiGiacomo, Dan Janvey, and Josh Penn and written and to be directed by Mark Elijah Rosenberg. Captain William D. Stanaforth is a NASA pilot, alone on a one-way mission toward the unknown. (Sci-Fi, Drama)
The Adventures of Supermama produced by Damon Berry and Karen van Schalkwyk, written by Damon Berry, Ben Tjibe, and Karen Van Schalkwyk, and to be directed by Karen van Schalkwyk. What if crime-ridden Johannesburg found its champion in a superhero with no superpowers, a hero who is an ordinary, overweight mama? (Comedy, Action)
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints produced by Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston and written and to be directed by David Lowery. A legendary outlaw escapes from prison and sets out to reunite with his wife and child. (Dramatic Thriller)
Both Hands produced by Michael Solomon and Bruce Weiss, written by Joshua Malkin and Michael Zaidan, and to be directed by Michael Zaidan. An ambitious college student finds herself spying on the mysterious tattoo artist next door, which ignites a passionate obsession that threatens to destroy them both. (Romance, International)
Broken produced by Gaetan Rousseau, written by Manu Boyer, Justin Guilbert, and Jennifer Lynch, executive produced by Jennifer Lynch, Lucie Moreau, and Kim Raver, and to be directed by Manu Boyer. A love story between a soldier on leave and a high-end call girl struggling to escape a dangerous world and find a new life together. (Drama)
Cigarette Candy produced by Kristen Konvitz and Brigitte Liebowitz, written by Jeff Sousa and Lauren Wolkstein, and to be directed by Lauren Wolkstein. “Cigarette Candy” is the story of Eddie, a young Marine home from Afghanistan, who must relearn how to navigate the life he left behind. (Drama)
Cold Storage produced by Michelle Turner, written by Jeff Hayward and Nick Ward, and to be directed by Ellory Elkayem. A gritty, fun-packed caper about a concrete-filled freezer that contains a fortune in gold, a dead body, and a steaming mess of trouble. (Comedy, Heist)
Come Sunday produced by Paul Hall and Gregory Scott Williams, Jr. and written and to be directed by Seith Mann. A story about a father, a son and the black Baptist church they make their battleground. (Drama)
Dead Water produced by Felix Blum, written by David Ballerini and Shaun Loftus, and to be directed by David Ballerini. Six people, trapped in a crime they didn’t commit, will have to rediscover the fundamental truth that what is done cannot be undone. (Supernatural Thriller)
Ella Walks the Beach produced by Adele Romanski and written and to be directed by David Robert Mitchell. Following her breakup, a young woman spends a night and a day traveling along an iconic California beach, chatting with strangers and having little adventures. (Drama)
The Feast produced by Ed Gass-Donnelly and Lee Kim and written and to be directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. A rock-gospel musical about a mute who girl sells her soul to the devil for a singing voice so she can win the love of a boy. (Musical)
Five Nights in Maine produced by Nekisa Cooper, Lois Drabkin, Chad Keith, and Summer Shelton and written and to be directed by Maris Curran. Unexpected tragedy brings an African-American widower face-to-face with his estranged mother-in-law in rural Maine. (Drama)
Fortunate Sons produced by Katie Mustard, executive produced by Vikki Scott, and written and to be directed by Danielle Lurie. Based on a 1,000 true stories, “Fortunate Sons” is a provocative thriller about teenagers living in modern-day London. (Drama, International)
Gabriel produced by Ben Howe and written and to be directed by Lou Howe. A troubled teenager's obsessive quest to find his middle-school girlfriend endangers the lives of everyone around him. (Drama)
Gerontophilia produced by Leonard Farlinger and Jennifer Jonas and written and to be directed by Bruce La Bruce. A gay “Harold & Maude,” by Canada's foremost queer auteur: An eighteen-year-old boy gets a summer job in a nursing home and develops a deep emotional attachment to an old man. (Romance)
Glasgow Kiss produced by Jennifer Dubin, Claire Mundell, Cora Olson, Marianna Palka, Jason Ritter, and Carole Sheridan and written and to be directed by Marianna Palka. A modern day love story about a working-class Glaswegian woman whose complicated life is forever changed when she falls in love with an American tourist. (Romantic Comedy, International)
Highway to Nowhere produced by Nick Huston and Ron Simons and written and to be directed by Lanre Olabisi. A naturalized U.S. border patrol officer must confront his dual allegiance, which puts him on a collision course with two ambitious human traffickers and his American-born daughter. (Drama, International)
