Sundance Institute has announced the 15 screenwriters who have been chosen for the January 2020 Screenwriters Lab, which will go from the 17th-22nd. Those selected will have the opportunity to develop their independent projects by immersing themselves in the creative process and working with the mentorship of Creative Advisors.
Creative Advisors are Artistic Director Scott Frank, Michael Arndt, Suha Arraf, Ritesh Batra, Andrea Berloff, D.V. DeVincentis, Gonzalo Maza, Doug McGrath, Walter Mosley, Nicole Perlman, Howard Rodman, Susan Shilliday, Zach Sklar, Dana Stevens, Joan Tewkesbury, Bill Wheeler, and Tyger Williams.
“We’re so excited to welcome this singular and bold group of artists to our January Screenwriters Lab,” said Michelle Satter, the feature film program founding director. “Our program provides a safe and protected space for writers to be rigorous in their creative process as they develop new work that’s a true reflection of their unique voice and power as storytellers. Our Labs are the beginning of a long-term commitment to these writer/directors, who we will continue to advance with a robust, ongoing suite of customized support.”
See the list of fellows along with their respective projects below:
Aftersun (United Kingdom/U.S.A.)
Charlotte Wells (writer/director)
A young father and his 11-year-old daughter have impossible expectations of themselves and each other on a week’s holiday at a resort in the Mediterranean, forcing them to confront the disconnect between who they are as a family and who they are apart.
Laura Moss (co-writer/director) and Brendan O’Brien (co-writer)
In this all-female reimagining of the Frankenstein story, a grieving maternity nurse and an obsessive morgue technician are unexpectedly bound together in a quest to successfully re-animate a deceased child.
Jesus Celaya (writer)
Chalino tells the true story of Chalino Sanchez, the originator of the narcocorrido, who immigrated from Sinaloa to Los Angeles in the early 1990s and started a musical revolution with his songs about the lives of Mexican outlaws. Recipient of the Sundance Institute Latinx Fellowship.
Bing Liu (writer/director)
An Asian American teen raised in a volatile household wrestles with complex familial relationships while carving his own path toward independence and self-worth. Recipient of the Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship, made possible in part by the A3 Foundation.
Frybread Face and Me (U.S.A.)
Billy Luther (writer/director)
Two adolescent Navajo cousins from different worlds bond during a summer herding sheep on their grandmother’s ranch in Arizona, as they learn about their family’s past and themselves.
Luna Likes (U.S.A.)
Danya Jimenez (co-writer) and Hannah McMechan (co-writer)
Luna Ramirez, a melodramatic Mexican teen, is Anthony Bourdain’s biggest fan, and she knows it is her destiny to become the next great culinary/travel documentarian extraordinaire! The only issue: Luna is undocumented, and her family doesn’t understand or support a career they see as fraught with risk. Recipient of the Sundance Institute | Comedy Central Comedy Fellowship.
Magnolia Bloom (U.S.A.)
Phillip Youmans (writer/director)
Young, black community organizers with bonds thicker than blood strive for self-governance in 1970 New Orleans.
Aisha is an undocumented nanny in New York City, caring for the privileged child of an Upper East Side family. As she prepares for the arrival of the child she left behind in her native country, a violent presence rattles her reality, jeopardizing the American Dream she has so carefully constructed.
Xixi Wang (writer/director)
Based on true events, a single mother fights to uncover the truth after her son dies in a subway station in China. Over the course of the investigation, she confronts an impenetrable bureaucracy but also rediscovers herself.
The Spirit Guest (South Africa)
Fanyana Hlabangane (writer/director)
Estranged brothers Tito and Kgabane struggle to make a life on the fringes of Johannesburg. During a mercilessly dry winter, their dead mother suddenly arrives in the flesh, bringing childhood pain to the surface and forcing the brothers to confront the trauma that pulled them apart.
Tiger Girl (U.S.A.)
Andrew Thomas Huang (writer/director)
Set in 1966 Los Angeles, Tiger Girl is a coming of age fantasy about a repressed Chinese American teenage girl haunted by a tiger lurking in her attic. When pressured by her immigrant mother’s rigid social expectations, the girl must learn that the beast upstairs is the tiger within that will set her free.
Welcome (United Kingdom)
Nadia Latif (co-writer/director) and Omar El-Khairy (co-writer)
Documentarian Melissa feels compelled to invite Tarek, a Yemeni asylum-seeker and the subject of her latest film, into her London home. As Tarek brings the outside world crashing into these close quarters, it is Melissa’s trauma that begins to surface in unexpected and terrifying ways.