Sundance Institute Selects Projects and Panelists for Creative Film Producing Labs and Summit, August 1-8


Creative Producing Summit 2015
Credit: Jonathan Hickerson
Creative Producing Summit 2015
Credit: Brandon Cruz
Creative Producing Summit 2015
Credit: Jonathan Hickerson

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the participants for its weeklong Creative Film Producing
at the Sundance Resort in Utah, August 1-8, including eleven feature film and documentary projects for the
Creative Producing Labs, and more than 50 industry leaders for the Creative Producing Summit. The
Institute’s Creative Producing Initiative encompasses a year-round series of Labs, Fellowships, granting and events focusing on
nurturing the next generation of independent producers and renewing the community of veteran producers who sustain the vibrancy and
vitality of independent film.

The Creative Producing Labs for Feature Film and Documentary will take place concurrently this year (August 1-5), with an added tailored
track for two producers outside of the Lab Fellowship. Additionally, the Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab will relaunch this year
in a new format focused on a holistic approach to growing producers, including intensive individual and project-based support themed
sessions, one-on-one meetings and strategic advice from mentors that will last throughout the Fellowship year.

The Labs and Summit are now part of a broader Creative Producing Program, an alignment of all the Institute’s work supporting
creative producing and the field at large, which includes Artist Services for funding and distribution, the Catalyst Initiative, and
year-round educational opportunities and resources. With this new structure, the Institute focuses on championing producers as a
significant creative force, as they work to get projects made and seen by audiences, and strive to make the field more financially
sustainable for all involved. The Institute will continue to recognize a Fiction and Non-Fiction Producer at the Sundance Festival
Producers Lunch with the annual Producer’s Award, which this year was supported by Amazon Studios.

The Feature Film Creative Producing Lab (August 1-5) identifies emerging producers and, under the guidance of Creative
Advisors, allows them to develop their creative instincts and evolve their storytelling, communicating and problem-solving skills at all
stages of their feature film project. Lab Fellows continue on through the Creative Producing Summit and receive ongoing yearlong
mentorship, granting, and a tailored track at the Sundance Film Festival. This year’s Creative Advisors include producers
Anthony Bregman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Heather Rae (Frozen River),
Mary Jane Skalski (Mysterious Skin), Jay Van Hoy (American Honey), Craig
(The Skeleton Twins), Philipp Engelhorn (Cinereach), Malia Scotch Marmo
(Hook), and Victoria Cook (Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz).

The Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab (August 1-5) brings together emerging documentary feature producers with
experienced advisors to refine and deepen the creative potential of their projects, while also focusing on the editorial, strategic, and
interpersonal skills critical to being a successful Creative Producer. This fellowship includes group feedback, one-on-one meetings
and sustained mentorship over the course of a year. This year’s Creative Advisors include producers
Daniel Chalfen
(Silenced), Julie Goldman (Life, Animated) and Josh Penn (Beasts of the Southern

The Creative Producing Summit takes place immediately following the Labs, August 5-8. More than 50 industry leaders will
participate in a series of curated panels, case studies, roundtables, and one-on-one meetings addressing critical issues producers face
including financing, distribution, audience engagement, marketing and sustainability. Panelists this year include
(A24), Len Amato (HBO Films), Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics), Mary
Ann Marino
(Amazon Studios), Ian Bricke (Netflix), Effie Brown (Duly Noted, Inc.),
Andrew Catauro (Ford Foundation), Liz Cook (Kickstarter), Christine D’Souza
(WME), Paul Davidson (The Orchard), Anna Godas (Dogwoof), Poppy Hanks (MACRO),
John Hoffman (Discovery Channel), Kevin Iwashina (Preferred Content), Caroline Kaplan
(Cinereach), Rosanne Korenberg (Miramax), Jessica Lacy (ICM Partners), Sophie Mas (RT
Zola Mashariki (BET), Lisa Nishimura (Netflix), Dana O’Keefe
(Cinetic), Jenny Raskin (Impact Partners), Courtney Sexton (CNN Films), Tristen
(CAA), Laura Turner Garrison (Vimeo), Lynette Wallworth (Coral: Rekindling Venus,
Tender, Collisions
), Jamal Watson (Overbrook Entertainment), Hailey Wierengo (UTA), and
Alexander Zahn (Sony Pictures Worldwide).

