Today Film Independent announced the 10 projects and 24 filmmakers selected for the 14th annual Fast Track film finance market. Held during the LA Film Festival, Fast Track helps producer-director teams advance their projects through meetings with top industry executives – financiers, agents, managers, distributors, production companies, and granting organizations. During three days of intensive meetings, participants build vital industry relationships and gain valuable exposure for their projects as they fast track their films towards completion.
Film Independent will present the ninth annual Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $20,000 production grant to support a film that explores science and technology themes or that depicts scientists, engineers and mathematicians in engaging and innovative ways, to writer/director Annika Glac and producer Robyn Kershaw for their fiction feature film Radiant.
“We are thrilled to continue our decade-long partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, championing cinematic stories that engage with the dynamic world of science and technology,” said Jennifer Kushner, Film Independent’s Director of Artist Development. “The Fast Track finance market helps spark critical relationships for filmmakers to support the development of their feature films, while also offering high level executives the opportunity to discover some of the talent that Film Independent fosters through our Artist Development initiatives.”
“We are delighted to join with Film Independent in awarding this year’s Sloan Fast Track grant to Annika Glac and Robyn Kershaw’s narrative portrait of Marie Curie, Radiant, said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan has long championed stories about women in science including this year’s hit Hidden Figures and the upcoming Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story along with films in development about Rosalind Franklin, Lise Meitner, and Jane Goodall, so in this year of Wonder Woman, we look forward to celebrating on the big screen the remarkable life and work of another wondrous woman, the only person to ever win two Nobel Prizes in different sciences.”
A select list of Industry participants include: Bunim-Murray, CAA, Color Force, Electric City Entertainment, Fox Searchlight, Imperative Entertainment, June Pictures, LA Media Fund, Mandalay Pictures, Participant Media, Pilgrim Media Group, Preferred Content, ShivHans Pictures, Sight Unseen Pictures, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Sycamore Pictures, Symbolic Exchange and UTA.
Recent Fast Track projects completed include Lana Wilson’s The Departure, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival; Lou Pepe and Keith Fulton’s Bad Kids, which premiered at Sundance 2016; Maris Curran’s Five Nights in Maine which premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival; Chloe Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Directors’ Fortnight at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards. Additional projects supported through Fast Track include Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s C.O.G.; Robbie Pickering’s Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection; Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Call Me Kuchu; and Courtney Hunt’s Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River.
The following filmmakers have been selected to participate Film Independent’s 2017 Fast Track program:
2017 Fast Track Projects and Fellows
Blow the Man Down, fiction feature, Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy – co-writers/co-directors, Drew Houpt, Producer
An accidental murder. An established Madam who does her dirtiest business while the town willingly looks the other way. Fifty grand of cash up for grabs and the local men out to sea… enter two sisters with nothing and everything to lose.
Cantering, fiction feature, HIKARI – writer/director/producer, Peter Maestrey – producer
In order to escape her oppressive home life, a naïve paraplegic artist begins to illustrate for an erotic manga, putting her on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.
Farewell Tour, fiction feature, Sean Hackett – writer/director, Frederick Thornton – producer
When three Christian fundamentalist teenagers with the dynamic of The Golden Girls help a local agnostic search Kansas City for his AWOL, terminally ill mother, they are forced to re-evaluate their true intentions and discover what truly binds their friendship.
Followers, fiction feature, Tim Marshall – writer/director, Christina Radburn – producer
A lonely woman who has lost all faith in God, becomes obsessed with her aqua-aerobics instructor after seeing the face of Jesus on his swimming shorts.
Maybe Tomorrow, fiction feature, Eliza Lee – writer/director, Michelle Sy – producer, Sophia Chang – executive producer
In 1978 London, with only 24 hours left on her visa, a young American musician, Chrissie Hynde, takes one last stab at keeping her rock ‘n roll dream alive.
Radiant, fiction feature, Annika Glac – writer/director, Robyn Kershaw – producer
Paris 1900, a physics prodigy glimpses a future world of unseen energy. Now she must battle the male scientific academy. The closer she gets to recognition, the more she realizes the battle is not with the male establishment but with the unleashed power of her own radioactive discovery.
Son of A Very Important Man, fiction feature, Najwa Najjar – writer/director, Hani Kort – producer
A Palestinian couple must travel to Israel in order to get a divorce and discover that sometimes the most unexpected roads in life are in the detours you didn't mean to take.
In response to a growing community of nonfiction filmmakers, the Fast Track finance market will also feature a new Documentary Fast Track session where selected projects will connect with industry executives dedicated to working in the nonfiction space:
Minding the Gap, documentary feature, Bing Liu – producer/director, Diane Quon – producer
A group of skateboarders confront domestic violence as they come of age in a rust-belt Midwestern town.
Missing in Brooks Country, documentary feature, Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot – producers/co-directors/cinematographers, Jacob Bricca – producer/editor
In a small town in Texas, the border wall has already arrived.
Untitled Claudia Sparrow Documentary, documentary feature, Claudia Sparrow – director, Steven J. Berger and Ryan Schwartz – producers
A woman farmer from the beautiful highlands of South America stands up to a massive international mining conglomerate, defending the land, water, and people from devastating corporate greed.
Film Independent Artist Development has also selected two additional filmmakers and their projects to receive support that will include participation in select Fast Track meetings and mentorship:
Experience Designer, documentary feature, Mackenzie Fegan – producer
On an apocalyptic commune in the Alaskan wilderness, a young man returns to confront his past in this unconventional non-fiction film.
Selene, fiction feature, Maris Curran – writer/director
Selene fears she has laryngitis again. On a routine doctor visit to get antibiotics, she is diagnosed with a rare condition that leaves her permanently voiceless. As her world turns upside down and she struggles to communicate and adapt, she discovers that this limitation leads to the opening of a new world.
Fast Track is supported by Film Independent Artist Development Lead Funder Time Warner Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, EFILM | Company 3 and National Endowment for the Arts.