Projects from Thailand, Tajikistan andPakistan join nine from North America in the Sundance Institute's ScreenwritersLab, which takes place from Jan 9-14 at the Sundance Village in Utah.

Thefive-day workshop offers writers the chance to develop their scripts withsupport from established screenwriters. This year's chosen writers willcollaborate with a roster of creative advisors that includes Michael Almereyda,Walter Mosley, Frank Pierson, Susan Shilliday and Audrey Wells.

"Theprojects in this year's lab reflect the diversity of American culture, andcontinue the Institute's long-term goal of supporting both US and internationalprojects," Michelle Satter, director of the Institute's feature film programme,said in a statement.

Theparticipants and projects selected for the 2004 January Screenwriters Lab are:

CherryBlossoms (Canada)Zoe Hopkins (writer/director)

A youngNative girl decides to build a relationship with the father she never knew aspart of her ceremonial passage into womanhood.

Dot (US) Abdi Nazemian and Micah Schraft (co-writers)
A deaf high school student with anunthinkable secret uncovers the dark sexual demons lurking beneath the suburbanfacade of her small New England town.

Hi-So (Thailand) Aditya Assarat (writer/director)

Acoming-of-age love story that captures the music, mood and ethos of modern-dayBangkok.

IraqiFreedom(Pakistan/US) Emre Mirza (co-writer) and Paxton Winters (co-writer/director)

A youngAmerican soldier experiences another side of the war and is forced to make amoral and political choice that will change his life irrevocably.

MrCrumpacker And The Man From The Letter (US) Kazuo Ohno (writer/director)

Abullying employer decides on a whim to reconfigure his company as a bastion ofphilosophical inquiry.

Monster (US) Derek Nguyen (writer)

In theCalifornia desert town of Red Valley, Detective Tang Tran investigates thedisappearance of a Vietnamese high school student following a brutal hate crimeand soon realises everybody is a suspect.

PaperMan (US) Kieranand Michele Mulroney (co-writers/co-directors)

Afrustrated writer spends a lonely winter on Cape Cod, where he is forced tochoose between a world-weary superhero, an extinct bird, and a 16-year-oldlocal girl in this coming-of-middle-age story.

ToGet To Heaven First You Have To Die (Tajikistan) Djamshed Usmonov (writer/director)

A youngman, unable to consummate his marriage, transcends his impotence throughviolence.

UntitledStephen Guirgis Project (US) Stephen Guirgis (writer)

A bikemessenger suffering from terminal adolescence rounds up his old crew from theneighborhood to help kidnap their childhood friend who has joined a religiouscult.
Virtual Love (US) Richard Press (writer/director)

Thetrue story of Tony Johnson, a charismatic 15-year-old whose struggle with AIDSand a life of abuse brought him devoted friends from all over the world. Theirdevotion only wavered when it began to seem that Tony didn't actually exist.

Wristcutters (US) Goran Dukic (writer/director)

Suicideis not the end, but only the beginning of a fascinating journey through theafterlife for souls in search of what they could not find in their previouslives.

Yellowman (US) Dael Orlandersmith (co-writer)and Blanka Zizka (co-writer/director)

Lovestory between a light-skinned boy and a dark-skinned girl whose relationshipcollides with the colour prejudices of a black community in rural SouthCarolina, leading to a tragic and explosive end.

TheJanuary Screenwriters Lab is part of a year-round series of workshops andevents that come under the ambit of the Institute's feature film programme.

Theseevents include the June film-makers/screenwriters lab, a month-long workshopthat includes a second screenwriters lab in its final week.