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The Gotham Announces 2024 Fellows for Festival de Cannes Producers Network Program

by The Gotham Staff on May 9, 2024

New York, NY (May 9, 2024) – The Gotham Film & Media Institute (The Gotham) announced today the 2024 fellows for the Festival De Cannes Producers Network Program. They are Deidre Backs (Fancy Dance), Apoorva Guru Charan (Joyland), Gabriel Mayers (A Different Man), Jhane Myers (Prey), Giancarlo Nasi (The Settlers), Stephanie Roush (Stress Positions), and Pierce Varous (The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed). This year’s Producers Network Fellows will be participating in person at Cannes, May 15 – 20.

As the sole U.S. Partner Organization for the Festival de Cannes Producers Network, The Gotham annually selects U.S. fiction and nonfiction producers to participate. Running concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival and the Marche du Film, the program is specifically designed for experienced producers to build up their international networks and learn more about international production, financing, legal and packaging.

In addition, The Gotham is proud to support the Gotham EDU partners Colgate University and Quinnipiac University by providing their students with Gotham resources, including the opportunity for students to connect with the Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellows.

“Each of the 2024 Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellows has a unique track record of shepherding bold and compelling projects to the screen,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of The Gotham Film & Media Institute. “In Cannes, we hope to further elevate their stellar careers through networking, education, and celebration of the art of film. We thank the Cannes’ Marché du Film for their unwavering support of this program that continues to expand its incredible impact.”

About the 2024 Gotham/Cannes Producers Network Fellows

Deidre Backs

Deidre Backs is an independent producer and filmmaker. She produced Erica Tremblay’s debut feature, Fancy Dance, starring Lily Gladstone which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at SXSW, Mill Valley, Outfest, BFI London, and will be released by Apple TV+ in 2024. Backs was the recipient of the 2021 Mark Silverman honor as a Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab fellow and was a 2022 Women at Sundance/Adobe fellow. For many years, she worked alongside producer Daniel Lupi with directors such as Steven Spielberg, Jordan Peele, and Paul Thomas Anderson. Deidre began at Alexander Payne’s development company on The Descendants and worked with the director again on Nebraska after transitioning to production. Her first foray into independent film was as an associate producer on Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter with the Zellner Brothers.

Apoorva Guru Charan

Apoorva Charan is an LA based producer who was born in India, raised in Northern California, and started her career as a digital producer in Singapore. Her producorial feature debut, Joyland, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (2022) and won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, the Queer Palm, and Best International Film at the Independent Spirit Awards (2023). Joyland was the first film from Pakistan to make the shortlist for the 95th Academy Awards and has screened at festivals around the world, including Sundance, TIFF, and BFI London Film Festival. An alumnus of Columbia University’s MFA Film program, Charan has produced multiple award- winning short films including Lonely Blue Night, which won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at AFI Fest 2020 and is available to stream on Max, 空间 Distance, which won Film Pipeline’s Best Film Award in 2020, and Interiors, which premiered at TIFF in 2018. She has also served on the jury for Palm Springs Short Film Festival. Charan was a 2019 Project Involve Creative Producing fellow, a 2020 Film Independent Creative Producing Lab fellow, a 2021 Women in Film Emerging Producers fellow, a 2022 Sundance Creative Producing Lab fellow, a 2023 BAFTA Breakthrough, and has worked in development at Big Beach, Walt Disney Studios’ live action department and at Blue Harp. Through her film and tv production company, All Caps, Charan aims to produce unique narratives for a global audience.

Gabriel Mayers

Gabriel is the Head of Film at Killer Films and a firm believer in developing and sharing local narratives with global audiences. She works with early career filmmakers as well as veterans to support and usher original and unique stories to production. Gabriel feels by producing narratives while keeping local audiences in mind, stories can be amplified to greater communities. She is drawn to this work because she feels storytelling helps audiences build social empathy and develops the inroads toward societal change. She now uses her financial knowledge and production and development experience to further the renaissance of the most original and diverse narratives in cinema. Her first feature A Different Man, written and directed by Aaron Schimberg, premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and competed at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival where Sebastian Stan won the Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance. It will be released by A24 Fall of 2024.

