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IFP Announces Feature Films Selected for 2019 Narrative Lab

Beast Beast

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), Filmmaker‘s publisher, announced today the 10 feature films selected for the Narrative Lab, part of the IFP Filmmaker Labs, IFP’s year-long fellowship for first-time filmmakers currently in post-production on their debut feature. The Lab will support the creative teams as they prepare to finish and release their films into the world.

Recent films that have participated in the Narrative Lab have included Clementine; Dead Pigs; House of Hummingbird; Jinn; Lost Bayou; Menashe; Noah Land; Nancy; and The Third Wife.

The program runs July 15-19 at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

“In its 15th year, the IFP Narrative Lab continues to provide emerging, independent filmmakers with vital support as they finish their first features,” says IFP Executive Director, Jeff Sharp. “We’re thrilled to welcome this year’s cohort—a collection of boundary-pushing artists and their debut films—into one of IFP’s most unique programs.”


• Beast Beast –– Set in a southern town, three characters deal with new and old issues of growing up, swirling with trauma, petty crimes, new love and gun violence. Danny Madden (Director, Writer), Benjamin Wiessner (Producer)

• Crestone –– Halfway through a documentary film, the world ends. It seems the last humans alive are a group of SoundCloud rappers living together in the desert sanctuary of Crestone, Colorado. An apocalyptic narrative is imposed on the true daily lives of these young artists as they write and perform music for nobody. Marnie Ellen Hertzler (Director, Writer, Editor), Albert Birney (Editor), Corey Hughes (Writer, Cinematographer)

• Eyimofe — Tragedy and fate intervene as two Lagosians try to better the lives of their families. Arie Esiri (Director, Producer), Chuko Esiri (Director, Writer, Producer), Melissa Adeyemo (Producer), Andrew Stephen Lee (Editor)

• Freeland — Aging pot farmer Devi suddenly finds her world—and her whole idyllic way of life—shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest. Kate McLean (Director, Writer), Mario Furloni (Director, Writer, Cinematographer), Laura Heberton (Producer)

• The Grasshopper –– A wealthy immigrant couple ditch work to spend the afternoon day-drinking their way through neighboring houses of a gated community. Brad Bischoff (Director, Writer), Justin Nijm (Producer), Lisa Rudin (Producer)

• A Nightmare Wakes  –– A psychological thriller about the creation of the novel Frankenstein as told through the life of its author, Mary Shelley. Nora Unkel (Director, Writer), Devin Shepherd (Producer), Gabriel Rosenstein (Producer)

• Sin La Habana –– Sin La Habana is the story of a love hustle: an Afrocuban ballet dancer seduces a foreign woman in order to live out his dreams with the girl he truly loves, but nothing goes as planned. Kaveh Nabatian (Director, Writer), Gabrielle Tougas-Fréchette (Producer), Menaïc Raoul (Producer)

• The Surrogate –– The results of a prenatal genetic test complicate the relationship between a surrogate/egg donor and the couple for whom she’s carrying. Jeremy Hersh (Director, Writer), Cecilia Delgado (Editor)

• Tazmanian Devil –– After moving to the US, 19-year-old Nigerian immigrant Dayo struggles to balance his conflicting desires of joining a college fraternity and bonding with his estranged father, a strictly religious pastor at a local church.
Solomon Onita, Jr. (Director, Writer), Frank Cohen (Producer), Karl Soelter (Producer)

• The Unknown Country –– The discovery of a strange family photograph sends a grieving Tana on a sudden, solitary road trip from suburban Minneapolis to the Texas-Mexico border, traveling unfamiliar routes and an increasingly hostile and surreal landscape. Along the way she reconnects with members of her estranged Lakota family, forms fast, momentary bonds with total strangers and dodges threats from others as she seeks to unravel the mystery of her find. Morrisa Maltz (Director, Writer), Laura Heberton (Producer), Lily Gladstone (Producer)

IFP also announced the 2019 Narrative Lab Leaders are: Kishori Rajan, Producer (The Short History of the Long Road; The Price; American Fable), Executive Producer (Random Acts of Flyness; Solace); Shrihari Sathe, Producer (It Felt Like Love, Screwdriver); Pierce Varous, Founder (Nice Dissolve), Producer (H., Always Shine)

The Narrative Lab operates under the overall leadership of IFP Director of Narrative Programming, Zach Mandinach.

Now in its 15th year, the IFP Filmmaker Labs support first-time feature filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their debut features. Each year, IFP selects ten narrative feature films and documentary feature films currently in post-production for the Labs. Through their participation, Filmmaker Labs Fellows receive support from IFP Staff and mentorship from leading industry members and filmmakers. Selected Fellows take part in three modules of the Lab: the Completion Lab in July, IFP Week in September, and a Marketing & Distribution Lab in December.

Over the course of these first five days of the Lab program, Lab Fellows will receive knowledge, resources and mentorship in regard to editing, music composing & supervision, sound design, post-production budgeting, as well as developing marketing materials and festival strategies, sales & distribution plans, and building a sense of career sustainability as independent artists.

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