Sundance Institute Announces Producers Lab and Producers Summit Participants


The Sundance Institute has revealed the producers and projects selected for the Producers Lab and Producers Summit this summer. Taking place July 25-28 and July 29-31, respectively, the events are taking place in person at Utah’s Sundance Mountain Resort. The Producers Lab will feature six producers of fiction films and five producers of non-fiction films and their projects, while the summit will host 40 industry insiders and 26 independent filmmakers.

Feature film program advisers include David Hinojosa (Zola, Body Body Body), Amy Lo (Nancy, Sugar), Riva Marker (The culprit, relic), Josh Penn (The Beasts of the Wild South) and Jason Michael Berman (Nine days, without cork) while the documentary film program features Daffodil Altan (PBS’ First line), Purple Feng (Hidden Letters, Tiger Gente), Andrea Meditch (Ernie & Joe, Fathom), Bob Moore (Midwives, Softie) and Amanda Spain (MSNBC Films).

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Industry participants at this year’s summit include Maria Altamirano (Son of Monarchs), Maggie Bowman (Indie Media Arts Group), Josh Braun (Submarine Entertainment), Gabby Canton (Orion Pictures), Liz Cardenas (7 Days), Deniese Davis (Reform Media Group), Scott Foundas (Amazon Studios), Jannat Gargi (Westbrook Inc), Emilie Georges (Paradise City Films), Anna Godas (Dogwoof), Wyck Godfrey (Temple Hill Entertainment), Elizabeth Grave (Sony Stage 6 Films), Eliza Hajek (SAGindie), Poppy Hanks (MACRO), Alex Hannibal (CNN Films), Jessica Harrop (Sandbox Films), Kevin Iwashina (Endeavor Content), Sarah Kim (I was a simple man), Jessica Lacy ( Commercial Agent), Dylan Leiner (Sony Pictures Classics), Anjanette Levert (The Only Doctor), Amira Lewally (A&E Indie Films), Maida Lynn (Genuine Article Pictures), David Magdael (David Magdael & Associates), Michelle Momplaisir (Focus Features ), Lisa Nishimura (Netflix), Brianna Oh (Amazon Studios), Tommy Oliver (Confluential Films) , Beth Osisek (Hulu), Chan Phung (Searchlight Pictures), Jason Ropell (MUBI), Mikey Schwartz-Wright (UTA), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Avril Speaks (Distribution Advocates), Scott Shooman (IFC Films), Rory Thost (Participant Media), Lois Vossen (ITVS), Jason Wald (NEON) and Alex Walton (WME Entertainment).

“It’s been three years since we’ve been able to reunite in person, and during that time the landscape for independent storytelling has changed dramatically. It has never been more essential to work to create a sustainable future for independent producers, a key priority for the Lab and the Summit,” said Director of Production and Artist Support Shira Rockowitz and Deputy Program Director of documentary films Kristin Feeley in a joint statement. “The Producers Summit is a unique space that brings together producers and the industry to advance bold, independent projects and answer timely questions and issues from the field.”

The list of scholarship recipients and their projects can be found below.

Feature film program

The Decay of Casey Culpepper (UNITED STATES)
Producer Member: Apoorva Guru Charan (joyland)
Logline: A young girl battling leukemia and her single father fall into a pit of paranoia when she has visions of a creature covered in tumors.

The President’s Cake (Iraq, USA)
Producer Member and Mark Silverman Honoree: Leah Chen Baker (Palm trees and power lines)
As people struggle daily to survive under sanctions in Saddam’s Iraq, nine-year-old Saeed must use his wits to piece together the ingredients for the obligatory cake to celebrate President Saddam Hussein’s birthday or face the consequences – the jail or death.

starfuckers (UNITED STATES)
Producer: Eli Raskin (Coded, Beast Beast and Union County)
An upscale rentboy living an island life in the Hollywood Hills becomes obsessed with a mysterious underground drag star. His identity is questioned and life begins to unfold as he discovers his new friend’s true purpose.

Sales per hour (UNITED STATES)
Producer: Chloe Sabin (The surrogate mother)
A top saleswoman at a luxury clothing store in New York is embroiled in a case brought against her company for harboring an assault that occurred inside a dressing room, while under her watch.

Huela (United States / Dominican Republic)
Producing Fellows: Helena Sardinha (co-founder of Driven Equation) and Doménica Castro (co-founder of 271 Films)
A Dominican flamenco dancer prepares for a life-changing audition in New York City when she learns her grandmother has passed away. By abstaining from a family religious tradition, she unleashes a generational curse dating back to her indigenous roots. Forced to confront the past, she will pursue her future, at a cost.

Documentary film program

Untitled Dwarfism Project (UNITED STATES)
Production Fellow: Lindsey Dryden (Trans in America, troubles)
There’s a new drug on the horizon that promises to make the Little People great and threatens the very community it claims to serve. As Little People grapples with her uncertain future, director Julie Wyman faces her own complicated diagnosis of dwarfism. At the heart of the film is the question: if you could give up the qualities that make you different, would you? And at what price?

Untitled Surah Mallouh Project (UNITED STATES)
Producer member: Yoni Golijov (contagion of terror)
Two friends discover a conflict that divides their already beleaguered community. Told from all quarters, with unprecedented access to courtrooms, anonymous sources and community leaders, this observational film unfolds in real time.

Untitled Baltimore Project (UNITED STATES)
Production Fellow: Dawne Langford (Check it out, Kandahar Newspapers and Find Joseph I)
The untitled Baltimore documentary project lifts the curtain on local American politics at an unprecedented time when the city of Baltimore and the United States are in the midst of a struggle for justice and fairness.

Production Fellow: Neyda Martinez (Bartolo, a sinkhole in Chinatown and The people against austerity)
The lives of two women intersect through a crisis after disasters from climate change and government neglect decimate the impoverished mountainsides of western Puerto Rico. In the face of housing insecurity and economic inequality, will Jeanette and her community engage in Elisa’s nation-building activism to forge a new path forward?

Queen (USA / France)
Producer member: Igor Myakotin (Welcome to Chechnya)
Gena, a queer artist from small town Russia, dresses in otherworldly costumes and marches through Moscow to protest against the government. It becomes a movement with a million followers which she calls “drag activism” until she is arrested and threatened to flee.

Producer Summit attendees are below.

Fiction Features

Jade Jackson with Losa; Lauren Lopez of Victoria with Forward; Fox Maxy with Waterproof; Albert Tholen and Aiko Masubuchi with Earthquake; and Séverine Tibi with Birthday.

Non-fiction features

Jude Chehab with Q; Amber Espinosa-Jones with Standing above the clouds; Jamie Goncalves with The Monster and the Storm; Maliyamungu Muhande with Nine days a week; Julia Solomonoff with The illusion of an eternal summer; Jacob Thomas with Deep Taxonomy Documentary Project.

The Producers Program supports the current and next generation of storytelling and nonfiction producers and offers mentorship, grants, educational resources, strategic introductions, and networking opportunities throughout the year. The program itself is supported by an endowment from the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Charitable Foundation with support from Amazon Studios, Cinereach, and SAGindie.

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