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Today IFP announced the projects selected for this year’s Independent Filmmaker Lab, taking place next week.

In it’s 5th year, the Lab is a highly immersive, free mentorship program for low-budget ($1 million) first feature films that have shot all or a substantial amount of footage but have not completed post-production. The goal of the program is to connect mentors with projects before they are submitted to film festivals. Past participants include The New Year Parade (2008 Slamdance Grand Jury Narrative Prize winner) and Half-Life (2008 Sundance Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival).

The 2009 Narrative Lab leaders are producers Scott Macaulay (Raising Victor Vargas and editor of IFP published Filmmaker Magazine) and Gretchen McGowan (Limits of Control).

Workshop leaders include, amongst others: Anton Sanko, Composer (Big Love, Delirious, Handsome Harry); Barry Cole, Music Supervisor, Spot Music (Beauty Shop); Editors Sabine Hoffmann (Hounddog, Ballad of Jack & Rose, Brother to Brother), Brian Kates (Nights in Rodanthe, The Savages, Shortbus), Lee Percy (The Ice Harvest, Maria Full of Grace, Boys Don’t Cry), Sam Pollard (When the Levees Broke, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever), Jay Rabinowitz (The Limits of Control, I’m Not There, The Fountain) and Kate Williams (Frozen River, Interview, Trees Lounge).

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

Au Pair Kansas
Director: JT O’Neal
Producers: Joan Jerkovich, Catherine A. McCabe & JT O’Neal
Editor: Brad Roszell

Helen, recently widowed, hires Oddmund, a fun-loving Norwegian soccer
player, to work as a male au pair in a small town in Kansas and help raise
her two boys and work on their bison farm. Featuring Tracy Lords (Zack &
Miri Make a Porno, Crybaby) and Spencer Daniels (The Curious Case of
Benjamin Button).

City on a Hill
Director: Amy Seimetz
Producer: Justin Barber
Editor: Adele Romanski

Present and past begin to merge when Paul finds out his old fling and
quasi-revolutionary partner committed suicide. From the producers of
Medicine for Melancholy, City on a Hill marks the directorial debut of
actress Amy Seimetz (Alexander the Last, Wristcutters: A Love Story).

The Imperialists Are Still Alive!
Director: Zeina Durra
Producer: Vanessa Hope
Editor: Michael Taylor

The Imperialists Are Still Alive! is a film about a woman making her way as
an artist in an indifferent and sometimes hostile world. Featuring Élodie
Bouchez (The Dreamlife of Angels; Sorry, Haters).

The Myth of Time
Director: Miller “Jaguar X” Koepenick
Producer: Scorpion Hernandez
Editors: Miller “Jaguar X” Koepenick & Scorpion Hernandez

Shot over five years in Guatemala with a diverse cast including over 5,000
extras, the film relates the unwritten chapter of the Popol Vuh (The Mayan
Book of Advice), as told through the protagonist’s (The Dark Eyed-One)
journey into manhood.

Director: Christina Beck
Producer: Annette Murphy
Editor: Rob Poswell

The debut feature from actresses Christina Beck (Suburbia, Boys Next Door)
and Annette Murphy (Star Maps), Perfection chronicles the life of
Kristabelle, a woman her thirties living at home with her mother who cuts
herself to feel “something”; little does she know that Simon, a sweet, newly
sober, British stand up comic is about to show her that her scars can’t
scare love away.

Phasma Ex Machina
Director: Matt Osterman
Producer: Jennifer Kramer
Editor: Matt Osterman

A young man tasked with raising his brother after the death of their parents
invents a machine intended to be a conduit to the supernatural.

Director: Josh Hyde
Producer: Clare Connelly, Dan Fischer, Maxim Holland and PJ Fishwick
Editor: Josh Hyde & Evan Smith

In the streets of Cusco, Peru, the lives of an American businessman and his
family become irreversibly intertwined with those of a rural Peruvian family
struggling day to day to survive.

Stranger Things

Directors: Ron Eyal & Eleanor Burke
Producer: Ron Eyal & Eleanor Burke
Editors: Ron Eyal & Eleanor Burke

Oona is a young woman faced with the dreadful task of clearing out her dead
mother’s home. Returning to the countryside property, Oona discovers a
vagrant, Mani, has broken into the house. Their surprising friendship
surmounts the disparities between them and offers unexpected hope and

The Tested
Director: Russell Costanzo
Producer: Melissa Miller
Editor: Russell Costanzo & Michael Taylor

One year ago, plain clothes cop, Julian Varone gunned down an unarmed teen.
Darralyn Warren, the teen’s mother, has spiraled into a pit of despair, as
her other son Dre, flirts with ganglife. As Julian prepares to get back to
work, the three find they cannot find closure without each other. Featuring
Aunjanue Ellis (The Taking of Pelham 123, True Blood), Nathan Corbett (The
Wire), Tobias Truvillion (Brooklyn’s Finest) and Armando Riesco (Che).


Director: David Kabler
Producers: David Kabler, Dan Judson, Mitch Rumfelt & Troy Scott Burnette
Editor: Dan Judson

The Drifter is a train-hopping gutter punk alone in the world, isolated by
years of ritual abuse and life on the fringe. He returns to his father’s
grave to break the curse that haunts him, where he sees salvation in a
beautiful girl who could be his key to freedom.

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