BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is already the stuff of indie filmmaking lore. Produced by a bunch of young friends and cast with non-actors, this Bayou-set fantasia was snapped up by Fox Searchlight at Sundance, won that festival’s Grand Jury Prize plus the coveted Camera D’Or award for first-time filmmakers at Cannes, and is now reaping the rewards at the box office. Perhaps less known is that this inspiring success story can be traced back to September 2009 when director Benh Zeitlin brought his singular project to the No Borders International Co-production Market in New York.
Run by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) as part of its annual Independent Film Week, No Borders is the oldest and most prominent co-production market in the US for narrative projects. It is here that scripts are presented in the early stages of their packaging and financing to key industry players. With the next No Borders now upon us, Slated is proud to participate, having 25 meetings with filmmakers set during the event that runs from September 16-20. We're happy to see three of the films already listed on the site.One of them is LEE, China-born writer/director Chloé Zhao’s drama. Nurtured through several Sundance Institute and Film Independent labs, this project is being produced by Angela C. Lee and Mollye Asher.Another is LAND OF ENCHANTMENT that stars Patricia Arquette. Co-written and directed by Eric Juhola, it was inspired by the 2007 Sundance Channel documentary that he produced, OFF THE GRID: LIFE ON THE MESA. The new drama is being produced by Christine Walker and will be shot by Reed Morano, the cinematographer behind another Sundance breakout, FROZEN RIVER.Rounding out the list is PING PONG SUMMER. Directed by Michael Tully, who has been wanting to make this for twenty years, this comedy stars Susan Sarandon, Amy Sedaris and John Hannah.
Slated’s cherished links with the IFP, continue to the plethora of IFP executives that are now active members. They are led by executive director Joana Vicente, a celebrated producer in her own right through her Open City Films that she spearheaded with partner Jason Kliot. Also on board is IFP deputy director Amy Dotson, senior director of programming Milton Tabbot, co-ordinator of special projects Andrew Houchens, and Scott Macaulay, the estimable editor of the IFP’s Filmmaker Magazine.The IFP’s Board of Directors and Advisors, led by its chairman Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte, includes several Slated members, among them Jeanne Berney, Anthony Bregman, Hunter Gray, Mynette Louie, and our co-founder Stephan Paternot. We also have several alumni from the Narrative Labs including producers Billy Mulligan and Tommy Oliver.
And to top it off, Susan Wrubel, Slated’s film industry liaison and a No Borders consultant, is producing this year’s IFP’s Gotham Awards, the must-attend industry event that takes place at Cipriani Wall Street on Nov 26. Quite a family connection.Looking forward to seeing you all at the Lincoln Center.
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