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The IFP has just released the ten projects selected for their Independent Filmmaker Lab, hosted by Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn.

For five days this week the filmmaking teams will participate in workshops in which they receive advice on technical, creative, and post-production issues. There are two tiers of mentorship support: via the program’s Lab Leaders who lead each of the five-day-long intensive sessions, and workshop leaders who provide technical, creative and strategic support to help bring films to completion. The 2009 Documentary Lab leaders are producer Lori Cheatle (51 Birch Street) and producer Lesli Klainberg (Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer’s End, IFC’s Indie Sex). Workshop leaders include, amongst others: composer T. Griffin (A Walk into the Sea) and music supervisor Barry Cole (Trouble the Water); editors Mona Davis (Love and Diane), Jonathan Oppenheim (Paris Is Burning), Michael Levine (My Kid Could Paint That), Toby Shimin (Everything’s Cool) and Adam Zucker (American Hollow).

Prior to the Labs, each selected project director works with a top documentary filmmaker who serves as a one-to-one mentor. The 2009 Pre-Lab Mentors are: Daniel Anker (Scottsboro: An American Tragedy), Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper), Sandi DuBowski (Trembling Before G-d), Peter Gilbert (At the Death House Door), Ross Kauffman (Born into Brothels), Tia Lessin (Trouble the Water), Amanda Micheli (La Corona), Julia Reichert (A Lion In The House), Amy Sewell (Mad Hot Ballroom) and Marco Williams (Banished).

Notable films that have participated in the Lab include: Tibet in Song (World Documentary Special Jury Prize, Sundance 2009), Mine: Taken by Katrina (Documentary Feature Award Winner, SXSW 2009) and Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell (Premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival).

The selected projects for the 2009 Documentary Lab and Lab Fellows include:

Beijing Taxi – Intimate stories of three cabbies connect a morphing cityscape and tales of citizens coping with the dizzying pace of change accelerated by the 2008 Olympics. Miao Wang (Director, Producer, Editor)

Casino Nation – After a long and bloody struggle, the Seneca Nation of Indians now owns one of the most lucrative casinos in the world. Is this a new beginning…or the end of days? Laure Sullivan (Director, Producer, Editor), Terry Jones (Director, Producer), Paul Wilson (Director Producer, DP)

An Interview with Simone Weil – A journey to understand the controversial French philosopher and activist Simone Weil (1909-1943) becomes a reflection on the complex role of documentarians in today’s world. Julia Haslett (Director, Producer, Editor), Fabrizia Galvagno (Producer)

Land of Opportunity – A chronicle of the historic and tumultuous rebirth of a great American city, New Orleans, through the eyes of those on the front lines. Luisa Dantas (Director, Producer, Editor), Rebecca Snedeker (Co-producer)

Our House – In an industrial warehouse in New York City, three young political radicals form an underground squatter community for the homeless – all in the name of Jesus Christ. Greg King (Director, Producer, DP, Editor), David Teague (Director, DP)

Paul Goodman Changed My Life – About one of America’s most important social thinkers, whose Growing Up Absurd ushered in the 1960s, opening up a new world for its young readers. Jonathan S. Lee (Director, Producer), Kimberly Reed (Editor), Robert Hawk (Associate Producer)

The Road to Nasiriyah – The struggle to document the looting at Iraqi archaeological sites following the 2003 war ends with the kidnapping of an American journalist and his Iraqi interpreter. Marie Hélène Carleton (Director, Producer, Writer, DP, Editor), Micah Garen (Director, Producer, Writer, DP, Editor)

Texas Heart – Bridging non-fiction with science fiction, Texas Heart follows two surgeons as they prototype a pulse-less artificial heart, creating a new physiology for the post-human future. Treva Wurmfeld (Director, Producer, Writer, DP, Editor)

Twelve Ways to Sunday – Set in the poverty belt of Western New York, a film about sharing stories when there is little else to share. Anna Farrell (Director, Producer, DP, Editor)

War Don Don – A chronicle of the rise and fall of a former rebel leader in Sierra Leone. Through his trial, a nation faces its wartime past. Rebecca Richman Cohen (Director, Producer), Francisco Bello (Producer, Editor)

Learn more about the Lab at

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