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Brooklyn/Alaska, Erica Sterne
Brooklyn/Alaska, Erica Sterne

10 filmmakers and six projects have been selected for Film Independent’s 2017 Documentary Lab.  The 2017 Doc Lab is a five-week intensive program designed to support filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentaries.

“We’re thrilled to bring together this group of talented filmmakers for the seventh year of our Documentary Lab and provide them with career support and mentorship that will help elevate their unique visions and fully realize the potential of their stories,” said Kushner.

This year’s Documentary Lab Advisors and Guest Speakers include Jennifer Arnold (Tig, A Small Act); Nels Bangerter (Editor, Cameraperson); Peter Broderick (President, Paradigm Consulting); Greg Finton (Editor, He Named Me Malala); Keith Fulton (The Bad Kids); Simon Kilmurry (Executive Director, International Documentary Association); Peter Nicks (The Force); Lou Pepe (The Bad Kids); and Chris Perez (Partner, Donaldson + Callif LLP).

The organization also launched its new Fiscal Sponsorship Program, open to all types of eligible projects at every stage including documentary and fiction films and interactive media. Fiscal sponsorship is a legal arrangement between a 501(c)3 and an independent artist that gives them the eligibility to apply for grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for their project.

“In response to what our members have told us they need, we’re happy to deepen our support by offering Fiscal Sponsorship, helping filmmakers gain access to new sources of project funding,” said Jennifer Kushner, Director of Artist Development.

The 2017 Documentary Lab projects and Fellows are:

Brooklyn/Alaska, Erica Sterne – director/producer
Teenage boys from tough Brooklyn neighborhoods discover the natural world on an unlikely adventure through the remote Alaskan wilderness and are transformed by the physical and emotional challenges encountered along the way.

Minding the Gap, Bing Liu – director/producer, Diane Quon – producer
Bing, a 25-year-old Chinese-American skateboarder and filmmaker, returns to his hometown and reconnects with two skateboarders: Keire, an African-American 17-year-old and Zack, a white 23-year-old, who all share a history of childhood trauma. Over the next three years, their freewheeling lives unravel as they figure out who they hope to be.

Shadow of His Wings, Lucas Habte – director/producer, Isidore Bethel – producer/editor
Hoping to understand his Ethiopian father’s history of forced migration, an American filmmaker moves to Addis Ababa and falls in love with a young man who soon must flee homophobic death threats at home to become France’s first LGBT refugee from Ethiopia.

A Taste of Sky, Michael Lei – director/producer
In the dizzying heights of Bolivia’s capital of La Paz a gastronomical revolution is offering the possibility of hope to the country’s impoverished youth. We follow the trials and tribulations of GUSTU, the innovative cooking school and world-class restaurant of South America’s poorest country.

A Woman’s Work, Yu Gu – director, Elizabeth Ai – producer
Football and feminism collide in this feature documentary that follows three former NFL cheerleaders as they battle against their former teams and the NFL to reverse 50 years of illegal employment practices.

Waiting for Kate…(female is not a genre) Amy Goldstein – director/producer, Anouchka van Riel –producer
Waiting for Kate…(female is not a genre) takes us on the roller coaster of contemporary pop stardom, with an unprecedented inside look at the euphoric highs and destructive lows on the cutting edge of today’s music industry.

image via Brooklyn/Alaska, Erica Sterne

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