Seven Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellows Selected for 2012

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Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute and the Time Warner Foundation announced today the seven artists selected for the 2012 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program. Each Fellow was identified by one of the following core programs of the Institute: Documentary Film Program, Feature Film Program, Film Music Program, Native American & Indigenous Film Program and Theatre Program.

Fellows attend an annual Lab and receive continued support from the Institute, including mentoring, strategic granting, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival and participation in screenplay readings, work-in-progress screenings and related programs and events. The program promotes cultural, socio-economic and gender diversity as well as artistic collaboration and innovation among emerging film and theatre storytellers, documentary filmmakers and film composers. 2011 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellows were Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic and Ramona Emerson.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Time Warner Foundation is playing a significant role in helping us empower storytellers with the necessary financial and creative tools they need. This program connects artists from diverse backgrounds to a meaningful continuum of support, with the goal of helping them develop their distinctive voices and share their stories with the world.”

Time Warner Foundation has supported the Institute since 2007. Through the Time Warner Storytelling Advancement Fund Grant (2007-2010), the Institute and the Time Warner Foundation supported 17 emerging feature film and theatre artists, including Elgin James (Little Birds), Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (On The Ice), Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation) and Dee Rees (Pariah).

The 2012 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellows are:

Almudena Carracedo (director), The Silence of Others (Documentary Film Program) — After decades of silence, children stolen during Franco’s brutal dictatorship begin the search to find loved ones and to confront the perpetrators. The Silence of Others will be a deeply personal account of Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Documentary filmmaker Almudena Carracedo studied filmmaking in Madrid and worked as a television director there before moving to the U.S. in 2000. Her 2003 short film about Tijuana, Welcome, A Documentary of Expressions, received the Sterling Award for Best Short Documentary at AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival. Her first full-length film, Made in LA (2007), has been broadcast on PBS several times, won an Emmy Award, and has been part of a three-year community engagement campaign with screenings in 29 countries.

Ryan Coogler (writer/director), Fruitvale (Feature Film Program)Fruitvale is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

A filmmaker from the Bay Area, Ryan Coogler attended USC’s MFA program, where he made several award-winning short films including Locks (Tribeca Film Festival, Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence), Gap (Jack Nicholson Award for Achievement in Directing) and Fig (HBO Short Filmmaking Award, DGA Student Filmmaker Award). After graduating, he returned home to Richmond, California, where he works as a guidance counselor for juvenile delinquents.

Chloé Zhao (writer/director), Lee (Feature Film Program) — As his two best friends plan to leave for college, a Lakota teen wonders if his future on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is pre-ordained when a tragedy forces
him to take dangerous action to protect his family.

Chloé Zhao is an MFA thesis candidate at NYU’s Graduate Film Program. Her short film Daughters premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and won Best Student Live Action Short at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. She was raised in China and England and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Ronit Kirchman (composer), The Skin I’m In (Film Music Program) — A brush with death propels a young filmmaker to navigate an epic and transformational journey marked by the creation of his full back tattoo.

Ronit Kirchman is an award-winning composer, songwriter, producer, singer and multi-instrumental performer. Her film scores include the upcoming Neighbors, The Golden Age of Fish and Say You Love Me. Her theatre scores include Lincoln Center Theater and Stop Kiss (LA). Ronit’s concert work has been performed internationally and premiered by the New Century Players. Awards include Sundance Institute Composers + Documentary Lab, BMI Conductors Fellowship and Subito/American Composers Forum. MFA CalArts, BA Yale University

Aurora Guerrero (director and screenwriter), Mosquita y Mari (Native American & Indigenous Film Program) — A friendship between two 15-year-old Latinas becomes complex as they struggle to recognize the sexual undercurrent in their relationship. Mosquita y Mari premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Aurora Guerrero is a queer-identified Chicana raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to writing and directing Mosquita y Mari, Guerrero’s short films include Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl. Guerrero is one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2006 “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” She received her B.A. in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley and her M.F.A. in Film Directing from Cal Arts in Los Angeles.

Byron Au Yong (composer) and Aaron Jafferis (writer), Stuck Elevator (Theatre Program) — Based on the true story of an undocumented immigrant who survived 81 hours in a Bronx elevator, this comic-rap-scrap-metal-music-theatre work follows increasingly fantastic attempts to escape a 4′ x 6′ x 8′ metal box. Stuck Elevator, with direction by Chay Yew, will premiere at the American Conservatory Theatre in April 2013.

Collaborative composer Byron Au Yong combines western classical music, Chinese folk elements and American musical theatre with a penchant for the avant-garde. His self-described “songs of dislocation” include Tzo Lho: Simmering Songs (The Esoterics, Stanford Chorale), Farewell: A Fantastical Contemplation On America’s Relationship With China (Donald Byrd/Spectrum Dance Theater) and Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas (4Culture Site-Specific, Bumbershoot Festival of the Arts). Honors include a Creative Capital Award, Ford Foundation Fellowship and two Sundance Institute Theatre Lab residencies.

Aaron Jafferis’ musicals Kingdom, How to Break, Blood Magic, Shakespeare: The Remix and No Lie have been produced, presented or workshopped by The Old Globe, Public Theater, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, Atlantic Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, HERE, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Nuyorican Poets Café, Collective Consciousness, Bregamos and many others. He is a former Open Rap Slam champion and teaches hip-hop poetry and theatre in his hometown of New Haven, CT.

Sundance Institute
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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