Have you ever showed up to speed dating only to find the opposite side of the barcade banquette occupied by a Puritan it-girl, Chicano art collective or trans-femme disco-dancing granny? For that matter, has your scorecard of prospective singles ever included A24? Hulu? ABC News? If not, then you’ve never been on the floor to pitch your latest film project at Film Independent Fast Track.
Now in its 21st year, Fast Track seeks to inject some much-needed capital and support into a diverse range of deserving independent film projects, both fiction and nonfiction. Taking place online December 4–6, the program is an intensive four-day film-financing market; participating filmmakers are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other pros who can move their current projects forward.
“This year’s Fast Track line-up of projects reflects the current landscape’s desire for bold, innovative and entertaining films. We’re thrilled to introduce the dynamic and talented filmmakers behind these films at this year’s finance market,” says Angela Lee, Director of Artist Development. Here art the 16 projects—and 41 filmmakers!—presently careening toward IRL face time with some of Hollywood’s most important power players…
Writer/Director: Shireen Alihaji
Producer: Jaime Ballesteros
Logline: In the wake of 9/11, a First-Gen Muslim teenager discovers her mother’s cassette tapes. As music unlocks memories, she discovers who she is.
Writer/Director: Tulica Singh
Producers: Kim Bailey, Isabel Marden
Logline: In 17th century colonial America, an outcast witch and a Puritan It-girl fall in love amongst the chaos of their settlement’s first witch trial.
Writer/Director: Nihaarika Negi
Producers: Nancy Degnan, Tobias Reeuwijk
Logline: In 1950s, India—a sadomasochist English Madame has raised two tribal sisters to be her servants on a withering colonial estate. But the arrival of Madame’s latest lover—a singer/shaman scholar—changes the alchemy of the estate, as the sisters slowly transgress—reclaiming their wild, mystical selves.
Writer/Director: Jing Ai Ng
Producer: Elizabeth Glass
Logline: In the art world of Miami, siblings Raymond and Coco Zhang run a profitable forgery ring. When the Zhangs cross paths with millionaire Holden Lawrence, they are coerced into creating counterfeit masterpieces as a front for his old American family’s art collection. Meanwhile, FBI Art Crimes agent Emily Lee moves to South Florida and attempts to find the culprits behind a new string of forgeries.
Writer/Co-Director: Gabe Gabriel
Co-Director: Ian Gabriel
Producer: Shant Joshi
Logline: An outrageous white-passing trans femme disco-dancing granny in Apartheid South Africa befriends a deceased gay boy’s affluent and conservative mother, in an attempt to crib funds for his community in dire need of assistance due to the rising HIV/AIDS crisis—unaware the grieving woman is on a crusade to enact revenge on the man she imagines infected her son.
It’s Always Sunni
Writer/Director: Sonia Malfa
Writer/Producer: Trae Harris
Producer: Nikkia Moulterie
Logline: Sunni, an eclectic young poet, hits the road from Baltimore to the American West to claim her estranged father’s inheritance. But her mother, Mo, determined to regain control and maintain long kept family secrets sets off a cross country chase to stop her.
Mallie Adams Is a Dyke
Writer/Director: Janey Feingold
Producers: Matthew Cooper, Talia Light Rake
Logline: On the eve of her 20-year high school reunion, Mallie Adams accidentally time travels back to the year 2005 to relive her senior year of high school. In order to find her way home to 2025, Mallie must confront her queer identity and risk it all for a second chance with the girl that got away.
Writer/Director: Cole Smith
Producer: Nicholas Nyhof
Logline: Based on the true incident, an Airman’s mistake in a nuclear missile silo sparks a desperate race against time to stop a leak before the warhead explodes and kills millions. (Silo is also the recipient of Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $20,000 grant t0 support the production of a project exploring themes of science and technology or characters engaging with science and technology in engaging and innovative ways.)
Writer/Director: Mary Dauterman
Producer: Lexi Tannenholtz
Logline: Two Gap employees discover a bag of cash and a gun in the dressing room at the top of their shift on Black Friday. All hell breaks loose.
