Listen: Sebastian Silva, Cherien Dabis, and Kat Candler Offer Tips to Shorts Filmmakers

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Last month, Sundance Institute hosted a pair of ShortsLabs in Philadelphia and Miami that offered day-long workshops for shorts filmmakers. Focusing on narrative short-form storytelling, each event featured panels, discussions, and screenings with a wide-ranging mix of filmmakers and industry professionals. Below you can listen to a podcast of highlights from each event that includes tips, advice, and anecdotes from a variety of filmmakers. Both programs were supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

At the International House in Philadelphia, Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins) touched on the inherent difficulties of writing for comedy, Cherien Dabis (Amreeka, May in the Summer) broke down her early career filmmaking processes, and Carter Smith (Jamie Marks Is Dead) described the fine art of collaborating with writers and crew.

At Cosford Cinema in Miami, Kat Candler took on the always pertinent topic of going from a short film to a feature (which she recently accomplished with her 2014 SFF feature Hellion), while Juan Carlos Zaldivar spoke on the local filmmaking community in Miami and Sebastian Silva (Crystal Fairy, The Maid) contrasted the challenges of working with actors in both improv and on scripted films. Lastly, the collective Borscht Corp (Andrew Hevia, Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer) spoke on working in Miami, including putting on a film festival of artisitic works and helping local projects get made.


ShortsLab Philadelphia and ShortsLab Miami are presented by Sundance Institute. The program is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.