Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound Announce Independent Filmmakers and Film Composers for July Music and Sound Design Labs

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute and Skywalker Sound today announced the independent narrative and documentary directors and composers selected for the Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound. This will be the third year the Music and Sound Design Labs take place at the Skywalker Ranch in northern California. The Labs are part of 24 residential labs the Institute hosts annually to discover and foster the talent of emerging independent artists in film, theatre, new media and episodic content.

The Music and Sound Design Labs provide a space for composers, directors and sound designers to collaborate on the process of designing a soundtrack for film. Fellows participate in workshops and creative exercises under the guidance of leading film composers and film music professionals acting as Creative Advisors.The Music and Sound Design Lab for narrative feature films (July 7-21) is a joint initiative of the Institute’s Film Music Program and Feature Film Program, and the Music and Sound Design Lab for documentaries (July 22-30) is a joint initiative of the Film Music Program and Documentary Film Program.

Peter Golub, Director of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, said, “This year’s fellows include an outstanding group of composers whose work will deepen and enrich the experience of the diverse personal stories being told by these fiction and documentary filmmakers. Skywalker Sound is the perfect space for composers, filmmakers and sound designers to come together to explore the magical integration of image, music and sound.”

Josh Lowden, General Manager of Skywalker Sound said, “Collaborating with the Institute to host these Labs at Skywalker allows us to deepen our commitment to independent filmmaking. Twenty-five years ago Skywalker was founded by a filmmaker for filmmakers, and among our core philosophies is the importance of early collaboration between directors, sound designers and composers in bringing a story and vision to life.”

Creative Advisors this year include composers Jeff Beal, Todd Boekelheide, George S. Clinton, John Frizzell, Harry Gregson-Williams, Laura Karpman, and Anton Sanko; sound designers Chris Barnett, Pete Horner, Dennis Leonard, Tim Nielsen, Gary Rydstrom, Kent Sparling, and Randy Thom; BMI Vice President, Doreen Ringer Ross; re-recording mixers Erik Foreman, Zach Martin and Brandon Proctor; music supervisor Sue Jacobs; director Jon Else; and music agent Robert Messinger.

Artists and narrative projects selected for the 2015 Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Lab: Feature Film (July 7-21) are:

All filmmakers selected for this Lab have been supported by the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program. Two projects are in post-production and the others recently participated in the Institute’s June Directors and Screenwriters Lab.

Yung Chang (writer/director) / Eggplant (China/Canada): A neo-noir love story set in China, Eggplant follows a mysterious woman who cons countryside bachelors for their money and a wedding photographer escaping a troubled life in Taiwan. When they meet in a collision of fate, the past quickly confronts the present in an explosion of events as these two Chinese millennials struggle to find a meaningful existence in a society fixated on money, materialism and duty.

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (writer/director) / Mustang (France): Roman Coleman is halfway through an 11-year sentence for attempted murder when he is offered the chance to participate in a rehabilitation program that trains inmates to break captured wild mustangs. Based on a real-life program, Mustang is a portrait of one man’s unique connection to these wild animals and his complex struggle to control his own ferocity.

Mark Kindred (writer/director) / Rogue (U.S.A.): An ex-cop gone rogue wages unconventional warfare on the institutional forces that wronged him. Inspired by true events.

Matthew Ross (writer/director) / Frank & Lola (U.S.A.): On Halloween night, Frank, a chef at a Las Vegas restaurant, falls in love with Lola, a mysterious girl who’s new in town. Betrayal, then forgiveness, soon follows. But the damage has been done, as Frank’s obsession soon leads him to Paris, and revenge. POST-PRODUCTION

Brent Green (co-writer/director) / Over the Eaves (U.S.A.): In this stop-motion animated film, a young boy begins inventing strange, hand-made machines to ease his mother’s hard labor and bring joy to her monotonous life, but his ambitions quickly grow. When his most daring invention backfires and changes life on Earth forever, his neighbors struggle to understand whether he has done them harm or shown them what they have been missing.

Marialy Rivas (co-writer/director) / La Princesita (Chile): The leader of religious cult has one single purpose and belief: a new order is necessary, and 12-year-old Tamara is the one responsible for procreating the leaders of the new world. Tamara shall earn her freedom in a way she never imagined. POST-PRODUCTION

Fabrizio Mancinelli
Born in Italy and currently a Los Angeles resident, Fabrizio Mancinelli has studied composition, conducting and film scoring, the latter at USC as a Fulbright grantee. In 2012 he composed the music for the internationally distributed Disney documentary Growing Up With Nine Old Men by Theodore Thomas. He regularly collaborates with production companies and TV networks in Europe and the U.S. Future projects include the animated film Mushka by Andreas Deja (Aladdin, The Lion King).

Forrest Gray
Forrest Gray is an LA-based composer who received his B.F.A. in film scoring with a minor in conducting from Berklee College of Music in 2014, and a graduate certificate from USC’s Scoring for Motion Picture and Television program in 2015. His debut as a composer was in 2008, when he was asked to provide additional music for Steven Soderbergh’s documentary And Everything is Going Fine, which chronicles the career of Gray’s father, the late monologist and writer, Spalding Gray. Gray has worked on a number of short films, documentaries, and recently finished work as an arranger for acclaimed songwriter/producer Mike Posner. He also interned for Carter Burwell when he was working on The Fifth Estate.

Stephanie Economou
Stephanie Economou is a 25-year-old composer and violinist based in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Master’s in Composition for Visual Media from UCLA. Stephanie has explored and studied a myriad of musical styles, including classical, electronic, contemporary, jazz, rock and folk which have allowed her to harness and craft a uniquely hybridized compositional palette. Her most rewarding undertakings have been her partnerships with independent filmmakers, which have granted her the rare opportunity to simultaneously synthesize electronic and acoustic musical spheres. Stephanie holds a position as principal composing assistant to Harry Gregson-Williams at Wavecrest Music in Santa Monica, CA.