The Fellows and projects selected for the 2016 Feature Film Creative Producing Lab are:

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HS_Monique Walton.jpg
Producing Fellow and Silverman Honoree: Monique Walton
In a near-abandoned subdivision west of Houston, a wayward teen runs headlong into her equally willful and unforgiving neighbor, an
aging bullfighter who’s seen his best days in the arena; it’s a collision that will change them both.
(Co-writer/director Annie Silverstein, co-writer Johnny McAllister)

Monique Walton produced the short film“Skunk” (written & directed by Annie Silverstein), which
screened at festivals worldwide and won the top prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival – Cinéfondation. She received a BA from Yale
and an MFA in Film from University of Texas at Austin, where she is a youth mentor with the Black Media Council. Her work includes
web videos for Nickelodeon,
The Fit Cycle web series, and short documentaries for Doing Innovation, a Macarthur Foundation
funded project. She recently co-produced Jesse Klein’s upcoming feature
We’re Still Together, which will
premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

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HS_Lisa Kjerulff.jpg
Dey’Dey and His Brothers
Producing Fellow: Lisa Kjerulff
When a young man violates parole and begins trafficking guns into the neighborhood, the beautiful, fragile life of one family is
rocked, and their youngest son Da’Sean has to balance his dreams of being a dancer against the realities of living amidst
violence. (Writer/director Nick Bentgen)

Lisa Kjerulff is producer and co-writer for Anna Rose Holmer’s feature narrative The Fits (Venice
Biennale, Sundance, New Directors/New Films). Her producing credits include Zachary Shedd’s
Americana (Seattle,
Fantasia Fest) and the critically-acclaimed verité documentary
Northern Light (True/False, Visions du Reel, Hot Docs). In
addition to working as an independent film producer, Lisa has worked extensively in commercials and music videos.

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HS_Hill and Pryor.jpg
Producing Fellows: Marttise Hill and Julius Pryor IV
Nina, a 9-year-old Dominican with albinism, dreams of blending in amongst her peers until a series of miraculous events put her in
the spotlight and make her the target of a jealous classmate’s witch hunt. (Writer/director Gabriella Moses)

Julius Pryor IV and Marttise Hill are filmmakers based in New York City, in the uptown
neighborhood of Hamilton Heights. As producers, they have had two films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival: Tahir
Jetter’s debut feature,
How to Tell You’re a Douchebag (2016), and Michael Larnell’s debut
Cronies (2015), executive produced by their mentor, Spike Lee. Marttise and Julius met as undergraduates
at Morehouse College, and subsequently attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where each earned an MFA in Film Production. Through
Pryor Hill Productions, a media collective co-founded by the filmmakers six years ago, Marttise and Julius develop and produce a
wide spectrum of projects across a diverse platform with an array of unique collaborators.

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Monsters and Men
Producing Fellow: Elizabeth Lodge
After capturing an illegal act of police violence on his cellphone, a Brooklyn street hustler sets off a series of events that
alter the lives of a local police officer and a star high school athlete. (Writer/director Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Elizabeth Lodge is an Austin-based producer with the Department of Motion Pictures, (sibling company of the New
Orleans-based Court 13 Arts). Prior to joining the Department, Elizabeth co-produced two of Terrence Malick’s feature films:
Knight Of Cups and the forthcoming Weightless. She also co-produced A.J Edwards’ directorial debut The Better
, which premiered at Sundance in 2013. Currently, Elizabeth is producing two documentaries: Brimstone &
, an experiential film about a fireworks festival in Tultepec, Mexico; and a profile chronicling Olympic gold-medalist
Kerri Walsh Jennings during the year ahead of her 2016 Rio Olympic bid. Elizabeth began her career in investment banking before
transitioning into film.