Writer/Director: Adam Meeks
Producers: Brad Becker-Parton, Faye Tsakas
Logline: Mandated to a drug court recovery program, a young man in rural Ohio tests the boundaries of his sobriety.
Directors: Nicolas Lopez-Alegria, Zach Zuckerman
Producers: Dustin Nakao-Haider, Steffie van Rhee
Logline: Before a Commander leaves Earth to lead a new era of spaceflight, his son asks him to explore the unresolved space between them.
ASCO: Without Permission
Director: Travis Gutiérrez Senger
Producer: Sabrina Coulston
Logline: The story of the Chicano art collective, ASCO (1972-1987) and their defiant and visionary approach to art-making. Through a genre-defying style, the film celebrates this revolutionary group.
Aunty Untitled Project
Director: Haohao Yan
Producer: Guo Guo
Logline: A coming of golden-age story following a group of Chinese female immigrants in the US trying to get a shot at America’s Got Talent and eventually finding themselves in later life through dancing and creativity.
Far From Maine
Director: Roy Cohen
Producer: Serge Gordey
Logline: As the Middle East is irrevocably changing around him, an Israeli man is compelled to deal with the long-forgotten violent death of his Palestinian childhood friend and fellow peace activist. Can he reclaim the dream they had once shared? (Director Roy Cohen is the recipient of the $10,000 Cayton-Goldrich Family Foundation Fellowship, awarded to a Jewish filmmaker accepted into a Film Independent Artist Development Program. )
Untitled Marjolaine Grappe Project
Director: Marjolaine Grappe
Producer: Amanda Pike
Logline: Logline unavailable
What Will I Become?
Directors: Logan Rozos, Lexie Bean
Producer: Drew Dickler
Logline: More than 50% of transgender boys have attempted suicide. Through two life stories, directors Lexie and Logan unravel why their community is particularly vulnerable to living and dying quietly.
Industry participants include (deep breath, cue the Micro Machines guy): 30West, A24, ABC News Studios, America Reframed, Anonymous Content, Astrakan Film AB, Bankside Films, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Black Bear Pictures, Bleeker Street, Brave Jayne Films, Bright West, Cinema Inutile, Chrystie Street Casting, Cinetic Media, Confluential Films, Drafthouse Films, Dragonfly Films, Emily Schweber Casting, Family Owned, Fat City, FirstGen, Giant Pictures, Hot Docs, Hulu, Hyde Park Entertainment, Impact Partners, Independent Artist Group, Inspect Element LLC, ITVS, Kindred Spirit, Ley Line Entertainment, LinLay Productions, Lionsgate, Los Angeles Media Fund, Mandalay Pictures, Marginal MediaWorks, Monkeypaw Productions, Motto Pictures, Mosaic, MUBI, National Geographic, NEON, Netflix, Oscilloscope, Participant, PASTEL, POV, Pulse Films, Rhino Films, River Road Entertainment, Roadside Attractions, Searchlight Pictures, SFFILM, Sons of Rigor, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Submarine, Sundance Institute, T-Street, Topic Studios, Tribeca Enterprises, UTA, The Gersh Agency, Untitled Entertainment, UTA, Venice International Film Festival, Visit Films, WME, Women In Film, XTR and XYZ Films … phew!
Previous Fast Track projects include Bing Liu’s Academy Award nominated Minding the Gap; Raven Jackson’s All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, produced by Maria Altamirano, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by A24 in November; Saim Sadiq’s Cannes Un Certain Regard and Spirit Award Winner Joyland, produced by Apoorva Charan; Nicholas Bruckman’s documentary about activist Ady Barkan, Not Going Quietly; Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection, produced by Chester Algernal Gordon, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated in three categories at the 2023 Spirit Awards; Blow the Man Down, which was acquired by Amazon and nominated for Best First Screenplay at the 2020 Spirit Awards and Jinn, winner of Special Jury Recognition for Writing at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.
Other notable filmmakers who have participated in the program include Ana Lily Amirpour, Sean Baker, James Ponsoldt, Tina Mabry, Lana Wilson and Chloé Zhao.
Celebrating 30 years, Film Independent Artist Development promotes unique independent voices by helping filmmakers create and advance new work. Become a Member of Film Independent today. Support us with a donation here.