Our 6th Annual TFI/A&E IndieFilms StoryLab

We've partnered again with our friends at A&E for the 6th TFI/A&E IndieFilms StoryLab!

This invite-only 3-day program is designed to help position commercially-viable documentaries for the big screen by providing one-on-one mentorship, master class discussions, case studies and networking opportunities for feature length documentary filmmakers. It provides resources for workshop participants to tackle creative and storytelling issues in the late production stage - and aids each participating filmmaker in preparing their film for the post-production stage and the ensuing film festival circuit.

“The four projects selected for the StoryLab this year span a colorful and compelling range, from urgent and timely social-issue driven stories that reflect America’s contemporary reality, and more character-driven narratives that are sure to bring audiences into an intimate environment that they previously might not have been aware of. This year’s filmmakers are tackling the challenging but resilient work of gaining further access into their subjects while also entering the edit stage - and we have designed the format of the StoryLab to address these issues that unfold during these creatively delicate phases.” - Jose Rodriguez, Director of Documentary Programs, TFI

We had talented mentors join us this week to deliver master classes to the filmmakers. Editor Erin Casper (RISK, AMERICAN PROMISE, ROLL RED ROLL) delivered an Editing Master Class using scenes from her upcoming film, Sara Dosa’s THE SEER AND THE UNSEEN, as a case study.  Director Blair Foster followed Erin Casper with a Directing Master Class where she presented a case study on her experience directing A&E’s THE CLINTON AFFAIR. In addition, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Yance Ford (Best Documentary Feature -STRONG ISLAND) delivered a Master Class on Directing in the Edit.

Apart from the expert mentors, A&E's Molly Thompson joined TFI Executive Director Amy Hobby in a conversation moderated by TFI’s Monika Navarro about the “Golden Age of Documentaries” and their role in the current distribution landscape..The StoryLab participants also received a visit from Tribeca Film Festival programmers Cara Cusumano and Lucy Mukerjee, who talked about their submission process and newly-released 2019 festival program, and shared their perspectives on feature documentaries’ role in the film festival circuit.

Here are the four participating projects:

Yasmin Hed - Director/Producer
Eric Juhola - Producer
Jeremy Stulberg - Producer
When filmmaker Yasmin Hed discovers 16mm footage of the forgotten Apartheid-era South African musical Ipi N’Tombi, filmed by her late father in the 1970’s, she searches for meaning in the film he never finished.

Kristine Stolakis - Director/Producer
Jessica Devaney - Producer
Carla Gutierrez - Editor
PRAY AWAY tells the story of the history and continuation of the "pray the gay away" or ex-gay movement.

Katie Dellamaggiore - Director
Nelson Dellamaggiore - Producer, Editor
Tracie Holder - Producer

Welcome to Green Bank, West Virginia the only US town where, by federal decree, the use of cell phones, WiFi & other wireless technology is prohibited. Ironically, Green Bank is also home to one of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes,  an instrument that scientists use to unlock the mysteries of our universe. A rich, nuanced portrait of a close-knit community with one foot in two worlds, past & present, THE QUIET ZONE reflects on the ways we connect with one another and our ever-evolving relationship with technology. 

Maisie Crow - Director/Producer/DP
Heidi Reinberg - Producer
UNTITLED CRIMINAL JUSTICE HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT follows a group of seniors at a high school 10 miles from the US/Mexico border as they navigate post-graduate life.    

Check out our photo album from the event here!