The year-long fellowship is designed to nurture first-time documentary feature directors.


The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has announced the 10 documentaries selected for the 2017 IFP Filmmaker Labs.

IFP Filmmaker Labs support first-time feature directors with projects in post-production as they complete, market and distribute their films.

The selected projects and their attending Lab Fellows for the 2017 IFP Documentary Lab are:

The Area David Schalliol (director, producer, DP), Brian Ashby (producer, editor), Peter Galassi (editor)

Baato Lucas Millard (director, writer, producer, DP), Kate Stryker (director, writer, 2nd camera)

¡Las Sandinistas! Jenny Murray (director, writer), Sarah Winshall (producer)

Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window Andrew Hevia (director, writer, producer, DP), Carlos Rivera (editor)

Personal Statement Juliane Dressner (director, producer, dp), Edwin Martinez (co-director, DP, editor), Beth Levison (co-producer)

A Photographic Memory Rachel Elizabeth Seed (director, producer, DP), Danielle Varga (producer)

Shadow of His Wings Lucas Habte (director, producer, DP), Isidore Bethel (writer, producer, editor), Tigist Schmidt (producer)

Shirkers Sandi Tan (director, writer, producer, co-editor)

TransMilitary Gabe Silverman (director, DP, editor), Fiona Dawson (director, executive producer), Jamie Coughlin (writer, producer)

We Are Not Princesses Bridgette Auger (director, DP), Itab Azzam (director, producer, DP), Sara Maamouri (editor)

Selected fellows take part in three modules of the Lab: the Time Warner Completion Lab in May, IFP Film Week in September, and a Marketing and Distribution Lab in November.

The creative teams of the selected films are currently attending the first week’s sessions, the Time Warner Foundation Completion Labs, taking place through May 26 in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Filmmakers will be provided with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films and careers. 

The Documentary Lab is part of the suite of IFP Labs, including the Screen Forward Lab (for serialized content) and Narrative Feature Lab, which took place earlier in April and May.

“The wide and continuing success of documentaries on multiple platforms demonstrate they are no longer for niche audiences nor uniform in style or format,” Joana Vicente, executive director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center said. “Emerging non-fiction filmmakers need to be more prepared than ever to understand and compete in this expanding marketplace, and the Labs exist to help them build that foundation.”

For more information on the IFP Documentary Lab, click here.