Sundance Institute Selects a Record 24 Documentary Film Fellows for 2012 Documentary Edit and Story

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the selection of 24 Documentary Film Fellows representing nine film projects to participate in the 2012 Documentary Edit and Story Labs, June 22-30 and July 6-14 at Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah. This year’s addition of a second Lab doubles the amount of documentary films and filmmakers the Institute is supporting in the post-production phase.

The Documentary Edit and Story Labs support the creative development of Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP) filmmaker teams in critical moments of the postproduction process. Adapted from the immersive Lab model launched in 1981 by Sundance Institute President & Founder Robert Redford, this intensive nine-day lab brings together film project teams with world renowned documentary Editors and Directors and Sundance Institute staff to address current challenges in their work and support creative risk-taking around issues of story, dramatic structure and character development.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Sundance Institute Labs provide a haven for filmmakers to work through challenges and take risks in their work with the support of our staff and Creative Advisors. We are encouraged that nearly every film team that has participated in a DFP Lab since 2006 has completed their film and launched it to audiences.”

“The Documentary Edit and Story Labs recreate the invited teams’ editing rooms and provide them with an Assistant Editor and support staff, allowing them to benefit from high-level, focused feedback sessions, and then implement changes through re-editing immediately,” said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund. “We hear from filmmakers that participation in this Lab speeds up their process by at least three months and allows them to rediscover their original intentions as storytellers.”

The DFP celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012 and since its inception has awarded grants to more than 425 documentary filmmakers in 61 countries.

Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellows will be joined by DFP staff and seven Creative Advisors to jointly engage in the creative process. Editors serving as Creative Advisors are Ricardo Acosta (Herman’s House), Kate Amend (First Position), Carla Gutierrez (Reportero), Mary Lampson (Harlan County, A Lion in the House) and Victor Livingston (The Queen of Versailles). Directors serving as Creative Advisors are Robb Moss (Secrecy, The Same River Twice) and Frances Reid (Long Night’s Journey Into Day).

The Genius of Marian (U.S.)
Directors: Banker White and Anna Fitch
Editor: Don Bernier
The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Her son, the filmmaker, works with her as she attempts to write a book that tributes her mother, the renowned artist Marian Steele. As Pam’s family comes together to support her, they must also prepare for the new reality that Alzheimer’s disease brings.

Sembene! (U.S./Senegal)
Directors: Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman
Editor: Debra Anderson
A freedom fighter who used stories as his weapon: meet Ousmane Sembene, the dockworker and self-taught father of African cinema.

The Kill Team (U.S.)
Director: Dan Krauss
Editor: Lawrence Lerew
The Kill Team tells the story of U.S. soldiers on trial for war crimes in Afghanistan.

Match +: Love in a Time of HIV (U.S.)
Directors: Ann Kim and Priya Desai
Editor: Bill Anderson
In India – a culture obsessed with marriage but where AIDS is an unspeakable disease – can you find love and companionship if you’re HIV-positive? Ancient tradition and the new reality of HIV collide. Match + is the modern love story that results.

Studio H (U.S.)
Director: Patrick Creadon
Producer: Christine O’Malley
Editor: Doug Blush
Studio H spends a year in the life of one of America’s most innovative classrooms. Designer/activists Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller, together with their high school students, unleash the power of humanitarian design to help their struggling community in North Carolina.

Fellows will be joined by five Creative Advisors to jointly engage in the creative process. Editors serving as Creative Advisors are Kate Amend (First Position), Joe Bini (Cave of Forgotten Dreams), Lewis Erskine (Freedom Riders) and Jean Tsien (Shut Up And Sing, Please Vote for Me). Directors serving as Creative Advisors are Carol Dysinger (Camp Victory, Afghanistan) and James Longley (Iraq in Fragments).

Gideon’s Army (U.S.)
Director: Dawn Porter
Editor: Matthew Hamachek
Gideon’s Army is the story of public interest lawyer Jonathan Rapping, his wife Ilham Askia, and the young lawyers they are training to provide quality criminal representation to poor people in the South. Facing long hours, low pay and a hostile court system, which will be able to go the distance?

God Loves Uganda (U.S.)
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Editors: Benjamin Gray and Richard Hankin
God Loves Uganda is a journey into the heart of East Africa, where Ugandan pastors and their American counterparts spread God’s word and evangelical values to millions desperate for a better life. Inspired by his own roots in the African American Baptist church, director Roger Ross Williams seeks to explore a place were religion and African culture intersect.

Noces Rouges (Red Wedding) (Cambodia)
Directors: Lida Chan and Guillaume P. Suon
Editor: Saobora Narin
Between 1975 and 1979, at least 250,000 women were forced into marriages by the Khmer Rouge. Noces Rouges (Red Wedding) is the story of one of its victims, Pen Sochan, who pits her humanity against an ideology and a system designed to annihilate people like her.

Whose Country? (Egypt)
Director: Mohamed Siam
Editor: Hisham Saqr
Following Mubarak’s downfall, long time government loyalists are confronted with burning questions about morality, loyalty and the repressive activities of the former regime.

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is made possible by generous support from Candescent Films, Cinereach, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, ESPN Films, The Ford Foundation, Hilton Worldwide, The James Irvine Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Joan and Lewis Platt Foundation, the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, and The J.A. & H.G. Woodruff, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program provides year-round support to nonfiction filmmakers worldwide. The program advances innovative nonfiction storytelling about a broad range of contemporary social issues, and promotes the exhibition of documentary films to audiences. Through the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Documentary Edit and Story Laboratory, Composers + Documentary Laboratory, Creative Producing Lab, as well as the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Creative Producing Summit and a variety of partnerships and international initiatives, the program provides a unique, global resource for contemporary independent documentary film.

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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