Sundance Institute and Time Warner Foundation Select 11 Artist Fellows for Grants


Tearrance Chisholm headshot

Tearrance Chisholm

Chico Colvard headshot

Chico Colvard

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. headshot

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.

Reinaldo Marcus Green

Reinaldo Marcus Green

Paola Lázaro headshot

Paola Lázaro

Jhane Myers headshot

Jhane Myers

Jesi Nelson headshot

Jesi Nelson

Shawn Peters headshot

Shawn Peters

Tayarisha Poe headshot

Tayarisha Poe

Sharyn Steele headshot

Sharyn Steele

Amelia Winger-Bearskin headshot

Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Los Angeles, CA — Eleven diverse independent artists have been selected to receive support from the 2017 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellowship. These Fellowships and accompanying grants are part of the non-profit Institute’s year-round efforts to discover and support independent artists from diverse backgrounds in getting their work made and seen by a wide audience.

The program includes support for Fellows working in new media, documentary and narrative film, theatre and film music as well as from the Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program. Fellows receive year-round support from the Institute ranging from attendance at an annual Lab, mentoring, strategic granting, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival and participation in screenplay readings, work-in-progress screenings and related programs and events.

Now in its eleventh year, the program has supported more than 70 artists, including Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Sydney Freeland (Drunktown’s Finest), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Appropriate) and Yung Jake (I Don't Remember).

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Since 2007 the careers of talented and diverse artists supported by our program with the Time Warner Foundation have flourished. This year's gifted class of Fellows bring boundless creativity and potential, and we look forward to continuing to help them develop their craft.”

Lisa Garcia Quiroz, President of Time Warner Foundation, said, “We remain very proud of our innovative partnership with Sundance Institute. With Sundance’s trailblazing work of identifying, nurturing and celebrating talented storytellers in Hollywood and beyond, we are working together to promote a more inclusive artistic landscape. The Time Warner Foundation looks forward to watching these rising talents in the coming years.”

The 2017 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellows are:

Tearrance Chisholm (Theatre Program) – As a playwright Tearrance Chisholm has held residencies at The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, The Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. He received two of the 2016 National KCACTF awards, the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award and the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. Tearrance is currently in the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard and is an upcoming 2050 Fellow at New York Theater Workshop.

Chico Colvard (Documentary Film Program) – Chico is an award-winning filmmaker whose documentary, Family Affair, premiered in competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. He is a former Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellow, WGBH Boston Filmmaker-in-Residence, Flaherty Fellow and Firelight Media Producing Fellow. He is a frequent film festival panelist, moderator, juror and organizer and is often invited to speak at colleges and universities. Chico teaches Social Justice Documentary courses at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he curates the UMB Film Series.

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. (Native American and Indigenous Program, Time Warner Foundation Native Story Fellow) – Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe) is a filmmaker whose most recent short film, Shinaab, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He has been a recipient of several grants and fellowships from Sundance Institute, Time Warner Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Reinaldo Marcus Green (Feature Film Program) – New York native Reinaldo Marcus Green is a writer, director and producer. A recent graduate of NYU Tisch Graduate Film School, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2015. His short film, Stop, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Reinaldo attended the 2017 Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Lab as well as the 2016 Screenwriters Intensive in Los Angeles with his project Monsters and Men. He is currently in pre-production on the film.

Paola Lázaro (Theatre Program) – Paola Lázaro is a playwright and actress born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase College and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. Her play, Tell Hector I Miss Him, was nominated for a Drama League Award for Best Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play and was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for the John Gassner Playwriting Award. Paola is Atlantic Theater Company’s 2016/2017 Tow Playwright-in- Residence. She was a member of the Public Theater’s 2015 Emerging Writers Group and was selected as Playwright-in-Residence for the 2016 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in Morocco.

Jhane Myers (Native American and Indigenous Program, Time Warner Foundation Native Producer Fellow) – Jhane Myers (Comanche, Blackfeet) is the Film Programmer and Special Projects Director at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She also developed an award winning Native Youth Film Camp for the museum now in its fourth year. She is on-camera talent for the America Re-discovered series on the Comanches and is Supervising Producer on the Emmy award winning American Masters series documentary on Pulitzer prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday.

Jesi Nelson (Film Music Program) – Jesi Nelson is a Los Angeles-based composer, raised in Wisconsin, whose music can be heard in a variety of television and film. After receiving her Masters from Columbia College Chicago, she interned for Danny Elfman and soon after started assisting composer Michael Kramer. She has since written additional music for his shows such as the recently Emmy-nominated Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and other films such as Saving Brinton.

Shawn Peters (New Frontier) – Shawn Peters is a storyteller, filmmaker and director of photography. Peters started his career shooting music videos for artists like Esperanza Spaulding, Cody ChesnuTT, Pharoahe Monch, Breaking Benjamin, Michelle Williams and Bilal. He has worked on narrative features and shorts with Terence Nance, Sebastian Silva, Laura Colella and Raafi Rivero, which have premiered at film festivals including Sundance, Rotterdam, Berlin, Tribeca and Toronto. Peters has been awarded a 2015 Creative Capital Award for his personal project, The Art of Dying Young.

Tayarisha Poe (Feature Film Program) – Tayarisha Poe is a filmmaker and photographer from West Philadelphia. She was chosen as one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine in 2015, received the Sundance Institute’s Knight Foundation Fellowship in 2016 and was selected for the Tribeca All Access program in 2017. Tayarisha attended the 2017 Sundance Institute January Screenwriters Lab and 2017 June Directors and Screenwriters Labs, as well as the 2013 Screenwriters Intensive with her project, Selah and the Spades.

Sharyn Steele (Native American and Indigenous Program, Time Warner Foundation Native Producer Fellow) – Sharyn Steele is an enrolled member of the Wisconsin Ho-Chunk Nation. She graduated from Dartmouth College with double majors in English and Film before earning an MFA from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program, where she was the first Native American to attend. She was a development executive at Gold Circle Films and WWE Studios where she oversaw film and television projects before becoming an independent producer. She also serves on the Executive Boards of the Native American Alumni Association at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media, Dartmouth Club Los Angeles and The Indigenous Arts Institute.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin (New Frontier) – Amelia Winger-Bearskin is a fellow at the 2017 Sundance Institute New Frontier Story Lab and a 2016 Oculus Launch pad fellow. She is the founder of the Stupid Hackathon and is currently the Director of IDEA (Interactive Digital Environments Alliance) New Rochelle, a non-profit dedicated to creating an alliance of facilities for the immersive tech community in New York. Amelia began her career as an opera singer and became the writer, director and star of productions that were truthfully too weird for opera, theatre and museums, but are quite at home in the bonkers world of VR.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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