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HS_Mallory Schwartz.jpg
Stupid Happy
Producing Fellow: Mallory Schwartz
In this dark comedy, sisters Jackie and Rachel Gurner are forced to reevaluate themselves, their co-dependent relationship, and for
Jackie, her own role as a mom, upon finding out their presumably deceased mother is alive and starring on a soap opera 20 years
after abandoning them. (Co-writer/director Hannah Pearl Utt and co-writer Jen Tullock)

Mallory Schwartz is the Director of Development for El Dorado Pictures where she works closely alongside Universal
Television. Among a number of projects, she currently produces the web and television series,
Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride for
TruTV, and most recently, served as Executive Producer for both ABC’s summer reboot of
Match Game and the upcoming
romantic drama,
Blind, starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin. Independently, Mallory has produced numerous award-winning
short films that have screened at film festivals internationally, and prior to her work with El Dorado, she spent time sharpening
her production and producorial skills at
Saturday Night Live and Broadway Video. Mallory Schwartz has her BFA from NYU
Tisch School of the Arts in Film and Television Production and a double minor in Producing and Business of Entertainment Media
Technology through the Stern School of Business.

The Feature Film Creative Producing Initiative has also selected two additional producers to receive support outside of the Lab
Fellowship that will include participation at the Creative Producing Summit, mentorship, and granting:

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Producing Fellow: Tyler Byrne
In this cyber thriller, a disturbing video leaked from a local high school throws a Long Island community into chaos and the
national spotlight as they try to unravel the story behind it. (Writer/director Pippa Bianco)

Tyler Byrne is a New York-based producer, raised across the bridge in northern New Jersey. In 2015 he produced
Pippa Bianco’s short film “Share,” winner of Cinéfondation’s First Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Special
Jury Prize for Narrative Shorts at SXSW and an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival. He co-produced Jeremy
Blue Ruin, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and an official selection of
Sundance, TIFF and more. Tyler has also produced Conor Byrne’s short films “Foureyes” and “Porzingod,” the
latter of which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as Byrne’s commercial work, which has won multiple Cannes
Lions and garnered international acclaim. He’s producing Byrne’s upcoming feature
Oldcorn, based on a short story by Sam
Lipsyte. Tyler has a BA in Film Studies and Government from Wesleyan University.

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HS_Vincent Reyna.jpg
Hot Clip
Producing Fellow: Vincent Reyna
A week after their best friend’s fatal confrontation with a cop, three Southeast Los Angeles skaters spend 24 hours chasing
dreams, making trouble, and trying to survive in a community on the verge of exploding. (Writer/director César Cervantes)

Vincent Reyna is a filmmaker from Bell, California. After completing the Inner-City Filmmakers program in Los
Angeles he went on to pursue a B.A in Film and Media studies with a minor in Philosophy at the University of California Santa
Barbara. Throughout college he was a leader within the student production sphere and held numerous positions on a handful of short
narratives and documentaries. In 2014 he shot a period piece titled
Washita, an official selection of the 24th Annual Reel
Loud Film Festival: the film condemns brutality against Native Americans, and was fully supported by the Caddo Nation of Binger
Oklahoma for its preservation and utilization of authentic Caddo actors, tools, makeup and costume, and original music. Vincent is
currently in the early stages of preproduction working as lead actor and producer for his first independent feature film
, written and to be directed by César Cervantes.

The Fellows and projects selected for the 2016 Documentary Film Creative Producing Lab are:

CPL Fellow_For Ahkeem_Iyabo Boyd.jpg

CPL Fellow_For Ahkeem_Iyabo Boyd.jpg
For Ahkeem
Producing Fellow: Iyabo Boyd
For Ahkeem follows Daje Shelton, a 17-year-old Black girl from North St. Louis, as she strives to graduate from the
nation’s only court-supervised public high school. Daje fights for her future as close friends are killed, her
sixteen-year-old boyfriend is pulled into the prison system, and nearby Ferguson erupts after the police shooting of Michael Brown.
Through Daje’s intimate first-person account,
For Ahkeem explores the complex web between juvenile justice,
education, and race in America today. (Co-directors Landon Van Soest & Jeremy Levine)

Iyabo Boyd is a Brooklyn-based independent film producer, writer/director, and entrepreneur. She’s
previously held positions at Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tribeca Film Institute, Hamptons Film Festival, IFP, and has served on
juries for DOC NYC, the IDA Awards, and Cinema Eye Honors. She produced the fiction feature
Sun Belt Express which
premiered in Paris at the Champs-Elysée Film Festival in 2014. In 2015, Iyabo founded Feedback Loop, a documentary consulting
organization, and started Brown Girls Doc Mafia, a collective of women filmmakers of color working in documentary. Iyabo graduated
from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BA in Film & Television in 2006, and is a 2016 Impact Partners Creative Producing

