Sundance Institute

Source: Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute

Aftersun director Charlotte Wells and Huesera director Michelle Garza are among the eight participants selected for the Sundance Institute’s fifth annual Momentum Fellowship.

The initiative supports and provides coaching to mid-career artists from historically marginalised communities and is aimed at talent who have recently achieved a noteworthy accomplishment like an acclaimed feature or series.

The 2023 Momentum Fellows are: Francisca Alegria (whose debut feature The Cow Who Sang A Song Into the Future premiered at Sundance 2022); Rita Baghdadi (Sirens premiered at Sundance 2022 and and won the Outfest grand jury prize); Mexico’s Michelle Garza (whose debut feature Huesera premiered at Tribeca 2022); and Nikyatu Jusu (whose debut feature Nanny won Sundance 2022 U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and whose follow-up feature screenplay has been acquired by Universal Studios and Monkeypaw Productions).

The list continues with Bing Liu (whose directing credits include Minding The Gap and All these Sons and whose first feature is in development); Kate Tsang (whose debut feature Marvelous And The Black Hole premiered at Sundance 2021, and has written on Emmy-nominated shows Adventure Time: Distant Lands and Steven Universe Future); Wells (whose debut Aftersun premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2022 and just won the Bafta for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer); and Violet du Feng (who directed Hidden Letters which premiered at Tribeca 2022).

Momentum Fellows get an unrestricted artist grant; professional coaching offered by Renee Freedman & Company supported by The Harnisch Foundation; connection to Sundance’s professional development initiative Elevate; and bespoke year-round support from Sundance Institute staff. The Fellowship hails from Women at Sundance with support from Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion team (GTDI), Universal will provide additional support for up to four Momentum fellows working on fiction projects and grant participants access to the studio’s creative executives and producers.

“Over the years, the fellows selected for Momentum have all experienced success with their recently completed projects. This has often been a critical moment for artists to receive creative and tactical support as they focus on a meaningful path forward,” said Michelle Satter, founding senior director, artist programs. “This is where Momentum is both aptly named and unique in the industry–the fellowship is customized to the needs of individual filmmakers as they move forward with their next steps, making choices that’ll ensure they can sustain a career that gives them exciting and timely creative opportunities.”