2018 Fellows

Out of the 200+ submissions we received for our inaugural lab, we have made our selection of 10 films and filmmakers.

We are honored to have the sponsorship of Adobe who have granted a year of free Creative Cloud services to each of our fellows, which will raise the ceiling of their abilities and their films’ post-productions. We have also been lucky enough to have the love and support of fiscal sponsors and patrons of the arts through Kickstarter who have made this lab possible.


Our 2018 Filmmakers

Anu Valia

Lucia Before and After

“This film is a microcosm of the 20-mile radius in Northwest Indiana where I grew up, and though it’s so specific to this one world, it is also a reflection of so many pockets in America that aren’t accurately portrayed in film. This is a complex, nuanced, and eccentric world, and I want to showcase it through my unique perspective.”

Micah Van Hove

Del Arco Vacío

“In May 2018 I participated in a program to make a short film in the Peruvian Amazon jungle with Werner Herzog. What I found down there was special: an ancient, powerful and mysterious presence of nature, a spiritual and soulful people, and a source of pure energy that is at risk of being sold to the highest bidder every day.”

Tony Oswald

Great Light

“In writing the movie, my mother and I were able to address her troubled past – to encourage conversation, debate, and ultimately catharsis for both victims of abuse and those who have had the courage to speak up even when doing so was disruptive.”

Anna Baumgarten


“We need to recognize that abuse has been normalized and resolve it together. This film is for – all of the women and men who have second guessed themselves, the one’s who have stayed silent, and those that have found their voice. This is our story.”

Vishnu Vallabhaneni

Sunshine and Rain

“This film is a true story based on my friend’s experience. I went back and forth on the script with my friend and her Mom to understand a lifestyle so different from my own. We shot on location in Dallas, and when the film was finished we worked with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America to show the work to middle schoolers going down the same dark rabbit hole. I want to give a voice to my friend’s story and I’m excited by the prospect of doing just that.”

Zhichun Huang


“Living in a country where same-sex marriage has been legalized national-wide, I tried really hard to come up with the right way to reflect what has happened in China. The “Americaness” in me which values freedom, equality and individualism was truly troubled. I’ve listened to many of my Chinese friends in the LGTBQ community, both in China and in America, and haven’t heard of a single story that did not break my heart. These are my friends, and they are struggling. The only way I can do something, to advocate for them, is to make this film.”

Joey Izzo

I Was There Too

“Mass shootings, constantly covered in the media, have become a horrifying, daily reality in the United States. Though my film is framed around one such tragedy, I Was There Too purposefully circumvents the political rhetoric of gun violence. Rather, this story is about the aftermath of violence. I am interested in individual, desperate reactions, and how someone might use tragedy to exploit the goodwill of family and strangers.”

Boni Mata

Daddy’s Playground

“A voyeuristic trip inside the intimate lives of two millennial Sugar Babies. Boni Mata and Ashley Morgan exploit  their nihilistic narratives by navigating the ubiquitous world of arranged relationships in Los Angeles. With the dismantling of patriarchal privilege as their motivating force, the girls embark on a feminist witch hunt – taking out every misogynistic figurehead in their Little Black Sugar Book.”

Collin Levin

In A Silent Way

“This is a comedy about a young jazz fusion musician, trying to become a success without really having to put in any of the work. He has a premonition about his death and decides he has to become a success in a months time before he passes away. That’s what we’re going for.”

Ryan Booth

The Heights

“For all the drama, all the disasters, all the difficulties of being a musician, there is often a moment of profound epiphany that occurs between audience and band in the room when everything aligns and the music soars – even if it’s just for a fleeting moment. And it’s happening tonight, all over the country, all over the world in tiny bars and mid-sized concert halls and gigantic stadiums.”