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ShortsLab: Seattle

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SIFF Cinema at the Film Center, Seattle Center, Northwest Rooms

Sunday, July 15

Recognizing the important role shorts have and will continue to have in cinema, storytelling, and culture, Sundance Institute presents ShortsLab: Seattle to help empower the next generation of artists. Filmmakers are invited to participate in this seminar of Sundance-organized screenings and discussions to offer filmmakers firsthand insight and access into the world of story development, production, and exhibition of narrative short-form storytelling. This half-day educational workshop includes the following parts and participants.

Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Short Film Programmers from the Sundance Film Festival will discuss how shorts fit into the film festival world. Learn how to navigate the festival circuit and hear behind-the-scenes stories about how films are picked, what to avoid, and how you can benefit from festivals as distribution.

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Writer/Director Lynn Shelton and cinematographer Ben Kasulke present some of their work, discuss the craft of filmmaking and the fine art of telling a story, and advise on how to work with a cast and crew in a fruitful mode of collaboration.

After editing multiple shorts, Lynn Shelton has written and directed four feature films. Her second film, My Effortless Brilliance, won the Independent Spirit Award for Someone To Watch. Humpday, her third film, won a Special Jury Prize at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and another Independent Spirit prize, the John Cassavetes Award, before being released theatrically worldwide. Her newest film, Your Sister’s Sister, played at Sundance this past January and will open this year’s Seattle International Film Festival before going to theatres nationwide.

Cinematographer Ben Kasulke has shot multiple short and feature films that have played festivals and theatres all over the world. His work includes all of Lynn Shelton’s films, as well as Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain and Keyhole, Joe Swanberg’s Nights and Weekends, Katie Aselton’s The Freebie, Megan Griffiths’ The Off Hours, the new feature by Colin Trevorrow, Safety Not Guaranteed, and the Adult Swim TV mini-series The Heart, She Holler.

Programming for film festivals since 1993, moderator Mike Plante has worked at Sundance in various roles since 2001, including as a Short Film Programmer for the 2003-2006 and 2012 Festivals and helped to create the New Frontier lounge. In other dimensions, Plante was a Film Programmer for CineVegas and started Cinemad film zine in 1998.

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Snack Break

2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Todd Haynes talks about his impressive, varied career, from early short films to festival favorites and big releases. We discuss how to grow as a filmmaker and storyteller with various budgets and challenges while keeping the core inspiration and meaning intact in a film.

After making a short film in high school, Todd Haynes went on to write and direct the short films Assassins: A Film Concerning Rimbaud (1985), Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987) and Dottie Gets Spanked (1993). His first feature, Poison (1991), is a film of three short stories and won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Since then Haynes has made a unique independent film career, garnering multiple awards and theatrical distribution with his films Safe (1995), Velvet Goldmine (1998), Far from Heaven (2002) and I’m Not There (2007). His most recent work was the acclaimed five-hour miniseries adaptation of Mildred Pierce (2011) for HBO.

Moderator David Schmader's solo plays include Letter to Axl and Straight, which he’s performed in Seattle and across the U.S. Since 1999, Schmader’s been an editor at the Seattle newsweekly The Stranger. In early 2012, he premiered a new solo play commissioned by Seattle’s Richard Hugo House,  A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem.

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
reception