Film Independent Selects 15 Projects for the 20th Fast Track Film Finance Market

Press Contact: Seanna Hore, Ginsberg/Libby

Gladys Santos, Ginsberg/Libby


$20,000 grant awarded by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

$12,500 grant awarded by Hyde Park Entertainment
and Warner Music Entertainment

LOS ANGELES (November 17, 2022) – Film Independent announced today that 38 filmmakers and 15 projects were selected for the 20th Fast Track Film Finance Market taking place online November 14–17, 2022. The program is an intensive, four-day film-financing market in which participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.

“Fast Track Finance Market is an opportunity for executives to get a first look at an exciting group of non-fiction and fiction feature projects and filmmakers” said Angela Lee, Director of Artist Development, “we couldn’t be more thrilled to spotlight this talented group of artists by providing access and introductions to decision makers to further propel their projects and careers forward.”

The Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $20,000 grant to support the production of a project that explores science and technology themes or characters in engaging and innovative ways, is awarded to James Thomas Thinks the Earth is Flat written by Anderson Cook and produced by Alysia Reiner and Bryan Terrell Clark.

Film Independent is also excited to award the Hyde Park Entertainment & Warner Music Entertainment Fast Track Fellowship to writer/director Tiffanie Hsu and producer Pin-Chun Liu for their project Wonderland. They will receive $12,500 to support the development of their project. Hyde Park Entertainment and Warner Music Entertainment will provide industry mentorship.

Previous Fast Track projects include the Academy Award-nominated Minding the Gap; Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection, produced by Chester Algernal Gordon, which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival and will be released by A24 on November 18; Saim Sadiq’s 2022 Cannes Un Certain Regard Winner Joyland; Blow the Man Down, which was acquired by Amazon and nominated for Best First Screenplay at the 2020 Spirit Awards; Jinn, winner of Special Jury Recognition for Writing at 2018 SXSW Film Festival; Give Me Liberty, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, and United Skates, Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown’s 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award-winning documentary. Additional projects supported through Fast Track include Chloé Zhao’s Spirit Award-nominated debut Songs My Brothers Taught Me, David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Emmy award-winning documentary Thank You for Playing, Robbie Pickering’s Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection and Courtney Hunt’s Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River.

A select list of Industry participants include representatives from: A24, Amanda Lenker Doyle Casting, APA, Astrakan Film AB, Berlinale, Bright West Entertainment, CAA, Cinetic Media, Cold Iron Pictures, Concordia Studios, Emily Schweber Casting, FilmRise, FirstGen Content, Fit Via Vi, Gamechanger Films, Good Question Media, Hillman Grad, Hulu, Hyde Park Entertainment, Impact Partners, ITVS, Kindred Spirit, Los Angeles Media Fund, Magnolia Pictures, Mandalay Pictures, Marginal MediaWorks, Maven Screen Media, Mosaic, MUBI, NEON, Participant, PASTEL, Pinky Promise, Plan B, Pulse Films, Redefine Entertainment, Rhino Films, Searchlight Pictures, SFFILM, Sight Unseen Pictures, Sundance Institute, Submarine, Tango, The Gersh Agency, The Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly IFP), Treehouse Pictures, TruJuLo Productions, Untitled Entertainment, UTA, Utopia, Vendome Film, Venice International Film Festival, Visit Films and World of Wonder.

Film Independent Artist Development programs promote unique independent voices by helping filmmakers create and advance new work through Project Involve; Filmmaker Labs (Directing, Documentary, Episodic, Producing and Screenwriting); Fast Track finance market and Fiscal Sponsorship, as well as through grants and awards that provide over one million dollars annually to visual storytellers.

For more information on any of the Labs, or the projects that have been developed in them, please contact Additional information and an application form can be found at

Film Independent’s 2022 Fast Track program is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Hyde Park Entertainment & Warner Music Entertainment.

The following filmmakers and their projects were selected to participate in Film Independent’s 2022 Fast Track program:


Writer/Director: Musa Syeed
Producer: Shrihari Sathe
Logline: In the American Rust Belt, two boxers, an Arab teenager and a young black father, meet for their first pro boxing match; only one will survive.

James Thomas Thinks the Earth Is Flat
Writer: Anderson Cook
Producers: Alysia Reiner, Bryan Terrell Clark
Logline: An unlikely buddy comedy about a 12-year-old Black science whiz who crosses paths with the NBA’s most notorious Flat Earther and makes it his mission to win the National Science Fair by convincing the basketball superstar that the world is, in fact, round.

Writer/Director: Natalie Jasmine Harris
Producer: Avril Speaks
Logline: For 17-year-old Celeste, senior year in her affluent Black community means following family tradition and becoming a debutante… but she longs for a different kind of coming out.

Sales Per Hour
Writer/Director: Michelle Uranowitz
Director: Daniel Jaffe
Producers: Chloe Sabin, Zoë Worth
Logline: A top sales associate at a high-end clothing store becomes enmeshed in a legal battle between her corporate superiors and a customer, over a sexual assault which occurred inside a dressing room under her watch.