Jhane Myers

Jhane Myers is an Emmy award winning filmmaker, Producer Guild of America nominee in 2023 for the six time Primetime Emmy nominated and winning Prey (20th Century/Disney), Sundance Alumni, and member of the Comanche and Blackfeet Nations. She is recognized for her passion and dedication to films surrounding preserving the legacies of Native language, human rights and communities. Myers is currently producing a documentary on the longest serving US political prisoner and Native American activist Leonard Peltier (Public Square Films) and a narrative feature titled Will to Win (Kirkpatrick & Kinslow Productions). She was an advising producer for the Ralph Lauren artist in residence campaign 2023-24 and was a segment producer for the Polo Ralph Lauren Holiday campaign 2020. She has produced the Sundance shorts Riverbank (2023), Mistress Red (2022), and Rude Girl, and line produced Dreaming Arizona in 2022 as well as the Emmy-winning documentary However Wide the Sky: Places of Power for Silver Bullet Productions in 2021. She was a Sundance Time Warner producing fellow in 2017 with the project Words from a Bear, a documentary on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning late Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday, broadcast in 2019 on PBS’ American Masters. In 2018 she was selected as a Sundance Time Warner storyteller fellow. She executive produced the opera Sweet Land 2020, which the Music Critics Association of North America granted the Best New Opera Award in 2021. She has established herself as a vital cultural and community resource for Native-content projects produced by the networks and studios, which over the years have included: 1883 (Paramount); The Wilds (Amazon); Monsters of God (Plan B/TNT); Magnificent Seven (MGM/Columbia Pictures); Wind River (Weinstein Co.); The Lone Ranger (Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films); and Apocalypto (Icon Ent./Touchstone). Myers chairs the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s Native American Advisory Endowment Fund (founded by Allan Houser), is a member of the Ralph Lauren Native American and Indigenous Advisory Council, chairman of the board of directors for the community-conscious Silver Bullet Productions, and board president of Silver Bullet Productions, whose mission is to empower Native youth through the art of filmmaking.

Giancarlo Nasi

Giancarlo Nasi is a film producer, political scientist, and intellectual property lawyer. He is the founder and former president of the Chilean Academy of Cinematic Arts, and a university professor in Chile and abroad. Specializing in international co-productions, he has worked in more than 15 countries on 16 films, through his company Quijote Films. He is an advisor and panelist at some of the most prominent festivals worldwide, such as Rotterdam Lab, Sundance CoLab, and South by Southwest. His stand out films include Land and Shade by César Acevedo, which won the Camera d’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival; Oblivion Verses by Alireza Khatami, which premiered in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival and won the Lion for Best Screenplay; Lina from Lima by María Paz González, featured in the Discovery Section of the Toronto Film Festival; White on White by Theo Court, winner of the Lion for Best Director in the Venice Film Festival; Blanquita by Fernando Guzzoni, winner of the Lion for Best Screenplay at Venice and Chile’s entry for the 2022 Oscars; and The Settlers by Felipe Gálvez, which premiered in Un Certain Regard during the Cannes Film Festival 2023, won the FIPRESCI prize, and represented Chile at the 2023 Oscars. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, USA, Producers’ branch.

Stephanie Roush

Stephanie Roush is an independent producer and filmmaker. She produced Theda Hammel’s Stress Positions, starring John Early, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival (2024), and is being distributed by NEON. Other credits include Simon Hacker’s directorial debut Zoo, starring Michael Zegen, and If You See Something, Iraqi director Oday Rasheed’s first American feature. She has had short films screen at Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Palm Springs International Shortfest and Seattle International Film Festival, among others. Previously, Stephanie developed and co-produced the Emmy-nominated Netflix Original documentary series Principles of Pleasure, which premiered on Netflix in 2022. She won a James Beard Media Award for her documentary work with chef Vivian Howard in 2018. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times and VICE, among other publications, and her directing work has been Webby-nominated. She is currently in development on films with a select group of writer-directors—Allie Avital, Frances de Larminat, Janey Feingold, and Erica Rose. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn with her husband Mitchell and their two high-maintenance cats, Ziggy and Finn.

Pierce Varous

Pierce Varous is the founder of Nice Dissolve (ND), a boutique post facility in Brooklyn, NY, built around leveraging technology to make advanced post-production services available at indie budget levels. ND has quickly become a fixture of the indie film community, having worked with indie stalwarts like Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere), Whit Stillman (Damsels in Distress, The Cosmopolitans), and Spike Lee (Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Chi-raq), and up-and-coming talent alike. ND has provided color grading and finishing services on five of the last eleven “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award winners (Gimme the Loot, Newlyweeds, H., King Jack, and Farewell Amor). As a producer, Pierce participated in the Venice Biennale Cinema College program with the film H., which won their production and development grant. H. has played at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. Pierce was selected by The Gotham as a Rotterdam Lab Producer Fellow in 2017 and served as a Lab Leader for The Gotham’s Narrative Finishing Labs from 2016 to 2019. Additional producing credits include Joanna Arnow’s 2023 Director’s Fortnight selection The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed, Nathan Silver’s The Great Pretender, and Sophia Takal’s Always Shine. Executive producer credits include Lyle, Little Sister, Slow Machine, Superior, Actors, This Closeness, Dream Team, Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time, and Revelations of a Divine Love.

About The Gotham Awards

The Gotham Awards honors visionary talent in front of and behind the camera, expands the audience for groundbreaking film and television, and supports the year-round work of the not-for-profit The Gotham Film & Media Institute. With high-profile VIP guests and a superior location, the Gotham Awards provides sponsors with an incomparable setting for a meaningful presence at the first honors of the film awards season.

About the Gotham Film & Media Institute

The Gotham celebrates and nurtures independent film and media creators, providing career-building resources, access to industry influencers, and pathways to wider recognition. The organization, under the leadership of Executive Director and award-winning producer Jeffrey Sharp, fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Gotham Week, Gotham International, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Awards, Gotham EDU, Owning It, and Expanding Communities.

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