Sundance Institute Announces 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellows

Playwrights Quincy Long and Matthew Paul Olmos; Filmmakers Ritesh Batra and Elgin James Selected

Posted May 11, 2009

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Los Angeles, CA – Sundance Institute and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) announced today the selection of playwrights Quincy Long and Matthew Paul Olmos and filmmakers Ritesh Batra and Elgin James as the 2009 Time Warner Storytelling Fellows.

The Time Warner Storytelling Advancement Fund, established in 2007, provides substantial support over four years to help fund the development and celebration of independent artists across Sundance Institute's Feature Film and Theatre Programs. Time Warner Storytelling Fellows, a talented group of Sundance film and theatre artists (up to 20 Fellows over a four-year period), receive grants to enable them to focus specifically on the advancement of the narrative and voice in their projects. Additionally, Fellows receive a combination of year-round guidance, residency support, mentoring, and professional development.

"On year three of Time Warner's commitment to storytelling artists, the Sundance Theatre Program is proud to announce that Matthew Paul Olmos and Quincy Long will receive direct artist grant support," said Sundance Institute Theatre Program Artistic Director Philip Himberg. "Both playwrights have created unique new scripts that define the Sundance independent spirit."

"We are fortunate to provide this creative and financial support to filmmakers Elgin James and Ritesh Batra at such a key moment in their work," said Michelle Satter, Director of the Sundance Feature Film Program."This generous commitment from Time Warner recognizes the importance of storytelling for independent artists."

“As a media and entertainment company, our success is rooted in compelling, vibrant storytelling,” said Lisa Quiroz, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner. “Over the past few years, our partnership with the Sundance Institute has produced impressive results in identifying and nurturing new and emerging artists. We’re looking forward to seeing the works of these talented storytellers come to life.”

The projects and participants selected from the Sundance Institute Theatre Program are:

  • The Huntsmen/Quincy Long (playwright) The boy has dark dreams. They lead him into trouble – all the trouble there is – and into song.

    Quincy Long trained as a Marine at Parris Island, South Carolina, as a reporter at The Telegraph in Painesville, Ohio, and as a playwright at the Yale School of Drama. Productions include: People Be Heard, Playwrights Horizons, New York; The Only Child, South Coast Rep, Costa Mesa, California; Wedding Pictures, Ensemble Studio Theater, New York; The Lively Lad, New York Stage and Film and The Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Virgin Molly, Berkeley Rep; The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, Atlantic Theatre Company and Mark Taper Forum. Current projects: Loulou, a musical commissioned by Ginger Cat Productions in Toronto; Buried Alive, an opera commissioned by American Lyric Theater in New York. Mr. Long is a member of New Dramatists and Ensemble Studio Theater. He is from Ohio and lives in New York City.
  • I Put the Fear of Mexico in ‘Em/Matthew Paul Olmos (playwright) An American couple visiting Mexico stumble off the beaten path, and are accosted by a Mexican couple in an alley. What ensues is a complex encounter that challenges notions of boundary, safety, identity and what you would do for your family.

    Matthew Paul Olmos received his B.A. in Playwriting from UC Santa Barbara, then attended UCLA’s School of Film, Theatre and Radio where he was given the GOP Award for Graduate Playwriting. He earned his MFA in Playwriting from The Actor’s Studio Drama School. Olmos' productions include: The Vampire Lesson and the beautifulest room, Actor’s Studio Repertory at Westbeth Theatre in New York; seal sings its song, Wonders of the Human Body, and locomotive, Gene Frankel Theatre in New York City; Wild Follows the Queen, Samuel French Short Play Festival; the bus that got cut over its eye, Elephants on Parade Festival through EBE Ensemble and INTAR’s Bus Stop on 52nd; Vivia’s Lament, Teatro del Pueblo’s 2009 Political Theatre Festival in Minneapolis. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of woken’glacier theatre company. He is currently developing a piece about the escalating violence in México. I Put the Fear of Mexico in ‘Em was developed in part while in residency at INTAR Theatre.

The projects and participants selected from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program are:

  • Goodnight Moon/Elgin James (writer/director)Amidst the stark landscape of the Salton Sea, two 14 year-old girls test the limits of their friendship when one follows the other in an escape to Los Angeles, only to discover that the predictability of home may be better than learning to survive in the big city.

    As a homeless teenager, Elgin James founded a national street gang that robbed drug dealers to give money to charity. After a life spent torn between violence and altruism, James crawled out of the criminal lifestyle and settled in Los Angeles. James then shot a short film version of Goodnight Moon, which ultimately sold to THINKFilm. James has been selected as a Fellow for the upcoming 2009 June Directors Lab.
  • The Story of Ram/Ritesh Batra (writer/director)A chance encounter over the radio waves leads to an extraordinary friendship between the Prime Minister of India and an ordinary tea vendor, which ends up transforming a nation.

    Born and raised in Bombay, India, Ritesh Joginder Batra is based in New York and attends the MBA/MFA dual degree program at the Tisch School of the Arts and Stern School of Business at NYU. In 2006, he was selected for the MAISHA Film Lab, and in 2007 completed the award-winning short film The Morning Ritual. Batra recently worked on a feature screenplay for director Santosh Sivan. Batra has been selected as a Fellow for the upcoming 2009 June Directors Lab.

Sundance Institute

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre, and presents the annual Sundance Film Festival. Internationally recognized for its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Angels in America, Spring Awakening, Boys Don't Cry, Sin Nombre and Born into Brothels. www.sundance.org.

TIME WARNER INC.
Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.

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For More Information Contact:

Amy McGee

310-360-1981, amy_mcgee@sundance.org

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