Film Independent has identified nine projects and their filmmakers for the organization’s 11th annual Producers Lab. Those selected include Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger, who are readying for production their El Diablo Rojo and will receive a $25,000 development grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which nurtures scripts and films about science and technology in hopes of guiding them into commercial production with distribution. The budding producers come from a variety of backgrounds, educated in the Midwest as well as New York, Los Angeles, and gaining know-how by working at studios, movie and TV production shingles, agencies and the like in a variety of capacities and getting feature and shorts work under their belts.
The 2011 Producers Lab projects (and their filmmakers) are:
- A Day With Dandekar (Megha Kadakia) – After being forced into retirement, a kindly Indian man goes on a search to find the beloved car his well-meaning daughters have traded away. Writer-director Leena Pendharkar.
- El Diablo Rojo (Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger, producers) – Called down to investigate a mysterious disappearance of fish in the Sea of Cortez, a marine biologist and his team discover a super swarm of “El Diablo
Rojo” squid and risk their lives to prevent an ecological catastrophe.
- Ethel (Anil Baral) – When Julius Rosenberg and David Greenglass are picked up for being
Russian spies, the drama of the communist red scare is played out, not in political
machinations, but in a drama where the personal becomes political and family members
turn against one another. Written by Yon Motskin and with Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) attached as the title character.
- Lee (Angela C. Lee) – A quiet and daring Lakota boy takes on a dangerous job in order to keep his family together on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
- Man With Van (Shrihari Sathe) – Made destitute by the recession, an honest electrician bumbles into
professional arson to provide for his doting daughter and win back his suspicious ex-
- Pit (Rikki Jarret) – A boxer who murdered his manager returns to his hometown to fight for the love of his wife, but is recruited to an underground fighting circuit by his victim’s vengeful brother.
- Raw (Gil Kofman and Stacy Raskin) – Raw is a poignant, authentic, and often funny story about how the introduction of a young woman throws the world of a middle-aged couple and their kids into an unexpected tailspin.
- Televisionaries (Jonathan Sheldon) – In an epic battle of wits between two of the 20th century’s most influential figures, a genius inventor faces off against a shrewd tycoon for control over a world-changing technology.
- Three (Anna Kerrigan) – A college professor, her older husband and her young lover struggle to create a polyamorist relationship that works.
The budding producers will take part in a seven-week free program sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that is designed to help move their current projects into production. This year’s mentors are Karin Chien (Circumstance, The Exploding Girl), Ted Kroeber (Splinter, American Gun), Gina Kwon (The Future, The Good Girl) and Meg LeFauve (The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, The Baby Dance). Selected filmmakers were chosen based on the strength of their submitted scripts, business plan, and creative vision. Previous grant winners Future Weather and Valley of Saints, are in post-production, said Film Independent director of artist development Josh Welsh, who said he fully expected El Diablo Rojo to follow suit.