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Photographer looking to capture a scene next to a train. Photo by: Pexels.com
Photographer looking to capture a scene next to a train. Photo by: Pexels.com

Unique Points of View covering Violence, Democracy, the Dakota Access Pipeline and Additional Topics

The Sundance Institute have recently announced eight projects that they plan to work on and develop with their documentary labs this year.

Additionally, the festival announced that this year attendance grew to an all-time high of at least 71,600 attendees.

Documentary Film Program Director Tabitha Jackson shares insight on the film production process:

“This vibrant array of projects illustrates the power of documentary filmmakers to use the language of cinema to tell untold stories, challenge and change perspectives and use their independent voice to speak truth to power.” – Tabitha Jackson

The selected projects for the Documentary Edit and Story Lab are:

Jacqueline Olive (director) / Always in Season (USA): As the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows relatives of the perpetrators and victims seeking justice and reconciliation – all in the midst of police shootings, church burnings and heated national debate about the value of black lives.

Marilyn Ness (director), Don Bernier (editor) / Charm City (USA): During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left on the frontlines. With grit, fury and compassion, a group of police, citizens and government officials grapple with the consequences of violence and try to reclaim their future.

Sedika Mojadidi (director), Sinead Kinnane (editor) / Facing the Dragon(Afghanistan/USA): Filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi follows two compelling Afghan women, a Member of Parliament and a journalist, as the international community withdraws from Afghanistan, threatening its fragile democracy.

Naziha Arebi (director), Alice Powell (editor) / Freedom Fields (UK/Libya): In post-revolution Libya, a group of women are brought together by one dream: to play football for their nation. But as the country descends into civil war, their personal stories of aspirations, love and struggle collide with history.

Petra Costa (director), Jordana Berg (editor) / Impeachment (Brazil): An epic tragedy of corruption and betrayal, Impeachment is a behind-the-scenes look at the ousting of Brazil’s first female president. With unique access to the president and other key politicians, the film unravels like a political thriller as Brazil falls into disarray, echoing the undoing of so many democracies throughout the world.

Cristina Ibarra (co-director/co-editor), Alex Rivera (co-director/co-editor) / The Infiltrators (USA): When two young immigrant-activists get detained by Border Patrol, on purpose, their mission to expose the abuses inside a detention center becomes much more complex and dangerous than they imagined.

Hao Wu (director), Nanfu Wang (editor) / People’s Republic of Desire (China/USA): In China’s popular live-streaming showrooms, three millennials seek fame, fortune and human connection, ultimately finding the same promises and perils online as in their real lives.

Christina D. King (co-director), Elizabeth Castle (co-director), Kristen Nutile (editor) / Warrior Women (USA): Chronicling the lifelong struggle of a Lakota mother and daughter in the American Indian Movement’s fight for Native liberation from the 1970s to today, where they are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

*The context covering these films was provided by the Sundance Institute.

Watch over the YouTube playlist below to rediscover talent from 2016 with a refresher on last year’s group of fellows. Keep watching for more episodes featuring the class of 2017 coming soon.

Sundance Institute 2016 Directors Lab | YouTube Playlist