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Programs Fri 1.20.2017

Spotting Film Independent Fellows at Sundance: Your 2017 Field Guide

It’s a big day for cineastes, as the 2017 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in earnest for 10 extremely snowbound days of bleary-eyed 8:00am screenings, labyrinthine wait-list queues and tense condominium sleeping arrangement negotiations. But despite the crowded shuttles, unreliable meal schedules and scant access to power outlets from which to charge one’s iPhone, Sundance is, for many, the can’t-miss movie event of the winter.

Of course, this is especially true if you happen to be one of the lucky (not to mention outrageously talented) folks whose movie is actually playing at the Festival—and this year, those sporting the elite Sundance “filmmaker” lanyard include a very impressive 42 Film Independent Fellows representing a whopping 29 different projects spanning virtually every Festival category, from incisive documentaries about social justice to irreverent hip-hop comedies, gory revenge thrillers, graphic novel adaptations and much, much more.

So as the Festival buzz begins to swell and swirl like so many cold weather storm systems making their way across the Wasatch Front, here’s a complete list of Fellows—participants of Film Independent’s myriad Lab Programs, Fast Track, Project Involve and grant winners and recipients—currently flailing down Main St. as they slip on black ice:


‘Beach Rats’
  • Drew Houpt, producer, Beach Rats
    • Producing Lab, 2015
  • Shrihare Sathe, co-producer, Beach Rats
    • Producing Lab, 2011; Fast Track, 2013; Grant/award winner, 2013
  • Paul Mezey, producer, Beach Rats
    • Grant/award winner, 2001
  • Houston King, producer, The Hero
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
  • Brett Haley, writer/director, The Hero
    • Fast Track, 2014
  • Mel Jones, producer, Burning Sands
    • Project Involve, 2012
  • Jason Michael Berman, producer, Burning Sands
    • Fast Track, 2009
  • Isiah Donte Lee, cinematographer, Burning Sands
    • Project Involve, 2016
  • Neil Kopp, producer, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
    • Grant/award winner, 2008
  • Anish Savjani, producer, I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
    • Grant/award winner, 2011
  • Matt Medlin, line producer, Brigsby Bear
    • Producing Lab, 2010
  • Josh Penn, executive producer, Patti Cake$


‘The Force’
  • Pete Nicks, director, The Force
    • Grant/award winner, 2013
  • Alysa Nahmias, co-producer, Unrest
    • Grant/award winner, 2013; Fast Track, 2013


‘Person to Person’
  • Andrew Droz Palermo, cinematographer, A Ghost Story
    • Documentary Lab, 2013
  • Toby Halbrooks, producer, Person to Person
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
  • James M. Johnston, producer, Person to Person
    • Grant/award winner, 2014
  • Giulia Caruso, producer, Columbus
    • Project Involve, 2016; Grant/award winner, 2015
  • Sydney Freeland, director, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train
    • Grant/award winner, 2013
  • Musa Syeed, writer, Menashe
    • Producing Lab, 2011; Grant/award winner, 2011
  • Traci Carlson, producer, Menashe
    • Producing Lab, 2014
  • Houston King, producer, Lemon
    • Grant/award winner, 2014


‘World Without End (No Reported Incidents)’
  • Terrence Nance, writer/director, 18 Black Girls / Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and Are Thus Spiritual Machines: $X in an Edition of $97 Quadrillion
    • Project Involve, 2016
  • Rosemarie Troche, lead artist, If Not Love
    • Fast Track, 2011
  • Amy Lo, producer, If Not Love
    • Fast Track, 2011
  • Jem Cohen, director, World Without End (No Reported Incidents)
    • Grant/award winner, 2005


‘Majorie Prime’
  • Pamela Koffler, producer, Beatriz at Dinner
    • Grant/award winner, 2000
  • Michael Almereyda, writer/director, Marjorie Prime
    • Grant/award winner, 2015
  • Aimee Schoof, EP, Marjorie Prime
    • Grant/award winner, 2015
  • Uri Singer, EP, Marjorie Prime
    • Grant/award winner, 2015
  • Isen Robbins, EP, Marjorie Prime
    • Grant/award winner, 2015
  • Mako Kamitsuna, editor, Mudbound
    • Project Involve, 2009
  • Mary Jane Skalski, producer, Wilson
    • Grant/award winner, 2004


  • Elisa Lleras, EP, Bitch
    • Project Involve, 2013
  • Gabriela Gonzalez, line producer, “The Birthday Party” segment), XX
    • Project Involve, 2013


‘Look & See’
  • Laura Dunn, director/producer/editor, Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry
    • Grant/award winner, 2008


‘I Love Dick’
  • Jill Soloway, director / EP, I Love Dick
    • Grant/award winner, 2012
  • Jim Forhna, cinematographer, I Love Dick
    • Directing Lab, 2001
  • Marissa Jo Cerar, co-producer/writer, Shots Fired
    • Project Involve, 2009
  • Alexandra Johnes, EP, The Mars Generation
    • Fast Track, 2015


  • Anna Kerrigan, director, The Chances
    • Producing Lab, 2011; Directing Lab, 2012
  • Marvin Lemus, writer/director, Gente-fied
    • Project Involve, 2015
  • Linda Yvette Chavez, writer, Gente-fied
    • Project Involve, 2010; Screenwriting Lab, 2015
  • Aaliyah Williams, EP, Gente-fied
    • Project Involve, 2010
  • Ana Amortegui, cinematrographer, Gente-fied
    • Project Involve, 2010


‘Rubber Heart’
  • Anna Kerrigan, writer/director, “Hot Seat”
    • Producing Lab, 2011; Directing Lab, 2012
  • Traci Carlson, producer, “Rubber Heart”
    • Producing Lab, 2014

Check out these highlights from last year:

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