The Sundance Institute may be best known for its star-studded winter festival, but its dedication to moviemaking is a year-round effort. It recently awarded Annenberg Film Fellowships to seven moviemakers chosen from its June Directors Lab as part of a $5 million dollar grant created by the Annenberg Foundation. The recipients are John Magary, Fellipe Barbosa, Moon Molson, Daniel Casey, Frank Budgen, Lara Foot Newton and Gerhard Marx, whose fellowship projects range from Shockheaded Peter, Budgen’s adaptation of gruesome fairy tales, to Casa Grande, Barbosa’s story of a young boy struggling with class privilege in Rio.
Having seen potential in the varied projects, Michelle Satter, founding director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, says she is “thrilled to provide these seven independent filmmakers… with a continuum of support” and explains that, “as recipients of Annenberg Film Fellowships, these uniquely talented filmmakers will receive critical funding toward realizing the next steps of their projects.”
Created in 2004, the fellowship program will supply its beneficiaries with living stipends and both pre- and post-production grants to help them finish their current films. Satter sees the grants as a way to spur the talented seven forward, saying, “at a time of great change in the independent film industry, we strongly believe that these grants can provide creative momentum and help leverage the possibilities for future production financing.” Thanks to the Sundance Institute and Annenberg Foundation, seven moviemakers have been given the chance to realize their vision and there is no doubt we’ll be seeing more from the gifted group in the future.