The Initiation produced by Larry Meistrich, Cornelia Ravenal, and Patrick Ryborn, written by Cornelia Ravenal, executive produced by Diane Nabatoff, and to be directed by Mikael Sodersten. When a brutal hazing takes a teammate's life, a young athlete risks his future to expose the truth. (Drama, Sport)
Khsara produced by Monique Peterson, executive produced by Rumzi Araj, and written and to be directed by Suha Araj. Nisreen struggles with tradition when her Arab boyfriend leaves her at the crucial age of twenty-nine for not being a virgin – after they have sex. (Comedy, International)
Kin produced by Sarah Sulick and written and to be directed by Asitha Amereskere. In Northern England, a family tries to come to terms with the death of their son in Iraq when a rootless young soldier maneuvers himself into their lives. (Drama)
Komorebi produced by Dave Boyle and Ko Mori, executive produced by Ko Mori, written by Dave Boyle and Joel Clark, and to be directed by Dave Boyle. A private detective is pulled into a web of intrigue while following a famed photographer. His investigation unwittingly uncovers the workings of a dangerous cult. (Mystery/Crime Thriller)
The Lion’s Share produced by Allison Black and written and to be directed by Nathan Morlando. A young journalist travels to Somalia for a career-making interview with a pirate who has become Public Enemy #1 but when the danger escalates for both men, the reporter learns that the only way back may be to deliver the head of the man who is both hero and criminal. (Dramatic Thriller)
Magnificent Girl produced by Brian Bell and Jenny Schweitzer and written and to be directed by Tatia Pilieva. A story about an unlikely friendship between a troubled family from Harlem and young woman from Moldova who narrowly escapes the sex trade. (Drama, International)
The Mechanicals produced by Nicole O’Donohue, executive produced by Jan Chapman and Leah Churchill-Brown, and written and to be directed by Leon Ford. From a forgotten world beneath our cities, a lowly young Mechanical falls impossibly in love with the woman he serves, and will risk everything to be with her. (Drama)
Music of My Life produced by Sally Madgwick, written by Emma Vuletic, and executive produced by Timothy White. An Aussie in London must face the music when she falls for the man she's secretly ghostwriting for – true love demands originals, not covers. (Romantic Comedy)
My Golden Year produced by Zorana Piggott and Heather Rae, written by Samantha Silva, and to be directed by Stephanie Smith. A chance encounter between Nick, a thirty-year-old narcissist, and his childhood nemesis Elizabeth, puts into question his entire existence: past, present and future. (Drama)
My Mistress produced by Leanne Tonkes, written by Gerard Lee, executive produced by Robyn Kershaw, and to be directed by Stephen Lance. Suffering from grief after his father’s suicide, sixteen-year-old Charlie Boyd seeks the help of a local S&M mistress in an attempt to re-connect with life. (Romance)
Nerds Versus Vampires produced by Nicholas Tabarrok and written by Lee Hoverd. Nerds at a science fiction convention must fight for their lives when gorgeous female vampires descend upon them looking for virgin blood. (Comedy)
Nixon’s Daughters produced by Jacqueline Brogan and Christie Colliopoulos and written and to be directed by Jacqueline Brogan. In the summer of 1974, a spirited young girl tries to help her loving but troubled teenage babysitter who longs to be part of a normal family. (Coming of Age)
Oliver’s Deal produced by Darren Goldberg and Chris Marsh, executive produced by Christine Vachon, and written and to be directed by Barney Elliott. "Oliver's Deal" is an intense political drama about an ambitious businessman who sets out to score the deal of a lifetime and gets entangled in a battle for land, money, and power in Peru. (Drama, International)
One & Two produced by Kim Sherman, written by Andrew Droz Palermo and Neima Shahdadi, and to be directed by Andrew Droz Palermo. "One & Two" is a look at the bond between siblings in an abusive home, told through a sci-fi lens. (Sci-Fi)
Ping-Pong Summer produced by George Rush, Brooke Bernard, and Ryan Zacarias and written and to be directed by Michael Tully. In a 1980s mid-Atlantic beach town, a shy teenager, Radical Miracle, listens to rap music and dreams of ping-pong glory. An artful, comedic spin on the Hollywood formula. (Comedy)
Sadie produced by Lacey Leavitt and written and to be directed by Megan Griffiths. “Sadie” is an edgy portrayal of a young but clever girl who goes to extreme measures in misguided attempt to protect her family. (Dramatic Thriller)
