The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has selected 10 docs to take part in its upcoming Independent Filmmaker Labs, including films on a prison escape artist, a combat veteran who becomes a farmer, and a Tibetan art project.
The annual year-long fellowship for first-time directors will see the creative teams of each film taking part in three week-long sessions over the year, beginning with the Time Warner Foundation Documentary Completion Lab held in New York City on May 13 to 17. The mentorship program helps the first-time filmmakers through post-production, and focuses exclusively on low-budget features, under $1 million.
The 2013 Documentary Lab and Lab Fellows include Approaching the Elephant, a doc on a ‘free school’ where rules are created by students and teachers equally, from director Amanda Wilder and producer Jay Craven; Do I Sound Gay? from director David Thorpe and producer Howard Gertler, a humorous and poignant exploration of the “gay voice;” and Farmer Veteran, from D.L. Anderson, Alix Blair and Mikel Barton, on a combat veteran choosing to become a farmer while dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other titles include Bringing Tibet Home, on Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol’s art project to bring Tibetan soil to Tibetan exiles, from Tenzin Tsetan Choklay; Evolution of a Criminal, on a 16-year-old honor roll student turned bank robber, from Darius Clark Monroe, Jen Gatien and Doug Lenox; and The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest, on a prison escape artist, from Gabriel London, Daniel Chalfen and Nick Clark.
The full list of Lab Fellows can be found here.
They will be mentored by supervising Documentary Lab leaders including producer Lori Cheatle (Birch Street), producer and author Maureen Ryan (The Gates), and Jon Reiss, director and author (Bomb It!), while individual workshop leaders include editors Penelope Falk (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work), Jonathan Oppenheim (The Oath) and Mary Manhardt (American Promise), composer T. Griffin (Dragonslayer), music supervisor Barry Cole (Marley), and experts on web presence, audience building, outreach and distribution.
Other individual mentors include filmmakers Doug Block (The Kids Grow Up), Heather Courtney (Where Soldiers Come From), Kirby Dick (The Invisible War) and Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water).
Previous Lab-backed documentaries include Herman’s House; High Tech, Low Life; 12 O’Clock Boys; Our Nixon; Alias Ruby Blade; Lucy; and These Birds Walk.
“Now more than ever, it’s essential that independent filmmakers have the knowledge and tools to define and reach their audience through multiple platforms, as well as the time and space to make their work the best that it can be,” said Joana Vicente, IFP executive director.
“With more than 80% of our previous Lab projects debuted in festivals and being released worldwide, the impact of this program has been significant for its participants.”