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Get Some Help From Your Friends (at IFP)

If you didn’t already know, it is fast coming up on the deadline for IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. What is it you ask? Well, it is:

A National Program Connecting Mentors and Projects Before They Are Submitted to Festivals

Documentary Lab Submission Deadline: February 13

Narrative Lab Submission Deadline: April 17

Led by experienced producers (I am on the advisory board), the Labs assist filmmakers in tackling the creative challenges of completing their modestly-budgeted, independently produced films – getting a leg-up before industry exposure. The five-day mentorship program in NYC challenges filmmakers to realize the full potential of their footage and stories with ongoing dynamic feedback and advice on technical & creative issues and distribution methods. The Labs are for first-time, narrative & documentary feature directors in the late stages of post-production. For more information & application:

The IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs are for first-time feature directors nearing completion on their documentary or narrative projects. The Labs are a free, week-long workshop covering the creative and business aspects of this critical post-production stage, from one-on-one editing critique from experienced editors, to developing a marketing and distribution plan. The Labs provide a creative incubator for the selected filmmakers, where they can, with a community of peers in a similar production stage, think critically about their project and their next steps, with the aid of top documentary and narrative feature industry mentors.

Last year was a great one for the Labs. Already, three 2008 Lab alumnus films have premiered at prestigious festivals – documentaries Tibet in Song (dir. Ngawang Choephel) premiered in competition at Sundance and took a Special Jury Mention, and Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story (dir. Lee Storey) showed in competition at Slamdance. Narrative Lab alum Zero Bridge (dir. Tariq Tapa) premiered at Venice, and is currently touring the international festival circuit. All this in addition to past years’ alumni premiering and winning awards at major national and international 2008 festivals including Berlin (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell), Los Angeles (Trinidad), Slamdance (The New Year Parade – Grand Jury Prize winner), Sundance (Half-Life), SXSW (Jumping Off Bridges, The Marconi Bros., Older Than America, Rainbow Around the Sun, Woodpecker) and Toronto (The Real Shaolin).

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