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2021 screenwriters lab fellows

22/01/2021

PARK CITY, UTAH - Fifteen emerging storytellers from Chile, India, Kenya, Tunisia and the U.S. will convene digitally for Sundance Institute's January Screenwriters Lab, taking place online via Sundance Co//ab from January 11 -15, 2021. The Fellows will work to further develop twelve original projects, in collaboration with an experienced group of Creative Advisors. Under the leadership of Michelle Satter (Founding Director, Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program) and Ilyse McKimmie (the Program's Deputy Director), the Creative Advisors include: Scott Frank (Artistic Director), Ritesh Batra, Andrea Berloff, Rodrigo Garcia, Amanda Idoko, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Doug McGrath, Walter Mosley, Jessie Nelson, Nicole Perlman, Howard Rodman, Elena Soarez, Dana Stevens, Robin Swicord, Joan Tewkesbury, Bill Wheeler, and Tyger Williams.

At this time of unprecedented change, we're so fortunate to virtually gather this inclusive group of bold and vibrant filmmakers and Advisors for a week of story meetings, craft workshops, and life-long creative relationships that have long been a hallmark of our Labs, said Satter. We strongly believe that storytellers have the power to reimagine and rewrite the future, and we're excited to launch this next generation of filmmakers with a year-round support system beginning with the January Lab.

For over 35 years, the FFP Labs have supported and championed an exciting and ground-breaking array of independent filmmakers including Radha Blank (The 40-Year-Old Version), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me), Eliza Hittman (Beach Rats), Marielle Heller (Diary of a Teenage Girl), Fernando Frias de la Parra (Im No Longer Here), Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Edson Oda (Nine Days), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Dee Rees (Pariah), Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox) and Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild), among many others.

The projects and fellows selected for the 2021 January Screenwriters Lab are:

Black Comic-Con (U.S.A.)

Natasha Rothwell (writer/director)

Two cosplaying Blerds, Kindsey and Allen, have an epic meet-cute at Comic-Con but are separated before they learn each other's true identity. When they unknowingly meet again in real life, Kindsey must reconnect to the courage and confidence that masked-anonymity provided her in order to see what (and who) is right in front of her face.

Natasha Rothwell is a series regular and producer on Issa Raes Peabody Award-winning HBO series Insecure, for which she was nominated for a 2019 NAACP Image Award. Before that, she wrote for Saturday Night Live and went on to write and star in the original sketch series Netflix Presents: The Characters. She can also be seen in the groundbreaking hit film Love, Simon as well as Sonic The Hedgehog and Wonder Woman 1984. Rothwell is currently developing two original series for HBO which she will executive produce, in addition to writing and starring in one of them. Concurrently, she is writing the coming-of-age feature We Were There, Too with Gloria Calder n-Kellett for HBO Max, and will star in Malltown, an animated series she is executive producing alongside Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Rothwell has voiced characters on Ducktales, Bojack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, American Dad, Bobs Burgers, The Simpsons, and the new Nickelodeon series Baby Shark. Recipient of the 2021 Sundance Institute | Comedy Central Comedy Fellowship.

The Catch (Ghol) (India)

Rishi Chandna (writer/director)

An impoverished Muslim fisherman becomes a millionaire overnight after catching a shoal of the rare and prized Ghol fish in the polluted, nearly barren waters off the west coast of India. The newfound wealth offers him a chance to buy a bigger boat and rebuild his life, but a renewed wave of anti-Muslim sentiment threatens his plans and forces him to confront past traumas.

Rishi Chandna is a self-taught filmmaker based in Mumbai. As a writer-director-producer, he has created content that ranges from digital commercials to audio-video installations, which have shown at the MoMA, Venice Biennale of Architecture, and the MAK Museum Vienna. His debut short film, Tungrus (2018), traveled to more than 150 international festivals (including Hot Docs, BFI London Film Festival, and IDFA,) won 28 awards, and became an Oscar-qualifying documentary after winning the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival. Tungrus was released online on the NYT Op-Docs platform as well as on The Criterion Channel. Chandna's upcoming short film Party Poster is a hybrid satire about a community of laundrymen wanting to celebrate a religious festival in the face of a pandemic.

Chariot (U.S.A.)

Alyssa Loh (writer)

1958. In a purported attempt to redeem nuclear weapons, the American government embarks on a plan to blast a new harbor into the Alaskan coastline using five thermonuclear bombs - one of them 10 times the size of the weapon dropped on Hiroshima. A Native village next to ground zero must join forces with a young American scientist to face down the government and save their home from destruction. Inspired by true events.

Alyssa Loh is a writer and filmmaker whose essays on technology, surveillance, and visual culture have appeared in Artforum, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The American Reader, where she served as deputy editor. She sits on the Editorial Board of the history journal Lapham's Quarterly and has held creative residencies at dispersed holdings (NYC) and Mildred's Lane (Beach Lake, PA). She co-created the ensemble film Twelve Theses on Attention for the 2020 Glasgow International. Loh is a joint MBA/MFA (filmmaking) candidate at NYU. She holds a BA from Princeton in literature and creative writing, where she won the Ward Mathis Prize for best short story, and was se
LINK: http://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/2021-screenwriters-lab-fellows...
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