Doane Tulugaq Avery (Iñupiaq)
Jacob Albert lives in Oakland. He ghostwrites popular science books for research scientists and is at work on a novel. Formerly a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he has received fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Michener Center, and the Elizabeth George Foundation.
After discovering how to procure abortion pills online, she travels an unexpected path to become an underground supplier, an accidental pro-choice activist, and ultimately, a convicted felon. Inspired by true events. Living in a mommune, balancing her alternative lifestyle and a bitter separation, Sula’s life is plunged into potential chaos by an unplanned pregnancy.
Tony Koros, writer/director
The Native lab, running from Monday to May 21, focuses on storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds, including feature film, episodic work and cultivating artists-in-residence.
Neon Tilapia (Kenya, U.S.A.)
Cris Gris, director
Miciana Alise (Tlingit)
When she is separated from her mother and moved into close quarters with the volatile Master’s wife, Lena must grapple with the danger of her gift as well as its potential power. On a southern plantation in the 1800s, Lena is an 11-year-old slave with telekinetic abilities she cannot yet control.
The Mysterious Gaze of the Flamingo (Chile)
The 2021 Native Lab Fellows will be joined at Lab by the 2021 Full Circle Fellows:
When a serial killer begins targeting the gentrifiers of a dwindling, historically Black neighborhood, a young newcomer must determine the murderer's identity—before she’s next.
White Knuckle (U.S.A.)
When a small-town, high-end Hawai’i dog groomer learns that a hit was put on her on the Dark Web, she has to race to find the culprit among her friends and family before it’s too late.
Tracy Droz Tragos, writer/director
However unbeknownst to her large, loud Native family, she brings home her new fiancé — a musician from Malibu. After the death of her aunt, a successful fashion business woman returns to her childhood home on the Cree reservation in Northern Alberta, Canada for the funeral.
Cristina Costantini, co-writer/director
Fellows and projects selected for the 2021 Directors Lab are:
Mia will have to face them all in order to find a way to finally love herself. In this life, a woman's biggest challenges are the love she chooses to accept, the tough love of a well-meaning mother, and the absence of love that heartbreak leaves behind.
At the Directors Lab, which runs June 1 to July 2, filmmakers will participated in roundtable discussions, presentatons and one-on-one meetings, as well as rehearsing, shooting and editing a scene from their work-in-progress screenplays at home. The Screenwriters lab, from July 6-9, will support one-on-one story sessions to develop original and timely screenplays.
Chile, 1984. Twelve-year-old Lidia must protect her older brother Alexo, who raised her, when he comes under threat from the fearful townspeople. A remote mining town is stricken with a mysterious disease, said to be transmitted between men through eye contact.
The labs are organized under feature film program founding director Michelle Satter, deputy director Ilyse McKimmie and Indigenous program director N. Bird Runningwater.
Sarah Liese (Diné and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians)
Jacob Albert, co-writer
Jamie John (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
After moving to a working-class part of the Hamptons, a Latinx teen employed as a housecleaner for the elite explores identity and love in the shadow of gentrification and inevitable loss.
Charine Pilar Gonzales (San Ildefonso Pueblo)
Christina Zuni (Isleta Pueblo)
2021 Native Lab – Artist In Residence:
Erica Tremblay, co-writer/director
Mary Ann Anane, writer
The Sundance Institute has named the summer fellows for the Directors, Screenwriters and Native Labs.
The Labs give writers and directors a space to develop their craft and selected projects with input from a roster of industry mentors and advisers. Some parts of this year's labs, normally held in person in Utah, will take place virtually on the Sundance Collab platform.
These are the fellows and projects for this year:
The combination of Native art and visual media heavily influences the themes present in her work. Christina Zuni is a Native filmmaker and cinematographer from Isleta Pueblo, N.M. Growing up in a culture-driven community, she developed an interest in pueblo art at a young age. By giving a voice to the unheard and unspoken, she advocates and empowers communities in ways that uplift them. Her goal in filmmaking is to enrich humanity’s interest in Native American traditions and encourage pueblo youth to find their creativity. She is a soon-to-be graduate at New Mexico State University in the Digital Filmmaking program.
