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Programs Mon 1.23.2023

Meet the Film Independent Fellows Taking Their Project to This Year’s Sundance

It’s been a month of record snowfall across Utah’s picaresque Wasatch Valley. Which, of course, means that at this very moment many of your favorite independent filmmakers and Hollywood superstars are laboring under imminent threat of a devastating ACL injury. That’s right: with the 2023 Sundance Film Festival underway and in person following two years of COVID-necessitated virtual programming, we’re just one patch of black ice and an ill-timed step off the Java Cow entryway from Anne Hathaway being airlifted to the Mountain West Hospital surgical ward and affixed with a brand-new titanium robofoot.

Say a special prayer or secular incantation, then, for our robust roster of 2023 Sundance filmmakers who are also Film Independent Fellows. And by “Fellows” here we of course mean filmmakers who have been directly supported by Film Independent’s Lab ProgramsProject InvolveFast Track and Fiscal Sponsorship programs, as well as Emerging Filmmaker Award winners and grant recipients. Remember: stay warm and traverse slowly!

Below, please find the 41 Film Independent Fellows with projects—across all programming categories—currently loosing their chapstick and gloves on the Sundance and Park City Transit shuttle systems. Additionally, the films All Dirt Tastes of Salt, Joyland and Jerry as Himself were all directly nurtured by Film Independent as Lab-supported projects. For more info about Film Independent Artist Development, see our website.



‘Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields’
  • Helen Estabrook, Producer, Cat Person
    • Fast Track, 2020
  • Justin Chon, Director/Writer/Executive Producer, Jamojaya
    • Someone to Watch Award, 2018
  • Ante Cheng, Cinematographer, Jamojaya
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2019
    • Project Involve, 2018
  • Ramin Bahrani, Executive Producer, A Little Prayer
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2008
  • Tracy Tragos, Director/Producer, Plan C
    • Doc Lab, 2013
  • Jess Jacobs, Executive Producer, Plan C
    • Producing Lab, 2016
  • Lana Wilson, Director, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
    • Fast Track, 2015
  • Christine O’Malley, Producer, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields
    • Fast Track, 2012
  • Brock Williams, Co-Producer, It’s Only Life After All
    • Producing Lab, 2014
  • Pamela Koffler, Producer, It’s Only Life After All
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2000



‘The Persian Version’
  • Raven Jackson, Director/Writer, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
    • Fast Track, 2020
  • Jomo Fray, Cinematographer, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
    • Project Involve, 2017
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2017
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2019
  • Maria Altamirano, Producer, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
    • Fast Track, 2020
    • Producing Lab, 2020
  • Heather Rae, Executive Producer, Fancy Dance
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2009
  • Andrew Carlberg, Executive Producer, Mutt
    • Fast Track, 2014
  • Silas Howard, Executive Producer, Mutt
    • Directing Lab, 2007
    • Producing Lab, 2006
  • Maryam Keshavarz, Writer/Director/Producer, The Persian Version
    • Fast Track, 2014
    • Producing Lab, 2006
  • Luca Borghese, Executive Producer, The Persian Version
    • Fast Track, 2020
  • Hieu Ho, Producer, Shortcomings
    • Fast Track, 2015



‘Going Varsity in Mariachi’
  • Molly O’Brien, Producer, The Disappearance of Shere Hite
    • CNN Docuseries Fellowship, 2020
  • Sam Osborn, Director, Going Varsity in Mariachi
    • CNN Docuseries Fellowship, 2021
  • Alejandra Vasquez, Director, Going Varsity in Mariachi
    • CNN Docuseries Fellowship, 2021
  • Dee Rees, Executive Producer, Little Richard: I Am Everything
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2010
  • Amy Hobby, Producer, Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV
    • Fast Track, 2013
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2013
  • Carolina Costa, Cinematographer, Herotic
    • Project Involve, 2014



‘The Tuba Thieves’
  • Alysa Nahmias, Consulting Producer, The Tuba Thieves
    • Fiscally Sponsored project
    • Doc Lab, 2020
    • Fast Track, 2013
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2012
  • Laura Wagner, Producer, Fremont
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2016
  • Shane Boris, Producer, King Coal
    • Doc Lab, 2018
  • Thembi Banks, Director/Producer,  Wild. Free.
    • Project Involve, 2017
  • Dennis Zanatta, Cinematographer,  Wild. Free.
    • Project Involve, 2017



‘Talk to Me’
  • Samantha Jennings, Producer, Talk to Me
    • Fast Track, 2019



  • Saim Sadiq, Writer/Director, Joyland
    • Fast Track, 2020
  • Apoorva Charan, Producer, Joyland
    • Fast Track, 2020
    • Producing Lab, 2020
    • Project Involve, 2019
  • April Shih, Producer, Joyland
    • Episodic Lab, 2017
  • Sabiha Sumar, Producer, Joyland
    • Fast Track, 2020



  • Jonathan Duffy, Associate Producer, Blueback
    • Fast Track, 2016
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2019



‘Stephen Curry: Underrated’
  • Sian Heder, Director/Writer, CODA
    • Directing Lab, 2009
  • Peter Nicks, Director/Producer, Stephen Curry: Underrated
    • Grant winner/recipient, 2013



‘In the Flesh’
  • Lexi Tannenholtz, Producer, In the Flesh
    • Producing Lab, 2022



‘Starring Jerry as Himself’
  • Jonathan Hsu, Producer, Starring Jerry as Himself
    • Fast Track, 2022
  • Law Chen, Director, Starring Jerry as Himself
    • Fast Track, 2022


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(Header:Justin Chon’s Jamojaya)

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