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Sundance labs bulk up

Mattei, Cheechoo added to roster

The Sundance Institute has added three projects to its annual filmmakers and screenwriters labs, which began June 2 and run through July 2 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.

Added to the June filmmakers lab are Peter Mattei, a playwright and founding member of New York’s Cucaracha Theatre, who is bringing “Nine Scenes About Love” — a dark comedy set in the millennial mayhem of present-day Manhattan; and Shirley Cheechoo, an actress, producer, director and member of the Cree Nation of Quebec, who will work on “Backroads,” her film about a native woman who fights against a life of violence, abuse and hardship.

Anna Deavere Smith, the Stanford professor who earned an Obie for her play “Fires in the Mirror,” will join the screenwriters lab to work on a film version of her stage show “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” about the unrest triggered by the Rodney King trial verdict.

The trio joins 15 previously announced filmmakers and screenwriters (Daily Variety, April 8) who travel to Utah each summer to work one-on-one with actors and video crews to solve key creative issues with their projects.

The Institute also announced the roster of actors tapped to work with the filmmakers to film scenes from their projects: Evan Adams, Kathy Baker, Arija Bareikis, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt, Patrick Breen, Ryan Patrick Carmody, Lumi Cavazos, Rachel Leigh Cook, Kevin Corrigan, Matt Day, Vera Farmiga, Marg Helgenberger, Richard T. Jones, Tamala Jones, Tina Keeper, Bruno Kirby, Jonathan Lapaglia, Tina Lifford, Chris Mulkey, Aleksa Palladino, Miguel Sandoval and Diana Scarwid.