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by Website Update on June 10, 2013


First Time Directors Selected for Year-long Mentorship

New York, NY (June 10, 2013) – Coming off a successful year nurturing recent critical and festival successes – including recent/upcoming theatrical releases Concussion (TWC Radius), Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects), An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Variance Films), Pavilion (Factory 25), Welcome to Pine Hill (Oscilloscope Laboratories) and Una Noche (IFC) – Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today the ten narrative features selected for its 2013 Independent Filmmaker Labs.

Under the ongoing leadership of Head of Programming Amy Dotson and Senior Programmer Milton Tabbot, the Labs yearlong fellowship supports diverse participants from throughout the U.S. whose voices might not otherwise be heard.The key creative teams of the selected films, chosen from large national pool of submissions, will participate in the first session– the Time Warner Foundation Narrative Completion Lab – June 10-14 in New York City.

Concentrating exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive, free, yearlong mentorship program focuses on completion, marketing and distribution of first feature films.Specifically, the Labs provide first-time feature filmmakers with projects in post-production the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films and careers. And with its recent partnership with ReRun Theater in DUMBO, Brooklyn, IFP continues its commitment to supporting both self-distribution and traditional distribution for Lab Alumni. Seven Lab films to date have had successful theatrical runs at ReRun – including New York Times Critics Picks Nancy,Please (Factory 25), and Stranger Things – and received customized support, individualized outreach, and press, promotion, and audience engagement campaigns.


“We are a unique program that focuses not just on project completion, but on the creative sustainability of the teams involved.” says Joana Vicente, IFP Executive Director. “In addition to the supported films’ festival, distribution and audience engagement successes, IFP is particularly proud that our Lab alumni go on to make second features and have fruitful, multi-faceted careers in film, television and advertising.” These notably include supporting the early work of auteurs David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) andAndrew Dosunmu (Mother of George), MTV’s 16 And Pregnant series producer DiaSokol Savage, as well as director/actorAmy Seimetz(Sun Don’t Shine, actress The Killing) and Alex Karpovsky (Red Flag, actor Girls).

In addition to workshops, case studies and hands-on training, the Labs provide multiple levels of mentorship throughout the process.  Fellows receive continual support from IFP staff and experienced producers (Lab Leaders). One-to-one mentors and Completion Lab Workshop Leaders offer strategic advice and act as sounding boards to the teams throughout the process as well. 2013 Leaders and mentors include:

2013 Narrative Lab Leaders

  • Scott Macaulay, Producer (Raising Victor Vargas), Editor-in-Chief, FILMMAKER Magazine)
  • Jon Reiss,Director and Author (Bomb It!; Think Outside the Box Office).
    • Susan Stover, Producer (High Art)


2013 Narrative Lab One-to-One Mentors:

  • Jay Duplass , Director (Cyrus)
  • Larry Fessenden,Director (Wendigo)
  • Mary Harron, Director (American Psycho)
  • James Ponsoldt,Director(Smashed)
  • Mary Jane Skalski,Producer (The Station Agent)
  • Susan Stover,Producer (High Art)
  • Rose Troche, Director(Go Fish)
  • Mike Tully, Director (Septien)
  • David & Nathan Zellner, Directors (Kid Thing)
  • Craig Zobel, Director (Compliance)


2013 Completion Lab Workshop Leaders (select)

  • Josh Braun, Sales (Submarine Entertainment)
  • Mike Knowlton, Creative Technologist &Transmedia Strategist (Murmur)
  • Marian Koltai- Levine, Publicity, (PMK*BNC)
  • Craig McKay, Editor (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints)
  • Peter Nashel,Composer (Win, Win)
  • Caspar Newbolt,Graphic Designer(clients include: Daft Punk, Louis CK, and Richard Branson)
  • Lee Percy, Editor (Boys Don’t Cry)
  • Aaron Yanes, Editor (Sangre de mi Sangre)


The selected projects for the 2013 Narrative Lab and Lab Fellows are:


Weeks before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey, 19, returns home to rural, post-industrial Pennsylvania on a short assignment: hometown recruitment in the local mall. Infatuated with her older lover, Rayna, 27, a sassy, sexy, married mother of two, Joey navigates her way through a palpable hierarchy of class as she plots to flee the Army in the name of love. Fellows: Deb Shoval (Director), Jessica Caldwell (Producer). New York, NY

Below Dreams

Including the New Orleans music scene as its backdrop and verite style visuals, this neorealist hybrid speaks to the vulnerability of three individuals who are pitted against their blood lines and whose self-worth and personal faith are tested at seemingly uneven lengths. Fellows: Garrett Bradley (Writer, Director, Executive Producer, Editor), Carlos Marques-Marcet (Editor). New Orleans, LA


