Year-Long Fellowship, in Collaboration with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group,
Launches with Two-Day Intensive
Los Angeles — Sundance Institute today announced the ten writer/directors selected for the fifth annual FilmTwo Fellowship supported by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which kicks off a year-long track of customized creative and tactical support with a two-day Intensive. Created to foster career sustainability as independent creators develop their second feature films, the Intensive includes a writing workshop, industry mentoring sessions, and one-on-one story meetings with Creative Advisors.
Recent alumni of FilmTwo include Lulu Wang, Marielle Heller, Andrew Ahn, Sally El Hosaini,, Crystal Moselle Laure de Clermont Tonnere and Steven Caple, Jr. as well as Nia DaCosta, director of Universal Pictures’ upcoming Candyman, from Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.
“Filmmakers face specific and ongoing challenges as they develop their second features,” said Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Institute’s Feature Film Program. “By connecting these directors with experienced advisors from a range of creative and industry backgrounds, we can help them gain valuable insights and practical tools for building a wide-ranging and sustainable career, and support them on their next feature.” Satter oversees the fellowship alongside Shira Rockowitz, the Feature Film Program’s Associate Director.
Creative Advisors include: Kyle Patrick Alvarez (Director, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Homecoming – Season 2), Aneesh Chaganty (Co-writer/Director, Searching, upcoming Lionsgate release, Run), Gyula Gazdag (Artistic Director, Sundance Directors Lab), Jessica Goldberg (Creator and Showrunner, The Path), Adele Lim (Writer, Crazy Rich Asians and the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon), Kieran Mulroney (Co-writer, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows; Co-writer/Co-director, Paper Man), James Ponsoldt (Executive Producer, Master of None, Director, The End of the Tour), Jennifer Salt (Executive Producer, Ratched, Writer/Producer, American Horror Story), Peter Sollett (Writer/Director, Raising Victor Vargas, Director, Freeheld) and Joan Tewkesbury (Writer, Nashville). Five Creative Advisors (Alvarez, Chaganty, Mulroney, Ponsoldt and Sollett) are alumni of the Sundance Institute’s FFP Labs, Sundance Film Festival, or both.
Industry Advisors include: Deborah Chow (Director, The Mandalorian), Poppy Hanks (Senior Vice President, Development & Production, MACRO), Dani Melia (Producer, Big Beach (The Farewell)), Anjay Nagpal (Chief Content Officer – Motion Picture Group, BRON), Rosemary Palacios and Michael Pogarian (Managers, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group), and Nena Rodrigue (President of Television, T-Street).
The 2020 Sundance Institute FilmTwo Fellows are:
VERA BRUNNER-SUNG is a writer and director working across experimental, documentary, and narrative film. Her work has been presented at festivals and museums around the world, including CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Whitney Museum, Torino Film Festival, Filmfest Hamburg, Ann Arbor Film Festival, FIDMarseille, San Francisco International Film Festival, and Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. Her first feature, Bella Vista, premiered at the 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam (Bright Future), and went on to win her the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Her latest short film, Character, had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Brunner-Sung is the recipient of a Center for Asian American Media writer/director fellowship. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.
SAMANTHA BUCK is an actor and filmmaker. She directed the Peabody award-winning documentary Best Kept Secret (the closing night film for the PBS series POV and a Gotham Award nominee) and 21 Below (Channel 4). She was a recipient of the Sundance Documentary Grant and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation Grant for Female Filmmakers. Together with her partner Marie Schlingmann, she has produced and directed several short films including Canary and The Mink Catcher (SXSW, Telluride, Palm Springs). Buck and Schlingmann’s first fiction feature Sister Aimee premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, played SXSW, and was released by 1091 Media in the fall of 2019. They are currently developing their second feature film and a television series.
PATRICIA VIDAL DELGADO is the writer and director of short films Bué Sabi, Isa, Ico, 88, The Hood, and Caroline. Her work has screened at both national and international film festivals including the Raindance Film Festival, Crown Heights Film Festival, Curtas Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival, and IndieLisboa International Film Festival. Delgado’s films have garnered a total of 8 wins and 29 nominations. La Leyenda Negra, her feature film debut, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT category.
ANNAROSE KING is an award-winning New York-based writer, director, and actor. Her work mines personal stories and explores the humorous and poignant ways people live with and through pain. She wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature, Good Enough, a comedic drama about wanting to know more about a deceased parent. It launched in an innovative distribution campaign following an award-winning festival run. King also co-created, wrote, and directed the comedic web series American Viral starring Michael Showalter for SnagFilms about a dysfunctional family trying to recapture internet fame. Upon completing an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Film School in 2014, she split her time between her production company, Young King Productions, Inc., and her growing family. After being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018, she now also spends time in Houston receiving treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Through this experience, King has become an advocate for lung cancer research—the grossly underfunded number one cancer killer of women—and a Christian mystic. She is now working on her next movie inspired by the true events of her last two years.
