Sundance Institute Unveils 2024 Fellows for Directors, Screenwriters, and Native Labs

Short Summary:

The Sundance Institute has announced the 2024 fellows for its Directors, Screenwriters, and Native Labs. This year's cohort includes a diverse group of talented filmmakers and writers. The labs, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Estes Park, Colorado, and online, provide support and mentorship to emerging voices in the film industry. Fellows include Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, Ryland Walker Knight, Charine Pilar Gonzales, Lindsay McIntyre, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, and many more, each bringing unique stories and perspectives.
Sundance Film Festival
United States (USA)

The Sundance Institute has unveiled the fellows for its 2024 Directors, Screenwriters, and Native Labs, marking another exciting chapter in the institute's commitment to nurturing emerging talent in the film industry. The announcement heralds a diverse and creative group of filmmakers and writers who will benefit from intensive mentorship and support as they develop their projects.

This year's labs kick off with the Native Lab in Santa Fe, New Mexico, followed by the Directors Lab at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, and the Screenwriters Lab, which will be conducted online in early June. These labs provide a unique opportunity for fellows to collaborate, learn, and grow under the guidance of experienced mentors and advisors.

Native Lab Fellows:

  • Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan (Writer-Director) with "Hum" (Philippines, U.S.A.): Esther, a single mother, embarks on a perilous journey to find her missing husband in the jungle where he retreated to live with beasts. Eblahan, a filmmaker from the Philippines, explores themes of trauma, spirituality, and nature through the lens of post-colonial spaces and Indigenous identities.
  • Ryland Walker Knight (Writer-Director) with "The Lip of the World" (U.S.A.): Cassandra and a young Indigenous woman with no memory navigate the violent underworld of Northern California's psychedelic culture. Knight, a Cherokee writer and filmmaker, brings his passion for storytelling and unique perspective to this intriguing narrative.
  • Charine Pilar Gonzales (Writer-Director) with "NDN Time" (U.S.A.): A Tewa college student with dimension-bending abilities uncovers nuclear secrets threatening her Pueblo. Gonzales, a Tewa filmmaker from San Ildefonso Pueblo and Santa Fe, intertwines memories, dreams, and truths through her storytelling.
  • Lindsay McIntyre (Writer-Director) with "The Words We Can’t Speak" (Canada): An Inuk interpreter faces hostile conditions and prejudice after a terrible Arctic accident. McIntyre, an Inuit/settler filmmaker, explores themes of portraiture, place, and personal histories in her narrative work.

Directors and Screenwriters Labs Fellows:

  • Keisha Rae Witherspoon (Co-Writer, Director) and Jason Fitzroy Jeffers (Co-Writer) with "Arc" (U.S.A.): Ev, a Miami hustler, believes his mother was abducted by aliens. When a mysterious woman preaches extraterrestrial salvation, his newfound purpose is threatened. Witherspoon and Jeffers, co-founders of Third Horizon Film Festival, bring their award-winning storytelling to this project.
  • Jane Casey Modderno (Writer-Director) with "Here for the Weekend" (U.S.A.): Three trans girls quest for love in Palm Springs, centering on Cherry’s dream of launching a lingerie brand. Modderno's work has been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks and Short of the Week.
  • Sylvia Khoury (Writer-Director) with "I’m Heather" (U.S.A.): A Lebanese widow adopts the persona of Heather, a white standardized patient, to gain respect and navigate life outside the home. Khoury, a Pulitzer Finalist in Drama, brings her medical and theatrical expertise to this compelling story.
  • Kristine Gerolaga (Writer-Director) with "Lamok" (Philippines / U.S.A.): A Filipino woman cursed to become a fetus-eating creature seeks vengeance after her daughter's death from a botched abortion. Gerolaga, supported by Sundance Institute’s Artist Accelerator Program, premieres her proof-of-concept short, "Mosquito Lady," on the festival circuit.
  • Diana Peralta (Writer-Director) with "No Love Lost" (U.S.A.): A troubled young woman’s new husband meets her insular sisters, revealing the lengths they will go to protect each other. Peralta’s debut feature, "De Lo Mio," premiered at BAMcinemaFest and is part of the Criterion Collection.
  • Hanna Gray Organschi (Writer-Director) with "Rubber Hut" (U.S.A.): An ex–Pan Am stewardess opens a drive-thru condom shop in her Italian Catholic town, becoming a radical hero and community threat. Organschi, a New England filmmaker, is pursuing her MFA at NYU with recognition from various film institutions.
  • Sara Crow (Co-Writer, Co-Director) and David Rafailedes (Co-Writer, Co-Director) with "Satoshi" (U.S.A.): A teenage hacktivist in Arizona creates Bitcoin after losing her Stanford scholarship. Crow and Rafailedes, NYU MFA candidates, explore the origins of digital currency through their collaborative storytelling.
  • Urvashi Pathania (Writer-Director) with "Skin" (U.S.A.): An Indian American woman tempted by an experimental skin bleaching machine faces dangerous consequences. Pathania, selected for the 2023 Sundance Screenwriters Intensive, explores themes of gender, sexuality, and cultural bereavement.
  • Claire Fowler (Writer-Director) with "Toad" (U.K.): A woman estranged from her successful twin brother uncovers disturbing memories from their teen theater experience. Fowler, a BAFTA Cymru winner, has directed for Netflix’s "Manifest."
  • Ramzi Bashour (Writer-Director) with "Tomahawk Springs" (U.S.A.): A Lebanese woman and her teenage son embark on a journey of self-discovery in America. Bashour, a Beirut-born filmmaker, brings his multicultural experiences to this comedic odyssey.