Writer/Director: Sushma Khadepaun
Producers: Andrea Kuehnel, Monique Walton
Logline: An ambitious woman escapes her conservative life in India and moves to America only to realize that in order to achieve true independence she must confront the very life she escaped.

Writer/Director: Sontenish Myers
Producer: Camille Gatin
Logline: Set on a plantation in the 1800s, Stampede follows a young slave girl named Lena who has telekinetic powers she cannot yet control. When she is separated and moved into close quarters with the volatile Master’s wife, Lena must grapple with the danger of her gift as well as its potential power.

Writer/Director: Jess Dang
Producer: Darren Haruo Rae
Logline: Triggered and wanting to escape her past trauma, Naomi falls into the world of Blackjack to regain a sense of control but finds herself addicted to the game.

Uncle Hiep’s Casino
Writer/Director: Richard Van
Producer: Betty Hu
Logline: Somewhere between his mother’s house and his uncle’s illegal casino, a prisoner finds a new life.

Valley of the Tall Grass
Writer/Director: Masami Kawai
Producer: Aimee Lynn Barneburg
Logline: When a TV/VCR set is thrown out, it survives, circulating through the lives of various working-class indigenous characters of color in an Oregon town, prompting them to find forgotten memories, love, and connection through this seemingly obsolete object.

Writer/Director: Tiffanie Hsu
Producer: Pin-Chun Liu
Logline: When her mother disappears with the family bankroll in Las Vegas, ten-year-old Adeline Tang enlists the help of a devious and ambitious magician to bring her mother home before her father finds out.


Breaking the Blue Wall
Director: Alissa Figueroa
Producer: Jameka Autry
Logline: Since its passage in 1974, Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR) has shielded police officers from discipline, even in cases of egregious brutality. Breaking the Blue Wall is an investigative verité documentary that focuses on the impact of the LEOBR through the experiences of an activist, a lawmaker, and a newly appointed police chief, whose lives all intersect on the streets of Baltimore as they fight to hold officers accountable in a time of social unrest.

Starring Jerry as Himself
Director: Law Chen
Producer: Jonathan Hsu
Logline: A family documents how their immigrant father Jerry, a recently divorced and retired Florida man, was unexpectedly recruited by the Chinese police to be an undercover agent in an international money laundering investigation.

The Philadelphia Eleven
Director: Margo Guernsey
Producer/DP: Nikki Bramley
Logline: A group of women dare to organize their own ordination as Episcopal priests in 1974 in defiance of church rules and two millennia of patriarchal Christianity.

Director: Julia Schatz Preston
Producers: Tanja Tawadjoh, Wendy Muñiz, Guillermo Zouain
Logline: A Colombian woman witnesses members of her family lose their memory and wonders if she will be next. Unknowingly, she may hold the cure as medical researchers race against time—as well as historical and societal obstacles—to access the answer that may lie within her.

What We Carry
Director: Cady Voge
Producers: Laura Pilloni, Laura Tatham
Co-Producer/Editor: Rachel Clara Reed
Logline: What We Carry follows one family’s extraordinary journey as they flee persecution in Honduras, travel with the migrant caravan, apply for asylum, and fight to heal from all they’ve endured.


The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York based, philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that makes grants in three areas: research in science, technology and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement with science. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience and to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities.

Sloan’s Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past two decades, Sloan has partnered with a dozen leading film schools and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, SFFILM, Film Independent, The Black List, the Athena Film Festival and the North Fork TV Festival. The Plutonians previously received support from the Foundation through the $100k Feature Film Award at NYU and the Commissioning Grant at the Sundance Institute. The Sloan Film Program has supported over 750 film projects and has helped develop over 30 feature films, including Tesla, Radium Girls, Adventures of a Mathematician, One Man Dies a Million Times, The Sound of Silence, To Dust, Operator, The Imitation Game, and The Man Who Knew Infinity. The Foundation has supported feature documentaries such as Werner Herzog’s Theater of Thought, David France’s How to Survive a Pandemic, Picture a Scientist, Coded Bias, In Silico, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Bit Player, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Particle Fever and Jacques Perrin’s Oceans. It has also given early award recognition to stand out films such as Don’t Look Up, After Yang, Linoleum, Son of Monarchs, Ammonite, The Aeronauts, Searching, The Martian, First Man and Hidden Figures.

The Foundation’s book program includes early support for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, the best-selling book that became the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film of 2017, and Kai Bird & Martin Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning American Prometheus, adapted for the screen and directed by Christopher Nolan currently scheduled for release in July 2023.

For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit or follow the Foundation on Twitter and Facebook at @SloanPublic.


For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

In addition to producing the Film Independent Spirit Awards, the organization supports creative professionals with Artist Development programs, grants and labs. Signature mentorship program Project Involve fosters the careers of talented filmmakers from underrepresented communities. Weekly Education events and workshops equip filmmakers of all ages and experience levels with tools and resources. Global Media Makers, a cultural exchange program produced in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, provides career-building opportunities for international film professionals. And year-round screening series Film Independent Presents delivers monthly, unique cinematic experiences to Members in Los Angeles and beyond.

For more information or to become a Member, visit