A Mexican and a Brazilian Director Selected to Sundance Labs

Writer-directors  Fernando Frías from Mexico and Gabriela Amaral Almeida from Brazil have been selected as part of the 13 projects for the 2014 Sundance Institute's Directors and Screenwriters Labs, as it was announced today. The Labs will take place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from May 26 through June 26. The Labs are the centerpiece of the Institute’s year-round work with narrative feature filmmakers and are part of 10 residential labs the Institute will host for artists this summer, collectively representing the most promising new independent film and theater projects.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Fernando Frias currently attends Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts as a Fulbright Scholar. His first feature, Rezeta, won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival. His project I’m No Longer Here Following the death of his older brother, a teenage Mexican boy is forced by his mother to migrate to New York City. When he arrives, he quickly realizes that the violence plaguing his home is nothing compared to the feelings of alienation and loneliness he experiences in America.

Gabriela Amaral Almeida has directed seven short films, including The Comforting Hand and One Spring, which have screened at over 80 international film festivals. She has worked as a screenwriter for directors including Cao Hamburger, Sérgio Machado, and Marcia Faria, and is currently writing the screenplay for Walter Salles’ next feature. She's participating at the Sundance lab with the project The Father’s Shadow, about A nine-year-old girl with strange powers and an obsession with horror films attempts to bring her mother back from the dead as a means of connecting with her sick father.

Since its founding in 1981, the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program (FFP) has supported an extensive list of leading-edge independent films including Lucrecia Martel’s La Cienaga and Walter Salles’ Central Station.