Film Independent, the organization behind the Spirit Awards and LA Film Festival, has unveiled the six directors chosen for its 17th annual Directing Lab, an intensive eight-week program designed to support emerging independent film directors in prep on their feature films. As participants, the directors are provided with creatives advisors and other resources to produce a scene from their scripts, which will be later screened for those within the organization. Past Directing Lab Fellows include Sian Heder with Tallulah, which starred Ellen Page and Allison Janney, and Sheldon Candis’ LUV with Rapper Common.
Below is the list of Directing Lab participants and their projects are:
Addis Abeka, Salome Mulugeta – director
Abeka, a ten year old Ethiopian boy, is driven on a quest to navigate the world on his own to find his brother after he loses his family.
Cantering, HIKARI – writer/director/producer
When Yuma, a naïve paraplegic comic book artist submits her work to an adult comic magazine, she is told to come back once she has sexual experience, which leads to an adventure where she discovers independence, self-expression and a new identity.
College Girl, Joshua Tate – writer/director/producer
While attending a living skills program for adults with intellectual disabilities, a young woman with Down syndrome questions her place in the world in the face of impending motherhood.
Dark Forest, Elena Greenlee –writer/director
A psychiatrist travels to the jungle searching for her troubled brother who’s disappeared from a spiritual retreat serving the psychedelic plant brew ayahuasca. In the complex world of Amazonian shamanism, she encounters unlikely allies and adversaries; and endures mysterious forces that reshape her reality forever.
Grand Prize, Steven Liang –co-writer/director
Grand Prize follows Gia, a shy, determined Black trans girl who must negotiate between the life her mother set out for her, and the fantastical world of Ballroom and competitive Vogue Performance.
Standby, Pamela Ribon – writer/director
A romantic drama set in the aftermath of a missing airplane where two surviving spouses are drawn together in a search for answers. As their opposing viewpoints collide, an unusual and undeniable relationship emerges that forces them to confront their boundaries of love, faith, and fate.