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CPL_The Industrial Musicals Movie_Amanda Spain.JPG
The Industrial Musicals Movie

Producing Fellow: Amanda Spain
This is the story of one of Capitalism’s strangest creations and the comedy writer obsessed with rescuing this hidden world from
obscurity. (Director Dava Whisenant)

Amanda Spain brings over 15 years of creative producing experience with her to the The Industrial Musicals
, executive produced by David Letterman. She recently produced and directed two documentaries for ESPN: a ”30 for
30” short called
Wrestling the Curse and another short for their Versus series about basketball star Manute Bol,
Son of South Sudan. She is also producing the feature-length documentary A Secret Legacy, which explores
the consequences of the CIA-led war in the Congo. In 2013 Amanda started Giving Voice Films, a company dedicated to producing
compelling documentaries for both the large and small screen.

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CPL Fellow_13th _ Locust_Leah Thomas.jpg
13th & Locust
Producing Fellow: Leah Natasha Thomas
13th & Locust is an intimate and in-depth multi-part series that will shed new light on the most contested and
divisive death row case in modern American history, the trial of Mumia Abu Jamal. (Director Ted Passon)

Leah Natasha Thomas started her career at Revolution Studios and served as the former Director of Industry
Relations for Ghetto Film School. She recently produced
25 To Life, winner of the CNN Grand Jury Prize at American Black
Film Festival 2014 (Netflix), and
3 1/2 Minutes, winner of the Special Jury Award for Social Impact, Sundance 2015
(Participant Media, HBO). She is currently producing
America Divided, a four-part documentary series focused on inequality
in America, executive produced by Norman Lear, Common, and Shonda Rhimes. She is the 2016 recipient of the NYU – Critical
Collaboration Fellowship. She holds a BFA in Drama and Politics and an MA in Art and Public Policy from NYU Tisch School of the

CPL Fellow_Charm City_Danielle Varga.jpg

CPL Fellow_Charm City_Danielle Varga.jpg
Charm City
Producing Fellow: Danielle Varga
As Baltimore and the nation struggle to come to terms with the bitter legacy between the police and the community,
Charm City will go behind the scenes as citizens and police officers reckon with one another. At a moment
that is fraught with increased violence, pervasive fear, and a deepening divide,
Charm City will take viewers beyond the
television news to explore what has become so chronically broken between police and communities.(Director Marilyn Ness)

Danielle Varga is a documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She most recently co-produced Kirsten Johnson’s
Cameraperson, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. She was an associate producer on Johanna
1971 and archival producer on Matt Wolf’s Teenage, both of which premiered at the Tribeca
Film Festival. She has worked on a number of independent feature documentaries, as well as films for PBS’s American
Experience and Frontline series.

The Sundance Institute Creative Producing Initiative is supported by the Arcus Foundation, Amazon Studios, Cinereach, the National
Endowment for the Arts, Vimeo, SAGindie, Technicolor, Directors Guild of America, the Zygmunt & Audrey Wilf Foundation, Quiver, and
the Writers Guild of America, West.

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is made possible by founding support from Open Society Foundations. Generous additional
support is provided by Skoll Foundation; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Ford Foundation; The Charles Engelhard
Foundation; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Arcus Foundation; The Rockefeller Foundation; The Kendeda Fund; Discovery Channel; Liminal
Fund; Time Warner Foundation; Cinereach; CNN Films; National Geographic; Compton Foundation; SundanceNow Doc Club; Joan and Lewis Platt
Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Code Blue Foundation; The Fledgling Fund; Joy Family Foundation; PBS;
Signal Media Project; and WNET New York Public Media.

The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program is supported by The Annenberg Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; YouTube; RT Features;
Time Warner Foundation; Amazon Studios; NBCUniversal; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; Hollywood Foreign Press Association; National Endowment for
the Arts; NHK Enterprises, Inc.; Manish Mundra; The Ammon Foundation; Firestone / von Winterfeldt Family Fund; Technicolor; the John S.
and James L. Knight Foundation; SAGindie; The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund; Grazka Taylor; and A3 Foundation.

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
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin
, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, 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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