The Seduction produced by Bryan Brown, written by Sarah Walker, executive produced by Andrew Mason, and to be directed by Rachel Ward. A beautiful, hedonistic Parisienne is forced to confront her choices and values by the unexpected return of the eighteen-year-old son she abandoned as a baby. (Drama)
Stockholm Zululand produced by Junaid Ahmed, Jan Blomgren, and Helena Spring, written by Tom Eaton, and to be directed by Junaid Ahmed. A South African village must feign poverty to attract donor funds, but when Swedish donors come to investigate, the deception sparks hilarity – and romance. (Comedy)
Sushi or Not to Be produced by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, James Debbs, and Takeo Hori and written and to be directed by Takeo Hori. An absurdly earnest Japanese man moves to Manhattan hell-bent on acting superstardom but discovers the path to success detours through a sushi restaurant kitchen. (Comedy, International)
The Story of Ram produced by Guneet Monga and written and to be directed by Ritesh Batra. An ordinary street vendor and tinkerer of sorts forms an extraordinary friendship over the ham radio with none other than the Prime Minister of India. It is a friendship that will transform a nation and the men themselves. (Historical Fiction)
The Swerve produced by Tommy Minnix and Derrick Tseng and written and to be directed by Dean Kapsalis. When a mouse invades her home, a small-town schoolteacher’s life spirals dangerously out of control in this darkly comic psychological thriller. (Dramatic Thriller)
Three Sisters produced by Eran Riklis and written and to be directed by Suha Arraf. Three lonely sisters live under physical occupation which becomes mental and emotional oppression until their eighteen-year-old niece enters their lives and will change them forever. Or perhaps they will change her life… (Drama)
To the End of Love produced by Willie Chan, written by Jimmy Ngai, and to be directed by Stanley Kwan. In a barren land during a bizarre era, a young idler races through the fog on his motorbike trying to find love. (Drama)
Whiplash produced by Sara Blecher and Judy Naidoo, written by Tracey Farren, and to be directed by Sara Blecher. An emotionally numb prostitute becomes pregnant and with the help of some strong belly-dancing women, must give up her drugs, face her buried shame, and come to life. (Drama)
The Woman Who Feared the Sun produced by Rodrigo Guerrero and Ole Landsjöaasen, written and to be directed by Javier Fuentes-León, and executive produced by Michel Ruben. A love story between a woman who burns in flames when touched by sunlight and the human cannonball who crashes into her roof before sunrise. (Fantasy)
Xanadu produced by Amy Lo, written by Susan Austin, and to be directed by Rose Troche. An unabashed tomboy tries to win over the new girl in town, despite her brother's amusingly ineffectual attempts to sabotage her. (Coming of Age)
Zero Motivation produced by Eilon Ratzkovsky and written and to be directed by Talya Lavie. A tragicomic military epic following the power struggles of three female clerks at a remote Israeli army base during the course of one year. (Comedy)
Spotlight on Documentaries:
60 Documentary features at an early financing stage (i.e. early development/production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in postproduction or at the rough cut stage).
A Fragile Trust: Race, Ethics, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times directed and produced by Samantha Grant. "A Fragile Trust" tells the dramatic story of Jayson Blair, a promising, young, African-American reporter whose shocking lies nearly destroyed the New York Times.
Alias Ruby Blade directed by Alex Meillier and produced by Alex Meillier and Tanya Ager Meillier. After generations of violent conflict in East Timor, one courageous woman risks everything for the love of an imprisoned leader of a nation struggling for freedom.
Almost There directed by Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, produced by Dan Rybicky, and executive produced by Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan. An elderly outsider artist's life changes when his work is publicly exhibited, his home is condemned, and a long-buried secret comes to light.
Althea written and directed by Rex Miller and produced by Nancy Buirski, David Dinkins, and Rex Miller. Althea Gibson, a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, emerged as a most unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world of the 1950s.
Always in Season directed, produced, and written by Jacqueline Olive. "Always in Season" examines the lingering impact of lynching African-Americans by featuring current efforts to turn harm to hope with reconciliation and restorative justice.
