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Independent Filmmaker Project Selects 10 Projects

The Independent Filmmaker Project has selected ten projects for its 2016 IFP Filmmaker Labs year-long fellowship for first-time feature directors, Variety has learned.

The program, entering its 12th year, has previously included Amy Seimetz (“The Girlfriend Experience”), Alex Karpovsky (“Girls”), David Lowery (“Pete’s Dragon”), Dee Rees (“Bessie”), Andrew Dosunmu (“Mother of George”), Tim Sutton (“Dark Knight”), Jennifer Phang (“Advantageous”) and Terence Nance (“An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”).

The selected projects for the 2016 IFP Narrative Lab and their attending lab fellows are:

“Alaska Is a Drag”: An aspiring superstar’s diva fabulous dreams are hard fought working at a fish cannery in Alaska. Shaz Bennett (director, writer, producer), Jean-Pierre Caner (producer, consulting editor). Los Angeles.

“A Bad Idea Gone Wrong”: A comedy about two would-­be thieves who accidentally arm the alarm system and have to break out of the house they just broke into. Jason Headley (director, writer), Tim Fender (editor). San Francisco.

“Cold November”: A 12-year-old girl being raised within a matriarchal household is taken through the right of passage of killing a deer for the first time. Karl Jacob (director, writer, producer), Pete Ohs (editor). Hibbing, Minn.

“Dayveon”: Dayveon is a 12-year-old boy coming to terms with the death of his older brother. Amman Abbasi (director, writer, producer), Steven Reneau (writer, producer). Little Rock, Ark.

“Heartlock”: A convict realizes his best shot at escaping is to master the art of “ducking,” a specialized form of prison manipulation in which an inmate befriends a flawed guard for the purposes of blackmail. Jon Kauffman (director, writer), Chris Cummings (writer), Dominic Laperriere (editor). New York, NY.

“Julia Blue”: Julia, a bright university student, is preparing for a life abroad when she meets English, a damaged soldier returning from the war zone in eastern Ukraine. Roxy Toporowych (director, writer), Nilou Safinya (producer), Ben Kim (editor). Brooklyn, NY.

“The Missing Sun”: After a solar flare powers down her remote community, Alma discovers her husband Terry comatose. Pursuing a series of bizarre clues, she soon believes Terry is astral traveling to reunite with his deceased ex-wife. Brennan Vance (director, writer, producer, DP, editor), James Christenson (producer). Minneapolis, Minn.

“Poor Jane”: Jane and Henry are in a loving marriage. Another man humiliates Henry at a Christmas party and Jane decides she no longer loves him. Katie Orr (director, writer), Alex Orr (producer), David Swinburne (co-producer). Atlanta.

“Solace”: When her father dies, Sole, 17, numbs her emotions with food. She unwillingly lives with her estranged grandmother.  Tchaiko Omawale (director, writer, producer), Eileen Cabling (associate producer), Amanda Griffin (editor). Los Angeles.

“Untitled Hasidic Film”: Given unprecedented access to New York’s Orthodox Jewish community, the film is a story of faith and fatherhood – performed entirely in Yiddish. Joshua Z Weinstein (director, writer, producer, DP), Royce Brown (co-producer), Daniel Finkelman (producer), Danelle Eliav (co-producer) Brooklyn, NY.

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