Three emerging filmmakers, Talal Derki (Syria), Tatiana Huezo (Mexico), and Chaitanya Tamhane (India) are the lucky recipients of the inaugural Sundance Institute Open Borders Fellowship presented by Netflix.
Designed to support distinctive new voices in world cinema, the fellowship includes a development grant, a trip to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City to receive the award and attend a curated slate of industry meetings, networking opportunities, panels, and screenings. Further, the filmmakers are eligible to receive year-round creative and strategic support from the Sundance Institute Feature Film and Documentary Film programs for their next feature-length project
The Open Borders Fellowship reflects the Institute’s longstanding commitment to world cinema. Through Labs and Workshops, financial support, and public engagement, the Institute’s Artist Programs strive to support underrepresented voices in regions of the world going through socio-political transitions and where freedom of expression is challenged.
Talal Derki was born in Damascus and has been based in Berlin since 2014. He studied film directing in Athens and worked as an assistant director for many feature film productions and as a director for different Arab TV programs between 2009 and 2011. Talal Derki’s feature documentary Return to Homs won the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2014. His most recent film, Of Fathers and Sons, premiered at IDFA, and is currently in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Tatiana Huezo’s most recent film, Tempestad, was one of the most acclaimed documentaries of 2016. Following its premiere at Berlinale, the film was Mexico’s official submission to the Academy Awards, and won four Ariel Awards, including Best Director and Best Documentary feature. She is currently working on her narrative feature debut, Night On Fire, which was selected for the Sundance | Morelia Screenwriters Lab this past Fall.
Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut feature, the Marathi language courtroom drama, Court, premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where it won Best Film in the Horizons section, and went on to appear on many best-of lists following its theatrical release last year and served as India’s submission for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar. He was selected by Alfonso Cuaron for the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative, and is working on his currently untitled second feature.