Rosa (at booth #515)
A bright teenager in a working class neighborhood on Chicago’s south side discovers the power and beauty of true friendship when her illicit relationship with a teacher is discovered amid the final weeks of her senior year in high school.
They're an enrolled tribal citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a graduate in interdisciplinary arts at Interlochen Arts Academy, and currently reconnecting to their Anishinaabe ceremonial way of life. With works tackling topics of colonialism and historical loss, Jamie attempts to pull the thread of resistance to these atrocities through cultural connection and emphasizing collective survival. Jamie John is a two-spirit Anishinaabe and Korean multidisciplinary artist living in their historic homeland of so-called Michigan. Art has been used as a tool to carve out a space for Jamie despite the impact of colonialism, intergenerational suffering, and gender violence.
The 2021 Directors Lab Fellows will be joined at the Screenwriters Lab by:
Sontenish Myers, writer/director
Xavier Coleman, writer/director
Fellows and projects selected for the 2021 Native Lab:
Following the disappearance of her sister, a Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from her white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in the hopes of keeping what’s left of their family intact.
Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree)
She struggles with self-doubt, competitive attitudes and understanding the market – in order to establish herself as an artist. An aspiring Pueblo photographer drops out of college and decides to sell her photos at Native art shows full-time to support her family.
“Support for Indigenous storytellers has been part of the Institute’s mission since its founding,” said Runningwater. “We’re excited to nurture this cohort of filmmakers and their stories, strengthening the Indigenous lens through which their stories are being told and supporting them along their creative journey to the screen and audiences.”
Bryson Chun (Kanaka Maoli)
Tommy Pico (Kumeyaay) – writer
When a dangerous water-weed threatens to take over his lake and livelihood, a fisherman in rural Kenya forms an unexpected alliance with his estranged granddaughter to fight back using glowing, genetically modified fish. As strange lights appear in the lake, chaos erupts in the village, and the two are challenged to reach a new understanding of each other.
Parts & Labor (U.S.A.)
Miciana Alise, co-writer
As a 40-year-old queer ex-Mormon begins to navigate the world as a recent divorcee, she is surprised to find support in raising her nonbinary child from an advocacy group called Mama Dragons, a Mormon led organization that breathes fire for their LGBTQ family members.
Sweet Home Reservation
She plans to earn her master’s degree from Ohio University in April 2022 and begin her career as a documentary filmmaker, highlighting Indigenous stories. She is a research assistant to Dr. In her free time, Sarah works as a poetry reader for the New Ohio Review. Sarah Liese is a master’s student at Ohio University, where she studies journalism and photography. She is a graduate of Mississippi University in the state where she grew up and maintains strong family connections. Victoria LaPoe, which has allowed her to learn more about Indigenous reporting – a topic Liese is passionate about, as she is Diné and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
She tolerates their degrading demands until the relationship explodes, and Maria seizes the moment to blackmail her way to the American Dream. Working single mom Maria Burgos signs on as a gestational surrogate for a wealthy, controlling New York couple to pay for her son’s college tuition.
A Real One (U.S.A.)
McKenzie Chinn, writer/director
When his best friend becomes a punk singer, a dream Tommy wanted for himself, his identities begin to blur against a backdrop of punk music, ceremony, and the ghost of an ex he killed on the rez. Tommy is a “sometimes” person: sometimes Brooklyn, sometimes rez, but never both.
“We’re thrilled to be launching such a visionary group of filmmakers who have met this year's challenges with an unstoppable resilience and spirit of collaboration and creativity,” said Satter. We're excited to provide meaningful and holistic mentorship and connections to these artists, and be part of their burgeoning creative and career development as writers and directors.” “Their stories bear witness to the world we're living in, and give voice to characters and worlds that are both deeply personal and universal.
Diego Céspedes, writer/director
The Macrobiotic Toker (U.S.A.)
Fancy Dance (U.S.A.)