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IFP Announces Ten Projects Selected for 2017 IFP Screen Forward Episodic Labs

by Erik Luers on April 24, 2017

Brooklyn, NY (April 24, 2017) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today the projects selected for the third annual Screen Forward Labs, IFP’s yearlong fellowship for content creators with story-driven, serialized projects. The program kicks off today, running April 24-28 at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Under the leadership of IFP Head of Programming Amy Dotson and producer Gabriele Capolino, the Labs will provide 10 select creators with the knowledge, resources and mentor support necessary for developing strong pitches, securing financing to go from pilot to series, creating marketing strategies and finding unique avenues for the distribution of their work.  Individualized attention for each project will also be paid to building engaged audiences, as well as long-term strategy for career sustainability and launch.

“We are thrilled that IFP’s mission to support  risk-taking creators now extends to episodic storytelling,” says Joana Vicente, IFP’s Executive Director. “With over 70% diverse voices represented in this year’s slate, we look forward to sharing these incredible series with industry leaders who can help further amplify their bold and provocative works.”

During its 39-year history, IFP has supported over 10,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 artists working at the intersection of film, television, VR and new media. The organization has played a vital role in launching the careers of now-established directors including Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine)), Robert Eggers (The Witch), Ciro Guerrra (Embrace of the Serpent), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), Laura Poitras (Citizen Four), Dee Rees (Mudbound), Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience), Denis Villeneuve (Sicario), Roger Ross Williams (Life, Animated), and Behn Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

IFP via FilmmakerMagazine-produced “25 New Faces of Independent Film” were also early champions of a litany of visionaries who have gone on to make their mark in the creative community and popular culture including Cam Archer, Antonio Campos, Ryan Coogler, Lena Dunham, Shana Feste, Cary Fukunaga, Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing, Patty Jenkins, Casey Neistat, Matt Porterfield, The Safdie Brothers, Sebastian Silva, and Craig Zobel.


Inspired by the successful long-running IFP Filmmaker Labs that focus on helping directors complete, market and introduce audiences to cutting edge first-features, the Screen Forward Labs will support innovative, series content creators with $10,000 worth of services and support over the course of a year.

The Lab is designed for innovative showrunners and creatives with story-driven, serialized projects created on all platforms and formats including web series, VR, or app based work. All projects must have at minimum representative sample visual content (a completed episode, demo, excerpt) already in place, and cannot have already launched their project publicly. The Screen Forward Labs will culminate with all projects presenting and pitching to investors, online distributors, network executives and tech companies at IFP Film Week 2017.

And post-Labs, all content creator teams will receive a free, six-month residency at the Made in NY Media Center as well as ongoing individualized access to classes, workshops and support from industry and creative mentors.


The Labs provide multiple levels of mentorship throughout the process, to be overseen by 2017 Lab Leaders:

  • Nadia Manzoor, Co-Creator of Shugs & Fats, winner of the 2016 IFP Gotham Award for Short Form Series;
  •  Jordana Mollick, Producer (Hello, My Name Is Doris, Go90’s Embeds, Warner Bros Digital’s I Love Bekka & Lucy);
  •  Sarah Maryam Moosvi, ‎producer and digital media strategist
  • Additional mentors include leaders and strategists from BBC America, CAA, Epix, First Look Media, Left/Right, IFC TV, Mssng Peces, Refinery29, Vice and Vimeo.


The ten selected projects all have completed pilots and/or proof of concept shot; they represent a mix of genres ranging from comedy, drama, sci-fi thriller to coming of age, with intended formats ranging from app-based, digital series, television, VR and cross-platform storytelling.

  • Aeris (Drama) A reinvented sports drama that explores the dark reality of being an extreme sports athlete, following a group of female snowboarders in a life-threatening, male-dominated sport. Lukas Huffman (Creator/Director/Producer), Amy Zhang (Co-Producer), Shin Campos (Executive Producer).
  • Anamnesis (Sci-Fi) A group of strangers realize they’re able to share each other’s dreams. To understand why, they’ll have to find each other in the real world. Alex Calleros (Creator/Director/Writer/Producer/Editor), Michael Tucker (Creator/Director/Writer/Producer/Editor), Ryan McDuffie (Producer), Jeremy Norris (Executive Producer), Patrick Norris (Executive Producer).
  • Angry Black Women (Comedy) The journey of two Angry Black Women tired of being labeled as ‘Angry Black Women’ living in a world that makes them angry. Dahéli Hall (Creator/Writer/Executive Producer), HaJ (Creator/Writer/Executive Producer), Angie Browne (Director).
  • Camp Abercorn (Coming of Age) When a national discrimination case rains down on the Compass Guides of America, the staff of Camp Abercorn find themselves divided. Will the bonds of brotherhood be enough to keep this motley family from falling apart? Jeffrey Simon (Creator/Director/Writer/Producer), Matthew Andrews (Writer/Producer), Meg Grgurich (Writer/Producer), Brad Leland (Executive Producer).
  • Cinematic Campfire Poetry (Animation) A collection of experimental animated short films based on poems from the beginning of the 20th century and earlier. Max Rothman (Creator/Producer), Guilherme & Iuri Araujo (Directors), Tess Martin (Director), Neely Goniodsky (Director), Jon Boutin & Robin Vouters (Directors), Alicja Jasina (Director).
  • Cleaner Daze (Drama/Virtual Reality) Jasmine, a newbie drug rehab counselor, struggles to wrangle a misfit crew of teenage drug addicts, while secretly battling her own addiction. Tess Sweet (Creator/Director/Writer/Executive Producer/Editor), Daniel Gambelin (Writer), Cheryl Isaacson (Producer)
  • The Gentrifiers (Dark Comedy) A dark comedy that follows the ups and downs of five intersecting characters living and working in a rapidly changing neighborhood in Brooklyn. Jared Goodman (Creator/Director/Writer/Producer), Phil Aceto (Writer).
  • Same Sex (Comedy) A down-on- her-luck and lonely heterosexual woman decides to become a lesbian in a desperate attempt to find a place for herself in the world. Sophie Webb (Creator/Director/Writer/Producer/Editor), Amelia Roper (Story Editor/Producer).
  • Trip (Comedy) When a family road trip goes awry, the Greenblatt’s start to unravel, as seen through each of their differing perspectives. Nick Borenstein (Creator/Director/Writer), Brady Leifer (Producer).
  • Utilities Not Included (Comedy) The lives of two cynical Brooklyn roommates are upended when a young, privileged woman from the Midwest moves into their railroad apartment in Bushwick. Brian Petersen (Creator/Writer/Producer/Executive Producer), Jess Mazza (Director/Writer/Producer/Executive Producer), Rashan Castro (Director/DP), Tricia Cramer (Director), Josh Deane (Director), Kristen Garris (Director), Amanda Reyes (Director), David Rosfeld (Director), Jesse White (Director), Chris Insana (Writer/Executive Producer), Robert Moxley (Writer/Executive Producer).


IFP Screen Forward Labs are made possible by the generous support of the Time Warner Foundation, partnering with IFP to discover, nurture and celebrate the next generation of storytellers.

About IFP

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include IFP Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the IFP Gotham Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a tech and media incubator space developed with the New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

More info at

For more information on IFP, please contact:

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

Gabriele Capolino, Programming & Special Projects Coordinator, IFP (212) 465-8200 x211