Sundance Institute Defines Fellows For Intensive Inaugural Producers – Deadline

The Sundance Institute has nominated 10 fellows for its first Producers Intensive, which will run virtually October 21-22.

The artists and projects selected for the documentary side are Rachel Dickinson (Let the little light shine), Alba Jaramillo (La Flaça), Rajeswari Ramanathan (The 1980 civil case), Chris Renteria (Chain of rocks) and Shannon Sun-Higginson (You are lucky to have a mom). The people chosen for the Fiction scholarship are Beverley Gordon (To live), Lauren López from Victoria (cheeky), Breanne Thomas (In the jackpot), Jesy Odio (Molokai ‘bound) and Ashley Chrisman (Homesick).

The Producers Intensive was conceived through a collaboration between Sundance’s documentary and feature film programs, as a means to provide creative, strategic and professional development support for emerging fiction and non-fiction producers from traditionally under-represented communities.

The two-day program includes interactive group sessions and panel discussions on topics such as producer / director collaboration, pitching, legal and business affairs, packaging and financing, and budgeting. It will be complemented by a self-guided program from Sundance Collab and a legal workshop conducted in partnership with the Filmmakers Legal Clinic at Cardozo Law School.

Production attorney Nicole Compas (Ramo Law) will be joined as a consultant during this year’s intensive by veteran producers Allison Rose Carter (Zola), Jennifer Dana (The assistant), Mel Jones (Burning sands), Ruchi Mital (We could be king), Kim Parker (Catch the beautiful), Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness), Anya Rous (Pray far away), Greta Fuentes (MACRO) and Megan Gilbride (Fathom).

You can find more information about the 2021 scholarship recipients and the projects they will develop under the program below:


Rachel Dickson

Rachel Dickson has a number of production credits including ’63 Boycott (2016), which was nominated on the Academy Award list for Best Documentary Short, The school project, a web series produced by Kartemquin Films, and Hard earned (Al-Jazeera America, 2015), which won the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award.

Let the little light shine

A high-performing elementary school just south of downtown Chicago is a lifeline for black children, until gentrification threatens its closure. As Chicago’s public schools, the mayor, and politicians debate the school’s future, the film takes you to meet the students, parents, and educators fighting to save it.

Alba Jaramillo

Alba Jaramillo is a BBC freelance filmmaker, producer and writer. she produces La Flaça, a coming-of-age film supported by IDFA, NBC and Points North. She directed the documentary Motorrodillo (Colombia-France, 2021), an immersive lyrical walk through a tropical forest, revealing the collective efforts of informal work.

La Flaça

A teenage girl’s flight from Honduras through Central America suddenly becomes clear when she gives birth on American soil, setting off an epic tale of assimilation in America.

Rajeswari ramanathan

Raji is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker based in California. She currently serves Al Jazeera (AJ +) as the Senior Video Producer. Outside of work, she puts her energy into documentary films. She aims to tell stories that expose systemic barriers, especially when it comes to race, immigration and women.

The 1980 civil case

In April 1980, three Klan men embarked on a shootout in Chattanooga, Tennessee, injuring five black women. As usual, the criminal courts have treated the Klansmen lightly. But the five women fought back in a new way with the backing of civil rights lawyer Randolph McLaughlin, who helped women achieve an important victory against the Klan and set a legal precedent for today’s court battles. ‘hui on racial violence.

Chris Renteria

Chris Renteria has produced and directed films focused on social and environmental challenges and the bright people at the center. Magnolia Pictures’ Whose streets? was Chris’s first foray as a producer of feature documentaries. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and was nominated for numerous awards. He was recently director of photography for the Oscar nominated film Saint Louis Superman (MTV Documentaries).

Chain of rocks

A death row inmate confesses to a crime after 30 years of proclaiming his innocence. Today, an activist who once fought for his exoneration faces the moral dilemma of whether the fight was in vain. Chain of rocks is an animated documentary feature that explores the complexities of race and masculinity and how they distort our worldview and play a role in oppressive systems.

Shannon Sun Higginson

Shannon Sun-Higginson is a New York-based documentary filmmaker whose work has screened at Sundance and SXSW, and on PBS, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and CNN. She is currently producing her third feature documentary, You are lucky to have a mom, and directing two episodes of the upcoming HBO docuseries Go out.

You are lucky to have a mom

Led by nurse and activist Brittany Ferrell, You are lucky to have a mom is a love note to black pregnant women from all over the United States who differ in their backgrounds, socioeconomic status, and gender identity, but all share one goal: They not only intend to survive, but also to prosper.


Beverley Gordon

Beverley Gordon is an award-winning producer and founder of BrownBag Pictures. His production credits include The other brother, Popcorn chutney, About Scout and winner of the Student Academy Award Wednesday afternoon. Beverley holds an MFA from AFI, a JD from Tulane and a BA from Harvard. Born in Antigua, she currently resides in LA.

To live

Located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, a lonely and emotionally scarred African-American bus driver, estranged from her family and working through the grief of losing her sister, discovers a beautiful love doll on her bus and begins a journey. to find its owner and possibly heal in the process.

Lauren Lopez from Victoria

Lauren López de Victoria is a Puerto Rican producer with an MA in Fine Arts from Columbia University. She was a recipient of the PGA Debra Hill Fellowship and a Film Independent Project Involve Producing Fellowship. Lauren worked at UTA and is currently a coordinator at a company with an agreement with Amazon Studios.


After moving to the working-class Hamptons, a Latinx teenager who cleans for the elite explores identity and love in the shadow of gentrification and inevitable loss.

Breanne Thomas

Breanne Thomas is a Brooklyn-based self-taught producer whose award-winning shorts have performed in Rotterdam, Palm Springs and several regional US festivals. Beyond her career as a producer, she has a decade of experience as a strategist having worked with companies like A24, Facebook and Samsung Mobile on social media and influencer campaigns.

In the jackpot

Running out of cash for a dead end job, Ash makes a fresh start by smuggling marijuana from Colorado corporate grow houses to the black market across state lines. But when Ryder, the loose cannon of an Ash lover, defrauds $ 100,000 in a fall, they find themselves on the run.

Jesy odio

Jesy Odio is an independent creative producer from Costa Rica, based in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was selected to participate in the Gotham Week 2021 Project Marketplace with the feature Moloka’i bound. Jesy is the founder of the production company Teenager and of the cinema newspaper The Cosmophage.

Molokai ‘bound

Kainoa De Silva is on parole and has pledged to reconnect with his family, including, most importantly, his son Jonathan. But acclimating to normal life in Hawai’i is harder than it looks and Kainoa has a tendency to do all the wrong things for the right reasons.

Ashley Chrisman

Ashley Chrisman is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Southern California. She has been a member of the Film Independent’s Project Involve, the Blackhouse Multicultural Producers Lab, and the Industry Academy with the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In addition to Homesick, Ashley is also developing three televised pilots.


While on vacation in Cape Coast, Ghana, a man’s plan to propose to his girlfriend goes off the rails after his younger brother disrupts their trip and puts them on a bet that awakens the past. haunted from one of the oldest slave castles in West Africa.

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