Best Kept Secret directed by Samantha Buck, produced by Danielle DiGiacomo, written by Zeke Farrow, and executive produced by Scott Mosier. In "Best Kept Secret," a Newark, New Jersey high school teacher struggles to prepare her students with autism to survive in the brutal world that awaits them once they graduate.
Beware of Mr. Baker directed by Jay Bulger and produced by Julie Goldman, Andrew Karsch, and Fisher Stevens. Ginger Baker plays the drums. Life plays Ginger Baker.
Big Joy Project directed by Stephen Silha and Eric Slade, produced by Stephen Silha, and executive produced by Jok Church and Stephen Silha. A film illustrating the power of art and poetry to change lives, using the life and work of pansexual performance artist James Broughton as a lens.
Broken Heart Land directed by Jeremy Stulberg and Randy Stulberg, produced by Eric Juhohla, and executive produced by Diana Holtzberg. When a gay Oklahoma teen commits suicide after a controversial city council meeting about LGBT history month, his community is left to unravel the mystery behind his death and explore the issue of homosexuality.
Call Me Kuchu directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall and produced by Malika Zouhali-Worrall. As state-sanctioned homophobia reaches new heights in Uganda, David Kato, the country's first publicly gay man, will stop at nothing to liberate the LGBT community.
Can't Stop the Water directed by Jason Ferris and Rebecca Ferris and produced by Kathleen Ledet. “The White Man pushed us to the end of the earth. Now Mother Nature wants to push us back.” – Chief Albert Naquin
CRUTCH: Provocateur directed and produced by Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans. The transformative story about Bill Shannon, a world-class performer who overcame unimaginable obstacles to create an utterly unique form of dancing and skating on crutches.
Cutie and the Boxer directed by Zachary Heinzerling, produced by Patrick Burns, Sierra Pettengill, and Lydia Dean Pilcher, and executive produced by Caroline Waterlow. A meditation on companionship, sacrifice, and the creative spirit, this love story explores the chaotic forty-year marriage of two New York-based Japanese artists.
Dancing in Jaffa directed by Hilla Medalia, produced by Hilla Medalia and Neta Zwebner-Zaibert, and executive produced by Diane Nabatoff. Pierre Dulaine, an internationally renowned ballroom dancer is planning to fulfill a lifelong dream – to teach ten-year-old Palestinian and Israeli children to dance together.
Dancing with N.E.D. directed and written by Andrea Kalin and produced by Andrea Kalin and Karen Simon. The story of an unconventional rock band formed by six gynecological surgeons outraged at the wall of silence surrounding their field. It was time to make some noise.
Desert Runners directed by Jennifer Steinman and produced by Diana Parker and Jennifer Steinman. An aging Irish businessman, an aspiring Australian actress, and a widowed British bodyguard face extreme physical and emotional obstacles while running four treacherous desert ultramarathons.
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey directed by Ramona Diaz, produced by Capella Fahoome Brogden, and executive produced by Josh Green. The film follows the rock’n’roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, plucked from YouTube to become the frontman for iconic American rock band Journey.
Elemental directed and produced by Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee. A rogue Indian government official, a visionary Australian inventor, and an indigenous Canadian activist are each transformed by monumental ecological challenges.
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare directed and produced by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. Putting the care back into healthcare.
Gideon's Army directed by Dawn Porter and produced by Julie Goldman and Dawn Porter. More Americans are under the supervision of the criminal justice system than any other country. Who are the defense lawyers protecting the rights of the accused?
Got Balz? directed by Marcia Jarmel, produced by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, and written by Laurie Coyle. Youthful idealism collides with political reality in this charming story of a teen's effort to repay Cuba for saving his grandpa's life – with baseballs.
Gregory Crewdson: Dream of Twilight directed and produced by Ben Shapiro. Over a decade, photographer Gregory Crewdson attempts perhaps the most elaborate photographic project ever created: a series of cinema-like, incredibly detailed surreal tableaus of suburban life.
Here Come the Videofreex! directed and produced by Jennifer Raskin and Jon Nealon. Explores how a ragtag bunch of hippies attempted to revolutionize television.
Hollywood Renegade directed, produced, and written by Benn Schulberg and executive produced by Ben Stiller. Budd Schulberg grew up a Hollywood prince and became one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century but also one of the most controversial. His youngest son undertakes an unforgettable journey to search for the truth.
