Sundance Institute Announces 2024 Producers Lab Fellows

Short Summary:

The Sundance Institute has announced the 10 producers selected for its 2024 Producers Lab, held for the first time at Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, USA. The lab, running from June 10–22, supports independent film producers through networking, mentorship, and professional development. The cohort includes five fiction and five nonfiction producers, who will receive year-round guidance from veteran advisors.
Sundance Film Festival
United States (USA)

The Sundance Institute has revealed the names of the 10 producers chosen for its 2024 Producers Lab, which will take place from June 10 to June 22 at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, USA. This marks the first time the Producers Lab is being held at this venue, known for hosting artists throughout the year. The program is a key initiative of the Institute, reflecting its commitment to supporting independent producers and fostering the development of new talents in the film industry.

The Producers Lab provides emerging independent film producers with project-specific support through one-on-one meetings and intimate group sessions with veteran producer advisors. The aim is to help fellows enhance their creative instincts, develop problem-solving skills, and create strategies for pitching, financing, production, and navigating the marketplace. The 2024 cohort is comprised of five fiction film producers and five nonfiction film producers.

Participants in the Documentary Film Program include Alan Domínguez with "Commerce City," Eurie Chung with "Finding Má," Brenda Ávila-Hanna with "How to Clean a House in Ten Easy Steps," Mars Verrone with "Untitled Solidarity Project," and Jillian Schlesinger with "We Are Volcanoes." The Feature Film Program participants are Ivan MacDonald with "Buffalo Stone," Yona Strauss with "The Glob," Tara Sheffer with "Rubber Hut," Mireia Vilanova with "Silence Sometimes," and Carolyn Mao with "Sprout."

The 2024 Documentary Producers Lab advisors are Daniela Alatorre, Jess Devaney, Lauren Domino, Andrea Meditch, and Tracy Rector. The Feature Film Producers Lab advisors include David Hinojosa, Julie Lynn, Dan Janvey, Laura Kim, and Christopher Tricarico.

Kristin Feeley, Interim Director of the Documentary Film Program, and Shira Rockowitz, Director of Producing and Artist Support for the Feature Film Program, expressed their enthusiasm for the selected projects. "Amid the dynamic shifts within the film and media landscape that demand interrogation and entrepreneurial ingenuity, we’re inspired by the bold imagination in this year’s projects and by the determination and collaborative spirit of the producers behind them," they said. They also expressed gratitude for the community of advisors supporting the fellows' work and careers.

Selected Projects and Fellows for the 2024 Sundance Institute Producers Lab:

Documentary Film Program:

  1. Alan Domínguez with "Commerce City" (U.S.A.) - A portrait of the daily life and resilience of the Latinx residents of Commerce City, Colorado.
  2. Eurie Chung with "Finding Má" (U.S.A.) - A Vietnamese American family reunites to find their unhoused mother.
  3. Brenda Ávila-Hanna with "How to Clean a House in Ten Easy Steps" (U.S.A.) - A hybrid documentary exploring immigration, labor, and dreams.
  4. Mars Verrone with "Untitled Solidarity Project" (U.S.A.) - A mosaic portrait of the Teamster labor union's campaign to organize UPS workers.
  5. Jillian Schlesinger with "We Are Volcanoes" (Hong Kong) - An independent creative producer's work accompanying emerging visionaries.

Feature Film Program:

  1. Ivan MacDonald with "Buffalo Stone" (U.S.A.) - Two estranged Blackfeet sisters reunite to return buffalo to their reservation.
  2. Yona Strauss with "The Glob" (U.S.A./Canada) - Three friends on vacation face mysterious events involving a celestial object.
  3. Tara Sheffer with "Rubber Hut" (U.S.A.) - An ex–Pan Am stewardess opens a drive-thru condom shop in a conservative town.
  4. Mireia Vilanova with "Silence Sometimes" (U.S.A./Spain) - An animated feature about a woman whose touch silences sound.
  5. Carolyn Mao with "Sprout" (U.S.A.) - A workaholic auctioneer turns into a tree, seeking help from estranged children.

The Sundance Institute Producers Program receives support from various foundations and organizations, including the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Charitable Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Asian American Foundation, among others. The Documentary Film Program also enjoys support from the Open Society Foundations, John Templeton Foundation, and others.

Through these programs, the Sundance Institute continues to play a crucial role in nurturing the next generation of independent film producers, providing them with the resources and mentorship needed to succeed in an ever-evolving industry.