Beneath the Harvest Sky

Beneath the Harvest Sky tells the story of Dominic, a headstrong teen working his final potato harvest to earn enough money to escape the pitfalls and boredom of his dying northern Maine town, while he fights to save his best friend Casper, who is drawn into smuggling illegal prescription drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father. Fellows: Aron Gaudet(Director, Writer, Producer, Editor); Gita Pullapilly (Director, Writer, Producer). Bar Harbor, ME


Dig Two Graves

Dig Two Graves is a decade spanning gothic thriller that dramatizes the cycle of violence that perpetuates itself over generations in a small backwoods town. The story centers on a 14-year-old girl who is forced to wrestle with a morally uncertain proposition to save her broken family. Fellows: Hunter Adams (Director, Writer, Producer), PJ Fishwick (Producer), Claire Connelly (Producer), Scott Hanson (Editor). Los Angeles, CA



Dukhtar (Daughter) is a thriller set in Pakistan. The story follows a mother on the run with her ten-year-old daughter on the eve of the child’s forced marriage to a tribal leader. They are relentlessly hunted for bringing dishonour to their families. As the chase intensifies, the mother meets a truck driver whose destiny entwines with hers kindling a forbidden attraction. The trio embarks on an epic journey through the stunning landscape of Pakistan where the quest for freedom comes with a price. Fellows: Afia Nathaniel (Director, Writer, Producer), Armughan Hassan (DP, Editor). Brooklyn, NY



Gabriel is convinced that finding his childhood girlfriend will solve all of his problems. But as he obsessively searches for her, reality shatters his idealized perception of the world and a psychological dam bursts open. He escapes from his family to head out on a final frantic quest for love that threatens the lives of everyone around him. Fellows: Lou Howe (Director, Writer), Jane Rizzo (Editor). West Hollywood, CA



After jeopardizing her young career with an onstage tantrum, rootless and reckless Austin musician Irene McCabey arrives in Pittsburgh to claim her inheritance: her grandfather’s crumbling, three-story row house on the city’s East End. With help from an estranged cousin, Irene must finally overcome her destructive impulses to transform the forgotten family house into a home worth taking care of. Fellows: Colin Healey (Director, Writer, Producer), Dave Schachter (Producer, Editor), Ella Hatamian (Producer).  Pittsburgh, PA


Kick Me

Setting out to purchase a bunny for his daughter, well-meaning guidance counselor Santiago Vasquez veers into scruffy Kansas City, Kansas to help a troubled student, Luther. Entangled in Luther’s schemes, Santiago triggers bloody betrayals and comic comeuppances that send him racing to retrieve his rabbit, reunite with his family, uncover Luther’s secret – and get the hell out of KCK. Fellows: Gary Huggins (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor), Betsy Gran (Co-Producer). Kansas City, MO


Something, Anything

When her new marriage starts to disintegrate, a would-be suburban mom sets out on her own. But after receiving a postcard from a monk, her life turns upside down spiritually and romantically. Austere and tender, Something, Anything is a film about the pressures we feel to consume and conform, and the search for something bigger than ourselves. Fellows: Paul Harrill (Director, Writer), Ashley Maynor (Producer), KunitaroOhi (DP). Knoxville, TN


Stay Then Go

Based on the writer/director’s personal experiences as a mother of a child with autism, Stay Then Go is an authentic and nuanced portrayal of a woman whose life takes a series of surprising turns as she adapts to her son’s disability. Fellows: Shelli Ainsworth (Director, Writer), Geoffrey Sass (Producer), Christine Walker (Producer), Alan Canant (Editor). Minneapolis, MN



Since 2005, 148 documentaries and narrative features have participated in the Labs, with 82% of the projects completed and premiered at major US and international festivals, with 60% having distribution on a variety of platforms beyond festivals.  For more information:

As part of IFP’s ongoing commitment to diversity, the Independent Filmmaker Labs also seek to ensure that at least 50% of the participating projects have an inclusive range of races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and physical abilities in key creative positions. The program is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Ford Foundation, Heineman Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, SAGIndie/Screen Actors Guild and Time Warner Foundation. Lab partners include The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, BMI, Rooftop Films, and 92YTribeca.


About IFP

After debuting with a program in the 1979 New York Film Festival, the nonprofit IFP has evolved into the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, and also the premier advocate for them. Since its start, IFP has supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers – voices that otherwise might not have been heard. IFP fosters the development of 350 new feature and documentary films each year through its Project Forum of Independent Film Week, Independent Filmmaker Labs and projects in its fiscal sponsorship program. IFP believes that independent films enrich the universal language of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism. The organization has fostered early work by leading filmmakers including Charles Burnett, Edward Burns, Jim Jarmusch, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Mira Nair and Kevin Smith.�


For more information on IFP, please contact:

Amy Dotson, Head of Programming &Deputy Director, IFP� (212) 465-8200 x203

Milton Tabbot, Senior Director, Programming, IFP 465-8200 x207