Danielle Eva Schwob
Originally from London, Danielle Eva Schwob is a “notable cross-genre composer” (The New Yorker) and “worldly musical chameleon” (TimeOut) with “deep roots in rock music” (The New York Times) who writes concert music, avant-garde pop and film scores. Her work has been featured at venues including Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge and Philip Glass’s MATA Festival, earning honors and commissions from The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Con Edison, ASCAP, ChamberMusicNY, The American Composers Forum and numerous others. A guitarist and singer who has worked with artists including David Simon (creator of The Wire), Ben Folds and The Pogues, she is known for writing music that is as “dark and beautiful” (Consequence of Sound) as it is “dynamic” (Brooklyn Vegan) and “hard-edged” (NY Times).

Kris Bowers
Earning a Bachelors and Masters from The Juilliard School in Jazz Piano with a focus in composition, Kris Bowers has never been afraid to step outside traditional genre boundaries to create other forms of music. He performed on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album Watch the Throne, has recorded and performed with artists such as Marcus Miller, José James, and Q-Tip, and has scored a diverse range of documentaries: Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013), Seeds of Time (2013), Play it Forward (2015), and Kobe Bryant’s Muse (2015). In 2011, he won the coveted Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Alexander Rudd
Alexander Rudd is a composer and songwriter. In 2008 he received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the University of Southern California. He has composed the scores for numerous plays, including collaborations with the Royal National Theatre, The Old Vic and The Barbican. Recent TV projects include music for Traders, Millions by the Minute (BBC) and You Can’t Get the Staff (Channel 4). Alexander is currently composing an album of new songs with Academy Winning Lyricist Don Black for Sony/ATV.

Artists and documentary projects selected for the 2015 Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Lab: Documentary (July 22-30) are:

All filmmakers selected for this Lab have been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca (co-directors) / Brick: Brick reveals the raw emotional and physical experience of being a middle aged to senior transgender woman coming out for the first time in the Pacific Northwest. The film follows three intersecting stories of individuals who have lived their whole lives as men, and have decided this burdensome secret is one they can no longer keep.

Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya (co-directors/producers) / Like Ants For Sugar: For seven decades, trucks bearing gigantic cinema projectors and a cache of film reels have hawked the magic of the movies to rural India. Now, as their patrons are lured by slick new technology, an ingenious film exhibitor, a benevolent showman, and a maverick projector mechanic strive to reinvent this world of traveling cinemas.

Pacho Velez (director) / The Reagan Years: The Reagan Years is about a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. The documentary uses the Reagan administration’s internal documentation to capture the spectacle of American might at its acme.

Javid Soriano (director/producer) / Swing Low:Once a world-class opera singer, Tim, now homeless, embarks on a musical journey into the brightest and darkest regions of his life.


Samora Pinderhughes
A recent graduate of Juilliard, Samora Pinderhughes composes for theatre and film, tours internationally as a pianist, and creates multi-disciplinary works that use art as a vehicle for conversations about social justice. His performance venues have included the White House, the Blue Note, MoMA, Sundance Film Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Carnegie Hall. His first album as a leader, entitled The Transformations Suite, is due out this fall.

Germaine Franco
Composer Germaine Franco kicked off 2015 by scoring the film Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. Her work includes scores for Margarita, directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert for HBO Canada and Telefilm, Tres Americas, directed by Cristina Kotz-Cornejo, Angry Birds Rio for Rovio, and Sugar Smash: Book of Life video game for Social Gaming Network. Franco has performed as a percussionist with her own ensemble and many international ensembles including the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Belgian Radio Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the World Orchestra, the Hollywood Studio Symphony and with Jack Black, Judith Hill, John Powell, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Sheila E. and Sergio Mendes.

Christopher North
Austin, Texas-born Christopher North is a Brooklyn-based composer for film, dance, theater, original series and various ensembles. With his diverse range, eclectic background (including football player, actor and dancer), boundless imagination and expressive depth, Variety says he is a “notable asset.” With more than 30 film credits, his scores include Everything’s Jake (starring Ernie Hudson), Eavesdrop (featuring Ethel String Quartet and Eroica Trio), the award winning feature documentary Bible Quiz (on Sundance Global) and recent festival favorites All In Time and Missing People. Making music in NYC since 1997, he is an accomplished bassist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist on Grammy award-winning recordings, on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall, as well as a songwriter (including children’s music heard round the globe). Recently, he’s focused on new instruments (Harpejji, Guitarviol, Gryphon, Uke Bass and Slaperoo) and conducting.

Jeremy Turner
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Turner has rapidly gained a reputation for creating diverse and innovative music for the moving image and the stage. An award winning composer for films and commercials, and the former Assistant Principal Cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Jeremy’s recent projects include a new work for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a chamber piece for yMusic Ensemble, an ESPN 30 for 30 score, and collaborating with James Murphy on original music for the Broadway revival of Betrayal, directed by the late Mike Nichols.


The Sundance Institute Film Music Program is supported by Time Warner Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, BMI, City Drive Films, The Film Music Foundation, ASCAP, Green Hummingbird Entertainment, Joel Kellman, and Woodside Homes.


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 Nombre, 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.

About Skywalker Sound
Skywalker Sound, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd, is one of the largest, most versatile full-service audio post-production companies in the industry. Skywalker Sound offers comprehensive post-production services and utilizes the talents of Academy Award®-winning sound professionals working on sound design, editorial, Foley and re-recording mixes as a team. This provides filmmakers the most efficient model available for the audio post-production process. More information is available at

Lucasfilm Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Skywalker Sound, the Skywalker Sound logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. ©2013 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

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