– 20 Filmmakers Also Selected for Fast Track to take place during 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival –
LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2011) – Today Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced Midnight Sun’s writer/director Chris Eigeman and producer Eric Morris as the recipients of a $15,000 production grant, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The winners and all of this year’s Fast Track Fellows will be honored at tonight’s Alfred P. Sloan Fellows & Industry Mixer at Katsuya at L.A. LIVE. This is the second year this grant has been awarded to one project in Fast Track, the annual film financing market that takes place during the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Los Angeles Times and supported by L.A. LIVE. In addition to the grant and admission to Film Independent’s Fast Track program, Chris and Eric will receive year-round support from Film Independent. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation seeks to create and develop new scripts about science and technology and to see them into commercial production with national and international distribution. Film Independent also awards an Alfred P. Sloan Grant that is tied to their annual Producers Lab.
Film Independent also announced the 20 filmmakers and 9 film projects selected for its 9th annual Fast Track program, sponsored by Kodak. Taking place during the Los Angeles Film Festival and running from June 16-26 in downtown Los Angeles, Fast Track is an intensive, three-day film-financing market. During programmed one-on-one meetings, participants are connected with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers, and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.
“Chris is a filmmaker we have admired for a long time and we’re thrilled to be able to support is new project with the Sloan Grant this year,” said Josh Welsh, Director of Talent Development for Film Independent. “We’re also so happy to once again have the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for Fast Track.”
The following projects and filmmakers have been selected for 2011 Fast Track:
1. AWOL – Producer Ted Kroeber, Co-writer/Director Deb Shoval. This project is based on a short playing at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival.
2. Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit – Director Tom Putnam, Producer Brenna Sanchez. Both Tom and Brenna are Los Angeles Film Festival alumni.
3. Call Me Kuchu – Director/Producer Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Director Katherine Farifax Wright.
4. Contract with God – Writer/Producer Darren Dean, Producers Jonathan Shoemaker, Mark Rabinowitz. Darren won the Audience Award at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and was nominated in 2009 for a Film Independent Spirit Award.
5. Country Line – Writer/Director Morgan Stiff, Writer/Producer Tina Mabry
6. Left Handed Girl – Producer Angela Lee, Writer/Directors Sean Baker, Shih-Ching Tsou. Sean won the Target Filmmaker Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and had 2 films nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
7. Midnight Sun – Writer/Director Chris Eigeman, Producer Eric Morris. Chris was nominated in 2009 for a Film Independent Spirit Award.
8. The Woman Who Feared the Sun – Writer/Director Javier Fuentes-León
9. Xanadu – Producer Amy Lo, Director Rose Troche
Fast Track is free to accepted filmmakers, and upon completion, participants become Film Independent Fellows, and receive year-round support, including access to Film Independent’s annual film educational offerings, on-staff Filmmaker Advisor, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. For detailed information on the filmmakers and projects in Fast Track and past/current Film Independent Fellows, visit the online FIND Talent Guide.
Current industry participants include representatives from Ambush Entertainment, Anonymous Content, Bona Fide Productions, Chubbco, Cohen Media Group, CrowdStarter, David Linde Films, Disney, Eastman Kodak, Endgame, Far Hills Pictures, Film Finances Inc, Film Sales Company, Fox Searchlight, Future Film Group, Greenberg Taurig, Hunting Lane Films, Hyde Park Entertainment, ICM, IFC Films, Inception Media Group, Indomina, ITVS, Lionsgate, Loeb & Loeb, Magnolia Pictures, McLaughlin Films, Millenium, Movie Packaging Co., Myriad Pictures, National Geographic, Night & Day, Occupant Pictures, Open Road Films, Orange Entertainment, Participant Productions, RCR Pictures, Roadside Attractions, Silverwood Films, Sly Dog Films, Sony Pictures, Submarine, Super Crispy Films, UTA, Voltage Pictures, Whitewater Films, William Morris Endeavor, XYZ Films, 2S Films and 120 db Films.
Recent projects developed through Fast Track include Robbie Pickering’s Natural Selection, which swept the awards at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival; Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka, which was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards in 2010; Courtney Hunt’s Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River; Jennifer Westfeldt’s Ira and Abby, which had its world premiere at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival; Jessica Sanders’ award-winning documentary After Innocence; and Scott Prendergast’s feature Kabluey, which had its world premiere at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Bernie Movie Premiere, Opening Night LA Film Festival 2011