Homegoings directed and produced by Christine Turner. "Homegoings" explores the African-American funeral home, a 150-year-old institution that is now vanishing, through the eyes of a renowned Harlem undertaker.
How to Lose Your Virginity written, directed, and produced by Therese Shechter. Hyper-sexualized Disney starlets flaunt purity rings while writhing on stripper poles, and one filmmaker probes the power, and impact, of our improbable obsession with virginity.
If directed and produced by Micah Garen and Marie-Helene Carleton. The coming-of-age story of four young Egyptian women during the Egyptian revolution. In the process of transforming their world, they change themselves.
Junior Summer directed and produced by Peter Gilbert and Lisa Gildehaus and executive produced by Robert Fernandez. Curtis is fighting for his Detroit community basketball program for aspiring teenagers. He and his team are being fractured by the business of basketball.
La Camioneta – The Journey of One American School Bus directed, written, and executive produced by Mark Kendall and produced by Mark Kendall. In this lyrical film, an out-of-service American school bus travels 3,000 miles with its new owner to Guatemala, where it is repaired, renamed, re-equipped and reborn.
Low & Clear directed by Kahlil Hudson and Tyler Hughen and produced by Alex Jablonski. Two formerly close friends reunite for a fly-fishing trip and struggle to understand how much they've each changed – and how these changes now threaten the friendship.
Mayara (working title) directed by Mary Jane Doherty and produced by Lyda Kuth. The story of Cuban teenage ballet star, Mayara, on her three-year journey up and out of Cuba's world-famous ballet system.
Mr. Angel directed by Dan Hunt, produced by Janet Baus, and executive produced by Anderson Clark. The extraordinary life of transgender activist, educator, and porn pioneer, Buck Angel. It's a story of survival, perseverance, and an unlikely hero.
Our Nixon directed and produced by Brian Frye and Penny Lane and executive produced by Dan Cogan and Jenny Raskin. The Super 8 home movies of Richard Nixon's closest aides and fellow Watergate conspirators offer an intimate and surprising new look at his presidency.
Prison Terminal directed, produced, and written by Edgar Barens. “Prison Terminal” follows the final months of a terminally ill prisoner and demonstrates how the hospice experience can touch the forsaken lives of the incarcerated.
Reconvergence directed by Edward Tyndall, produced by Edward Tyndall and Patrick Weaver, and executive produced by Cameron Brodie, Tyler Brodie, and Patrick Weaver. Offers an intriguing exploration of mortality, consciousness and identity from the perspectives of four distinct characters: a naturalist, a neuroscientist, a poet, and a historian.
Regeneration directed and produced by Adam Zucker. The contemporary story of a generation of young Poles who recently discovered their Jewish identity, and the their struggle to create a new community.
Regina Likes to Fly directed by Henry Corra and Regina Nicholson and produced by Jeremy Amar. A teenage filmmaker battles for her life as she begins to discover what life is.
Rise and Fall of ACORN: America's Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Group directed by Sam Pollard, produced by John Atlas, Reuben Atlas, and Sam Pollard, and written by Samuel Freedman. For decades, ACORN taught impoverished people to improve their lives by showing them David could defeat Goliath. In 2010, the organization was destroyed. What happened?
Sembene! directed and written by Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo, produced by Kisha Cameron-Dingle, Andrea Meditch, Samba Gadjigo, and Jason Silverman, and executive produced by Dan Cogan. A freedom fighter who used stories as his weapon: Meet Ousmane Sembene, the father of African cinema.
Strange Bedfellows: The Untold Story of Opera and Hollywood directed by Daniel Anker, produced by Daniel Anker, Mark Schubin, and Tiffany Peckosh, and written by Daniel Anker and Susan Kim. A ninety-minute documentary that explores the ironic, often absurd, and ultimately transformational relationship between opera and Hollywood.
Teenage directed by Matt Wolf and produced by Ben Howe, Jacqui Edenbrow, and Kyle Martin, written by Jon Savage, and executive produced by Jason Schwartzman. “Teenage” is an unconventional historical film about youth culture. The film brings to life fascinating youth from the early twentieth century, and reveals the prehistory of modern teenagers.
The Arizona Project (working title) directed and produced by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini and written by Carlos Sandoval. The explosive emotions and tragic toll behind Arizona's headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration are told through the power of personal story.