ASH MAYFAIR was born in Vietnam and educated in the UK and the US. She studied English Literature at Oxford, trained as a theatre director at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and received an MFA in filmmaking at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her first feature, The Third Wife, recipient of the Spike Lee Film Production Fund in 2014, premiered at Toronto in 2018, and won the NETPAC Jury Award. The Third Wife has since screened at more than 70 film festivals worldwide, won 19 awards, and received distribution in over 28 countries including theatrical releases in the US, Canada, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Spain, France, Germany, and Australia. Most recently, The Third Wife was recognized with 3 Indie Spirits Award nominations including a ‘Someone To Watch Award’ nomination for Mayfair. She is also an alumna of Talents Tokyo and South East Asian Fiction Film Lab. Her projects in development have won prizes at the Hong Kong Asia Financing Forum and Busan Asian Film Market. If I Had Two Lives is based on a novel written by her sister, Abbigail N. Rosewood. The story is inspired by true events in the sisters’ childhood.
BRIAN PERKINS is a writer, director, and producer. Born and raised in Oregon, he studied at New York University, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class, and subsequently pursued a doctorate at UC-Berkeley before turning to cinema. Brian’s debut feature film, Golden Kingdom, had its world premiere at the 65th Berlinale and was nominated for Best First Feature. The first international feature to be shot on location in Myanmar since its recent political opening, Golden Kingdom went on to play to audiences around the world, from Japan to Iran and the US, garnering various awards. It was distributed in the US by Kino Lorber in 2016. Perkins currently splits his time between the United States and Paris, where he is the co-executive producer of the forthcoming French documentary series, Sopie Et Éric, with executive producers Josh Mond, Zac Stuart-Pontier, and IPC.
A Venezuelan filmmaker based in LA, MARCEL RASQUIN won a scholarship to study a postgraduate diploma and a Masters Degree in Film at the Victorian College of the Arts of the University of Melbourne, Australia. Rasquin is the writer and director of the feature Hermano (2010), which won the Grand Prix (which saw Luc Besson presiding the jury), the Audience Award, and the Critics’ Award at the Moscow International Film Festival. Hermano also won Best Film at the Huelva FilmFest in Spain, Best First Feature at the Habana Film Festival in Cuba, and over 25 other international awards. Hermano was the Venezuelan candidate for the Foreign Language Film category at the 2011 Academy Awards and was released theatrically by Music Box Films in 2012. Variety included Rasquin on its “Top Ten Directors To Watch” list in 2010. Rasquin is also an accomplished theater director, with works ranging from classics, experimental, and even a Broadway musical (Next To Normal). Rasquin’s production company, TRES, led the Venezuelan production services for the remake of Point Break (2016). He recently moved to LA and is currently developing his second feature, Dogs in Antarctica, a television series, Flat Out, in addition to producing Diego Vicentini’s first feature, Simón.
MARIE SCHLINGMANN is a filmmaker from Berlin. With a background in photography and academics, she met her partner Samantha Buck at Columbia University’s Film MFA program and went on to create several award-winning short films, including Canary and The Mink Catcher (SXSW, Telluride, Palm Springs and others). Their debut feature Sister Aimee premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, played SXSW, and was released by 1091 Media in the fall of 2019. They are currently developing their second feature film and a television series.
HANNAH PEARL UTT is a director, writer, and actor whose feature directorial debut, Before You Know It, was theatrically released by 1091 to critical acclaim in 2019. The film, which also stars Utt, alongside co-writer, Jen Tullock, played in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She and Tullock co-wrote/created the hit series Disengaged for SuperDeluxe (RIP), which Utt also directed, after their short film, Partners, premiered at Sundance in 2016. In 2017, Utt participated in Sundance’s inaugural Catalyst Women, as well as the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs, and received a 2018 Adrienne Shelly Foundation Women Filmmakers Grant. In 2019, Utt was listed as one of IndieWire’s “25 Female Filmmakers to Watch,” and recently joined Epoch Films’ roster as a commercial director. As an actor, Hannah can be seen in, Dorm Life, Ingrid Goes West, and many commercials.
JOSHUA Z WEINSTEIN directed the film Menashe, which was released theatrically by A24. It was nominated for “Breakthrough Director” at the Gotham Awards and “Best First Feature” at the Independent Spirit Awards. He also directed the feature documentaries Drivers Wanted and Flying On One Engine. His recent director of photography credits includes Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Bikini Moon, and the forthcoming Blackballed. Weinstein has been nominated for a Cannes Lion for his advertising work and won a first-place Pictures of the Year (POY) award for his work with The New York Times.
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and 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. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as The Farewell, Late Night, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, Dear White People, Little Miss Sunshine, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, State of the Union, Indecent, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
# # #