Sundance Institute announced today the 12 projects selected for the 2016 January Screenwriters Lab, an immersive, five-day writers’ workshop at the Sundance Resort in Utah, January 15-20. The Lab is one of 25 residency Labs the Institute hosts each year for independent artists in theatre, film, new media and episodic content.
The projects include Sicilian Ghost Story (Italy) by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Co-writers/Co-directors).
The story: "When a local Mafia don’s son is kidnapped, a young Sicilian girl refuses to accept the sudden disappearance of the boy she loves. Based on real life events at the height of the Mafia’s reign, Sicilian Ghost Story is a striking and unique look at the power that love has to survive in the darkest of worlds".
Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza are Sicilian filmmakers. Their first feature film Salvo premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, winning both top prizes of La Semaine de la Critique, the Grand Prix and the Prix Révélation. The film secured distribution in about 25 countries, including the U.S., where, among other festivals, it was also presented at New Directors/New Films in New York. In Italy, Salvo won the Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) for Best Cinematography, the Italian Golden Globe for Best Actress and four nominations for the David di Donatello Awards.
Under the leadership of Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, with Ilyse McKimmie, Labs Director, Feature Film Program, participating independent screenwriters will have the opportunity to develop their feature film scripts with the support of accomplished writers in an environment that encourages creative risk-taking and original storytelling.
Satter said, “We’re excited to welcome sixteen new Fellows to the January Screenwriters Lab, which is the beginning of a year-round customized system of creative and tactical support. The filmmakers reflect a broad and diverse spectrum of independent storytelling from the U.S. and around the world, all bringing a personal and distinctive voice and aesthetic to the projects we selected.”
At the Screenwriters Lab, Fellows will work with a distinguished group of Creative Advisors, led by Artistic Director Kasi Lemmons, including Paul Attanasio, Marcos Bernstein, Thomas Bidegain, Naomi Foner, John Gatins, Michael Goldenberg, Susannah Grant, Erik Jendresen, Walter Mosley, Jennifer Salt, Susan Shilliday, Zach Sklar, Dana Stevens, Joan Tewkesbury, Audrey Wells, Bill Wheeler and Tyger Williams.
Following the past editions of the Lab, nine films supported by the Feature Film Program will premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.