EXCLUSIVE: Andrea Berloff and Rick Famuyiwa will help the Sundance Institute guide 11 filmmakers through the often-tricky process of making their second feature. The Straight Outta Compton screenwriter and Dope director join CAA’s Laura Lewis plus other industry vets and Universal execs in working with the Sundance program.
Over a month after the 2017 Sundance Film Festival concluded, the Robert Redford founded organization today will reveal who the recipients of the second year of its FilmTwo Initiative are going to be. From day-long Screenwriter intensives to longer term support, the Universal Pictures backed program aims to build on the work that filmmakers like Sundance alums Dayveon director Amman Abbasi and My Brother The Devil’s Sally El Hosaini and Rebecca Thomas, who is set to helm the live action version of The Little Mermaid, have done to get their sophomore pic made.
Check out the full list of industry and creative advisors below as well as the 11 filmmakers who will be the 2017 FilmTwo Fellows:
Industry and Creative Advisor List:
Stephanie Allain (Producer, Hustle & Flow)
Andrea Berloff (Screenwriter, Straight Outta Compton)
Melissa Breaux (Manager, Washington Square Films)
Ian Bricke (Director, Content Acquisition, Netflix)
Rick Famuyiwa (Writer/Director, Dope)
Gyula Gazdag (Filmmaker, Artistic Director, Sundance Directors Lab)
Alan Khamoui (Film Executive, Amazon Studios)
Karyn Kusama (Writer/Director, Girlfight)
Laura Lewis (Film Finance Agent, CAA)
David Lonner (Principal, Oasis Media Group)
Alix Madigan-Yorkin (Producer, Mad Dog Films)
DanTram Nguyen (SVP, Production, Fox Searchlight)
Kim Roth (President of Production, Macro Ventures)
Sara Scott (VP, Production and Development, Universal Pictures)
Peter Sollett (Director, Freeheld)
Priya Swaminathan (Head of Development, Annapurna)
Joan Tewkesbury (Screenwriter, Nashville)
NBCUniversal Global Talent Development & Inclusion:
Janine Jones-Clark (Senior Vice President, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, Universal Filmed Entertainment, Universal Pictures)
Emerlynn Lampitoc (Director, Global Talent Development & Inclusion, Universal Filmed Entertainment, Universal Pictures)
2017 FILMTWO FELLOWS
Amman Abbasi is a Pakistani American writer-director, editor and composer from Little Rock, Arkansas, whose debut feature film, Dayveon premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, working for the Renaud Brothers, Abbasi traveled to Haiti to cover the aftermath of the earthquake for a The New York Times short form documentary, which subsequently won the prestigious duPont Award. His music compositions have appeared in many commercials, films and documentaries. In 2008, with his brother, their debut album Something Like Nostalgia topped the charts in Japan.
Baltimore native Sheldon Candis made his feature directorial debut in 2012 with LUV, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He recently wrote and directed the docu-narrative series I Will What I Want, a cinematic portrait of ballet phenom Misty Copeland and the forthcoming ESPN 30 for 30 feature documentary Here Come the Show, the inspiring true story of the greatest high school basketball team ever; the 1981′-83′ Dunbar Poets, which produced four NBA players in David Wingate, Reggie Williams, Boston Celtic great Reggie Lewis, and a 5’3″ tiny dynamo named Tyrone ‘Muggsy’ Bogues. Candis is a graduate of the University of Southern California – School of Cinematic Arts.
Andrew Cividino is an award-winning director hailing from the 6ix, where he attended Ryerson University’s film studies program. After graduating, Andrew continued to hone his craft directing short films and commercials, garnering acclaim for his films We Ate the Children Last (2011), Yellow Fish (2010), and Sleeping Giant (2013), which won the jury prize at Locarno and served as a proof of concept for his debut feature. The feature length adaptation of Sleeping Giant premiered to critical acclaim at the 2015 edition of Semaine de la Critique in Cannes, and went on to play at more than sixty festivals worldwide.
Clea DuVall is recognized by many as a gifted actor, and has recently garnered recognition for her inspired work as a storyteller in her writing/directing debut, The Intervention. The film was enthusiastically received by both audiences and buyers and sold to Paramount Studios. Duvall’s resume is as extensive as it is versatile. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Clea first became interested in acting while attending the Los Angeles High School of the Arts. During her time there, she performed in the theater and also took acting classes outside of school. Upon graduation, she quickly landed an agent and manager and has been working nonstop ever since. Select acting credits include: Veep (HBO), The Newsroom (HBO), American Horror Story (FX), Heroes (NBC), Carnivale (HBO) and Argo.
Sally El Hosaini
Sally El Hosaini is a feature film writer-director. An alum of the Sundance Institute Rawi, Screenwriters and Directors Labs, El Hosaini’s acclaimed debut feature My Brother The Devil won major prizes at Sundance, Berlin and London Film Festivals, winning 12 awards, 17 nominations and was released theatrically in the US, Canada and Europe. She recently directed Danny Boyle’s TV series Babylon for Channel 4 Sundance TV.
Cory Finley is a St. Louis-born, New York-based director and playwright. His debut feature, Thoroughbred, based on his play of the same name, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and will be released by Focus Features. He is a member of the Obie-winning Youngblood playwrights group at Ensemble Studio Theater, has received a commission from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation for playwriting, and was the inaugural recipient of the Gurney Playwrights Fund for his play The Feast at The Flea Theater. He has developed work at New York theaters including Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb and Ensemble Studio Theater, as well as around the country.
Tanya Hamilton is the writer and director of Night Catches Us, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, won the Fipresci Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival for Best American Film and was named Best Screenplay by the African-American Film Critics Association. It was nominated for numerous awards including an Independent Spirit Award in the Best First Feature category; multiple NAACP Image Awards; and Breakthrough Director at the 2010 Gotham Awards. A Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Lab alum, Hamilton is also a recipient of the coveted Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She directs for television and is working on her next feature.
Ingrid Jungermann was nominated for the Independent Spirit Someone to Watch Award for her debut feature, Women Who Kill, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay. She created the web series The Slope and the WGA-nominated F To 7th, and earned her MFA at NYU Graduate Film School. She was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 Faces of Independent Film.
Derek Kimball is a Portland, Maine-based filmmaker. After nearly a decade teaching directing and cinematography for New York Film Academy, Boston College, and Emerson College, he returned home to direct his feature debut, Neptune which premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival to rave reviews.
Director Rebecca Thomas’ first short film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She went on to debut her first feature, Electrick Children, at SXSW and earned a spot on Variety’s “Top Ten New Directors to Watch in Hollywood” as well as an Independent Spirit Award nomination. A graduate of Columbia University’s renowned School of the Arts Film Masters Program, Thomas is now attached to direct Looking for Alaska and the live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. She is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada and the youngest of 5 children. Her Mormon heritage led her to spend a year and a half as a volunteer missionary in Japan. She speaks fluent Japanese, plays the piano, and more than anything, loves making movies.
Lulu Wang is a classical pianist turned filmmaker. Her first feature film Posthumous, starring Jack Huston and Brit Marling, was released by The Orchard. Lulu’s short film Touch, premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. She is a recipient of the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship, which was awarded at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards and she is also a Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow. Lulu is currently developing her second feature with Chris Weitz/Depth of Field and Big Beach, based on the story she wrote and narrated for This American Life.