The Cause of Progress directed by Chris Kelly, produced by Danielle DiGiacomo and Edwina Forkin, and executive produced by Christo Hird. “The Cause of Progress” is the story of several Cambodians embroiled in the country's chaotic and violent economic development.
The Dragons of Jim Green directed by Randy M. Salo and produced by Randy M. Salo and Ted Weinbaum. A World War II veteran's theories of an ancient reptilian civilization destroyed by war is put to the test by his grandson, with unexpected consequences.
The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha directed by Woo Jung Cho, produced by Woo Jung Cho and Sean Kaminsky, and executive produced by Thomas Allen Harris. A tribute to the Korean American conceptual artist, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, whose exploration of displacement and loss continues to have influence despite her untimely death.
The Genius of Marian directed by Banker White and produced by Anna Fitch. This film confronts the silent void surrounding aging and death by telling the personal story of one family's struggle with Alzheimer's disease across four generations.
The Mouse That Roared written and directed by Judith Ehrlich, produced by Judith Ehrlich and Patricia Flynn, and executive produced by Jodie Evans. A trailblazing Icelandic Parliamentarian spearheads the global fight for internet freedom, taking us beyond the Information War headlines with heart, art, and a woman's perspective.
The Revisionaries directed by Scott Thurman and produced by Vijay Dewan, Chandra Silver, Pierson Silver, and Orlando Wood. In a small room in Austin, Texas, fifteen people are single-handedly deciding what is taught to the next generation of American children.
The Search for General Tso directed by Ian Cheney and produced by Curtis Ellis, Jennifer 8 Lee, and Julia Marchesi. Who was General Tso and why are we eating his chicken? This feature documentary celebrates Chinese-American food and the immigrant experience that created it.
The Sheikh and I directed, produced, and written by Caveh Zahedi. When an American filmmaker is commissioned to make a film for a Middle East Biennial, his film is banned and he is threatened with arrest.
The Supreme Price directed and produced by Joanna Lipper. Following her mother's assassination and the mysterious death of her father (Nigeria's President-elect), Hafsat Abiola returns to Lagos to lead the pro-democracy movement.
The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga directed by Jessica Oreck, produced by Rachael Teel, and executive produced by Dan Cogan. A descent into Eastern Europe's haunted woodlands uncovers the secrets, fairy tales, and bloody histories that shape our understanding of man's place in nature.
The Viking of Sixth Avenue directed by Holly Elson and produced by Lori Cheatle and Holly Elson. For the first time on film, the extraordinary story of Moondog: New York icon, blind composer, and the ultimate cult music figure.
They Are All My Brothers directed by Nicole Opper and produced by Carlos Hagerman. Four boys from abusive households seek new beginnings at IPODERAC, an unconventional group home in rural Mexico. Together, they redefine family.
Two Children of the Red Mosque directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Naqvi, produced by Naziha Syed Ali, Jonathan Goodman Levitt, and Hemal Trivedi, and executive produced by Whitney Dow. After attending Pakistan's most notorious madrassah, twelve-year-olds Zarina and Talha are pursuing different dreams. Their stories personalize an ideological war that is defining terrorism's future.
Unstable Elements directed and produced by Madeleine Sackler and executive produced by Tom Stoppard. “Unstable Elements” follows the Belarus Free Theater around the world as they rebel against the violent regime of the last dictator in Europe.
Untitled Montana Medical Marijuana Project directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, produced by Francisco Bello, and executive produced by David Menschel. “Untitled Montana Medical Marijuana Project” is a story about the passage of a controversial medical marijuana bill, and the lives affected by it on all sides.
We Are The Ones directed by Michael Skinner and produced by Jon Michael Shink and Michael Skinner. South Sudanese doctors respond to outbreaks of tribal violence by traveling to rival tribal areas to use medicine as a bridge for peace.
When I Walk written and directed by Jason DaSilva, produced by Jason DaSilva and Leigh DaSilva, and executive produced by Stanley Nelson. “When I Walk” looks into my life with multiple sclerosis – my loss of mobility, my emotional journey, and my pursuit of a new identity.
Where Heaven Meets Hell written and directed by Sasha Friedlander, produced by Sasha Friedlander, Bao Nguyen, and David Osit, and executive produced by Maro Chermayeff and Deborah Dickson. In the crater of a breathtaking Indonesian volcano, impoverished sulfur miners haul hundreds of pounds, risk health and life, struggling to provide for their families.