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Sundance Introduces Its First Episodic Story Lab, Set for Fall 2014

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 19, 2014 at 2:28PM

To state the obvious, the world of episodic content is trending in a major way. Following on the heels of SXSW showcasing its first Episodic program, the Sundance Institute has unveiled an expansion in its Labs program to include the first Episodic Story Lab, set to be held in Fall 2014 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.
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Cary Fukunaga
Cary Fukunaga

To state the obvious, the world of episodic content is trending in a major way. Following on the heels of SXSW showcasing its first Episodic program, the Sundance Institute has unveiled an expansion in its Labs program to include the first Episodic Story Lab, set to be held in Fall 2014 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.

The Lab is interested in both comedy and drama projects, with the premise that six immersive days at the Resort will help hone the accepted writers' development of story and character in multi-episode form.

For the inaugural year, however, the Institute is considering applicants by invitation only. An open application process is anticipated in the coming years. 

Here's some official language:

Building on the Institute’s 30-year legacy of developing new work from storytellers with distinctive and risk-taking stories, this new initiative addresses the need for more opportunities for learning and mentorship of singular and diverse voices in scripted TV and online series. In collaboration with accomplished mentors, writers at the six-day, immersive Episodic Story Lab will work on developing stories and characters that play out over multiple episodes and will also have the opportunity to better understand the landscape for production and distribution of serialized stories. Both drama and comedy writing will be supported at the Lab, which has been organized under the leadership of Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Institute’s Feature Film Program. 

Past Instituted-supported artists have certainly made names for themselves in the world of television. To wit: Cary Fukunaga, Lena Dunham, Louis CK, Mark Duplass, Lisa Cholodenko, Jason Katims, Rodrigo Garcia, Todd Haynes, RJ Cutler, Mike White, Robert Rodriguez, Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, Allison Anders and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

This article is related to: News, Sundance Institute , TV, TV News, News, Episodic


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.