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IFP Announces Ten Projects Selected for Second IFP Screen Forward Lab

by Erik Luers on April 18, 2016

Brooklyn, NY (April 18, 2016) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today the projects selected for the second annual Screen Forward Lab, IFP’s yearlong fellowship for content creators with story-driven serialized projects. The program kicks off today, running April 18-22 at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

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 Lab will support innovative content creators with $10,000 worth of services and support over the course of a year. The Lab is open to innovative media creators with story-driven, serialized projects created on all platforms and formats including web series, VR, or app based work (Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, etc.). 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.

“We are excited to present the second edition of the IFP Lab for web based creative content. “ says Joana Vicente, Executive Director at IFP and the Made in New York Media Center by IFP. “There’s a meshing of the worlds of film, digital and tech that’s been occurring for a long time. IFP remains a place for independent film, but it’s evolving to becoming a place where digital and tech, old school and new school, web series and indie film all coalesce.”

Under the leadership of Amy Dotson, Head of Programming, and Holly Kang, IFP Screen Forward Labs Producer, the Labs will provide participants with the knowledge, resources and mentor support necessary for developing strong pitches, securing financing, creating marketing strategies and finding unique avenues for the distribution of their work. Individualized attention for each project will also be paid to building sustainable audiences, as well as long-term strategy for career sustainability.

This year, 80% of the creators/writers/directors are women and/or diverse voices. 30% feature predominantly African-American and Latino casts.

The Screen Forward Lab week will culminate with all projects presenting and pitching to investors, online distributors, network executives and tech companies at IFP Film Week 2016. And post-Labs, all content creator teams will receive a free, six-month residency at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP as well as ongoing individualized access to classes, workshops and support from industry and creative mentors.

About IFP Screen Forward Lab Mentors & Workshop Leaders

The Labs provide multiple levels of mentorship throughout the process, to be overseen by 2016 Lab leaders Gabo Arora, VR filmmaker & United Nations Senior Advisor, Jennifer MacArthur, Borderline Media, and Amanda Warman, Series Producer “The Outs” and VICE. Additional mentors and workshop include leaders and strategists from Above Average, Kickstarter, Starz, Vice, Vimeo, Vox Media, You Tube, etc.

About IFP Screen Forward Lab Projects

The ten selected projects represent a mix of genres ranging from comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi thriller to experimental. Formats include live action, animation and cross-platform storytelling.

2016 Screen Forward Lab Fellows are:

The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks: A Project in Three Parts (Animated Documentary & Virtual Reality) A series of short documentaries that illuminates ten years of extraordinary conversations with author/neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D. Dempsey Rice (Creator/Director/Producer), Kate Edgar (Executive Producer), Joanne Nerenberg (Co-Producer)

Breeding Grounds (Dark Comedy) A darkly comedic series set in an economically diverse suburb and focused on collection of mothers of different races, classes, ages and cultures colliding with each other as they attempt to raise their kids. Susan Skoog (Creator/Director), Ben Wolf (Cinematographer)

The Come Up (Comedy) Three old friends explore the dicey terrain of open relationships. Ben Snyder (Creator/Director/Writer), Ari Issler (Creator/Director/Writer), Matt Thurm (Producer)

The God Phone (Sci-fi Horror Thriller) A down-and-out infomercial pitchman accidentally discovers the ultimate As-Seen-on-TV device. Shot all on 35mm Panavision film. Dean Colin Marcial (Creator/Director/Editor/Writer), Brett Potter (Producer), Grant Curatola (Producer)

In Reality (Romantic Comedy) Ann, an average brunette with a wild imagination, takes you on a journey through her fantastic mind as she investigates an experience of unrequited love. Ann Lupo (Creator/Director/Editor/Producer/Writer), Holly Meehl (Producer), Aaron Pryka (Producer/Writer)

Jealous Dad (Comedy) When actor Mark Shea’s 7-year-old son unwittingly books a national commercial at one of Mark’s auditions, Mark’s jealousy gets the better of him and he resorts to desperate measures. Matt Evans (Creator/Director/Writer), William Scurry (Creator/Director/Editor)

Kissing Walls (LGBTQ Comedy) A comedy that explores work, sex, and friendship between queer

20-somethings living in Chicago. Zak Payne (Creator/Director), Nathaniel Tenenbaum, (Lead Actor)

Newtopia (Sci-fi Drama) Olivia ventures through a virtual reality searching for a missing boy. Taylor Cohan (Creator/Director/Producer/Writer), Matt Clegg (Producer, DP), Max Allman (Producer)

Stream No Evil (Horror) A horror miniseries, shot all on iPhone, about a millennial who is stalked by a creature only visible through his iPhone. Scott Schuler (Creator/Director), Katherine Paige (Producer), Caroline Broughton (Writer)

The Times (Drama) When a marginalized youth steals a gun from a police officer, it sets off a series of events that quickly spirals out of control. Matthew Charof (Director), Sebastian Rea (Creator/Director/Editor/Producer/Writer), Courtney Baxter (Producer); Paula Weinstein (Executive Producer)


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 Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Independent Film 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.

IFP represents a growing network of storytellers around the world, and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 37-year history, IFP has supported over 10,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Debra Granik, Miranda July, Michael Moore, Dee Rees, and Benh Zeitlin. More info at

For more information on IFP, please contact:

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

Holly Kang, Producer, Screen Forward Labs, IFP (212) 465-8200 x207