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Programs Tue 8.15.2017

‘Spa Night’ Spirit Award Winner Tells You Why You Should Apply to the Directing Lab

If you were cool enough to catch the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards earlier this year—which, of course you were!—chances are you’ll recall writer-director Andrew Ahn’s thoughtful and inspiring speech upon being awarded this year’s John Cassavetes prize for his feature debut, the deeply personal and aesthetically assured Korean American coming-of-age (and coming-out) drama Spa Night. Or, maybe you remember Ahn’s extremely stylish, Hokusai-inspired button-down and rough-hewn blazer fashion combo. Like we said: very stylish.

And while we can’t take credit for Ahn’s sartorial acumen, we can claim some small amount of ownership over the upstart auteur’s proficiency as a filmmaker. After all, Ahn is a Film Independent Fellow thrice over: as a participant in 2012’s Project Involve, the 2013 Screenwriting Lab and, recently, a 2014 Directing Lab Fellow. Which, to hear more about Ahn’s Directing Lab experience, just watch the below video:

Cool, eh? Good—because if you’re interested in being part of the 2018 Film Independent Directing Lab, now’s the time to apply. The non-Member deadline is just a couple weeks away: August 28. The extended deadline for Film Independent Members (including a reduced application fee) is September 12. So don’t procrastinate, there’ll be plenty of time to price out textile options for you award show arrivals carpet look later.

Directing Lab Fellows will work under the close guidance of Creative Advisors—successful filmmakers and established industry professionals—to receive script feedback, discuss their projects and shoot excerpts from their features in a supportive, collaborative environment.

Creative Advisors of yesteryear have included Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, The Invitation), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen), James Ponsoldt (The End of the Tour, Smashed) and many others. Aside from Ahn, past Directing Lab Fellows have included Sian Heder with her project Tallulah, Cherin Dabis with Amreeka, Robbie Pickering with Natural Selection, Tina Mabry with Mississippi Damned and more. Not a bad list of names. And not to belabor the point, but applying to the Directing Lab could be the first step in a long (or not so long—who knows?) journey eventually leading to someplace like this:

The Non-Member deadline to apply for the 2018 Film Independent Directing Lab is August 28. The extended Member deadline is September 12. To learn how to become a Member of Film Independent, click here.

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