Sundance Film Fest 2008: Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab

Nov 9, 2008–As last month's fourth Middle Eastern Screenwriter's Lab took place in the Jordanian desert, the two first features to emerge from the 2005 Middle Eastern Lab went into production this year and are in the final stages of post-production: Amreeka, written and directed by Cherien Dabis (Palestine, Jordan, US) and Pomegranates and Myrrh, written and directed by Palestinian Najwa Najar.

Several other Feature Film Program-supported projects have moved forward in various stages of production.

Films in post-production include:

The Happiest Girl in the World, written and directed by Radu Jude (2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, Romania) ;

That Year When We Were Young, written and directed by Peng Tao and co-written by Zen Wenwen (2008 Screenwriters Lab, China);

Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre (2006 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

Sophie Barthes' Cold Souls (2007 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

Don't Let Me Drown, co-written by Cruz Angeles and Maria Topete and directed by Cruz Angeles (2005 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

The Strength of Water, written by Briar Grace-Smith and directed by Armagan Ballantyne (2005 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

Visual artist Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men (2003 Screenwriters Lab), her feature debut;
Eran Merav's Zion and His Brother (2006 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

Fog, written and directed by Kit Hui (2006 Screenwriters and Directors Labs);

Annemarie Jacir's Salt of This Sea (2005 Screenwriters Lab);

Patrice Toye's Nowhere Man (2006 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, Belgium);

Kanji Nakajima's The Clone Returns to the Homeland (2007 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, Japan);

Dagur Kari's The Good Heart (2007 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, Iceland);

Alejandro Almendras Fernandez's Huacho (2008 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award, Chile)

Films in pre-production include:

Andrew Dosunmu and Darci Picoult's Mother of George (2005 Screenwriters and Directors Lab)

Michele and Kieran Mulroney's Paper Man (2004 Screenwriters and Directors Lab)

Iraqi project Um Hussein, co-written by Mohamed Al-Daradji and Jennifer Norridge and directed by Al-Daradji (2007 Screenwriters Lab);

New Zealand project Volcano, written and directed by Maori filmmaker Taika Waititi (2005 Screenwriters Lab)