Sundance Institute Selects Four Short Film Projects for 2013 NativeLab Fellowship

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the four fellows and short film projects selected for the 2013 NativeLab Fellowship, a two-stage development program that provides continuous and direct support to Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native film artists. For the first stage, filmmakers participate in an intensive four-day workshop (May 20-24) on the homelands of the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico. The second stage brings Fellows to the Native Forum during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January and provides opportunities for them to meet and hear from film industry professionals.

Bird Runningwater, Director of the Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program, said, “The fellows selected for the 2013 NativeLab will begin a process of creative development to help them hone their work and give voice to their unique perspectives in the short film form. The lab in New Mexico coupled with the ongoing support of Sundance Institute will provide support to these Native American artists on a year-round basis.”

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “The emerging Native American filmmakers that come through our labs and those who return to help mentor new artists all play a key role in continuing the rich legacy of Native American storytelling.”

Creative Advisors for the NativeLab are Aurora Guerrero (Pura Lengua, Viernes Girl, Mosquita y Mari), Danis Goulet (Spin, Wapawekka, Barefoot), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, Go Fish, The Notorious Bettie Page) and Chad Burris (Four Sheets to the Wind, Barking Water, Mosquita y Mari).

The projects and participants selected for the 2013 Sundance Institute NativeLab Fellowship are:

End of the Road / Jeff Barehand (Gila River/ Navajo)

A cop must decide the fate of a killer – whether to let him live or give him a taste of his own medicine.

Jeff Barehand began his career as an actor before starting to write, produce, and direct his own films. Jeff found guidance at the ABC/Disney sponsored film workshop at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he produced and directed his first short film. He studied screenwriting at the Northwest Film Forum and founded the Olympia Film Collective, a local filmmaking group that fosters collaboration in local film productions and the sharing of film production experience and knowledge within its community. He studied acting at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory in Washington, D.C. and has been a regular performer at the Capital Playhouse in Olympia, WA in shows including Hair, The Full Monty, and Buddy! The Buddy Holly Musical. He had a lead role in MSNBC’s docudrama Convictionand was featured in Warner Brother’s The Visiting.

Da Frog / ʻĀina Paikai (Native Hawaiian)

A Hawaiian hero reflects on the lesson that made him who he is.

ʻĀina Paikai is from Waiau, in Central O’ahu. He is a Native Hawaiian filmmaker interested in bolstering the Hawaiian film industry. He received his bachelors degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Academy for Creative Media. His films have screened locally, nationally, and internationally, including Shanghai and Russia. He currently works for, ‘ŌiwiTV, which is apart of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Network or WITBN, a group of indigenous channels from across the globe that continues to keep telling stories from a Native point of view.

A Good Day / Ty Coughenour (Lummi)

As they face life-changing news, an elderly couple reflects on the day they met.

Ty Coughenour is a writer and director belonging to the Lummi Nation. He recently graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a major in Political Science and a minor in Film and Television from the University of California at Los Angeles. While at UCLA he was the recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship. He has made several short films that have screened at several festivals including Big Bear International Film Festival and Beverly Hills Film Festival. He is based in Seattle, Washington, where he serves as an Associate Producer at Mighty Media Studios.

Ave and the Uglies / Kavelina Torres (Yup’ik, Inupiaq and Athabascan)

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young, tenacious woman struggles to stay alive as a pack of unrelenting devolved subhumans prey on her womb and her people.

Kavelina Torres attended The University of Alaska at Fairbanks for a rigorous interdisciplinary program in Yup’ik Filmmaking. She has participated in several 24-hour from page to stage formats, Alaska Native Playwrights Programs, and Last Frontier Theatre Conferences. With her goals of writing, producing and directing Alaska Native stories for stage and screen, she has documented several Elders’ stories and their practices as digital shorts. Kavelina has dedicated herself to film production by making her own shorts and working as an intern, production assistant or assistant director. She has worked with directors such as Chris Eyre on Growing Native, Kade Mendelowitz on The Messenger and Ken Kwapis on Big Miracle. Born and raised in Alaska Kavelina now makes her home in North Pole, Alaska.

The Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program is generously supported by Time Warner Foundation, with additional support from Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, NBC Universal, CBS Corporation, and SAGIndie.

Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program
Rooted in the recognition of a rich tradition of storytelling and artistic expression by Native American and Indigenous peoples, Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program operates the NativeLab Film Fellowship established for emerging Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian filmmakers. The program has also established filmmaker labs in New Zealand and Australia which have spawned such projects as The Strength of Water (New Zealand), Samson and Delilah (Australia), Bran Nue Dae (Australia) and Here I Am (Australia). The program also collaborates with the other artist programs of the Institute and scouts worldwide and across the United States for Indigenous artists with projects that can be supported through the Institute’s Feature Film Program, Creative Producers Summit/Creative Producing Fellowship and Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers and projects identified for support include Sterlin Harjo, his Spirit Award–nominated Four Sheets to the Wind, and his follow-up feature Barking Water; Academy Award nominee Taika Waititi, his feature debut Eagle vs Shark, and his follow-up feature Boy; Billy Luther’s award-winning Miss Navajo and his second feature documentary Grab; and Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s Sundance Film Festival Jury Prize–winning shortfilm Sikumi and his feature debut On the Ice, which was awarded the Crystal Bear Award and the Best First Feature Prize at the 61st Berlinale; and Aurora Guerrero’s Mosquita y Mari, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Forthcoming projects include Sydney Freeland’s Drunktown’s Finest and Yolanda Cruz’s La Raya.

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, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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