Film Independent has chosen eight projects and 12 filmmakers for its 2013 Documentary Lab. The eight-week intensive program is designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary. Lab mentors provide creative feedback and story notes to the selected filmmakers and help filmmakers strategize the completion, distribution, and marketing of their film. Projects and participants are Birdmen (Milena Pastreich); KUSAMA: Princess Of Polka Dots (Heather Lenz); Maidentrip (Jillian Schlesinger, Emily McAllister); Mary Woronov, Cult Queen From Warhol To Corman (Francesca Di Amico, Claudia Unger), Mateo (Aaron Naar); Rich Hill (Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo); Storyteller: The Wonderful, Magical Life Of The Man Who Saved Ben Hur (Joe Forte); and Top Spin (Mina T. Son, Sara Newens). Click over for a complete description.
Director/Producer: Milena Pastreich
Logline: Inner-city men are kept off the streets by their dedication to pigeons that do flips in the air.
Title: KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots
Director/Producer: Heather Lenz
Logline: Trailblazer Yayoi Kusama’s turbulent quest to become a world famous artist is documented in KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots; as a rival of Warhol in the ‘60s, Kusama battled sexism and racism in America while her hallucinations of polka dots eventually led her to the Tokyo mental institution she has called home for over 30 years.
Director/Producer: Jillian Schlesinger
Producer: Emily McAllister
Logline: An intimate coming-of-age adventure set against the epic backdrop of the open sea, Maidentrip explores life through the eyes of 14-year-old Laura Dekker on her quest to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.
Title: Mary Woronov, Cult Queen from Warhol to Corman
Director/Producer: Francesca Di Amico
Producer/Cinematographer: Claudia Unger
Logline: The documentary explores the enigma of actress and artist, Mary Woronov and chronicles her colorful career spanning from her work with Andy Warhol to Roger Corman that sealed her reputation as a “Cult Queen”.
Director/Producer: Aaron Naar
Logline: Matthew dreamed of pop stardom; instead he went to jail, emerged a mariachi singer and fell in love with a Cuban prostitute.
Title: Rich Hill
Director/Producer: Tracy Droz Tragos
Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Andrew Droz Palermo
Logline: Rich Hill intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of four impoverished boys living in a dying Midwestern town, witnessing their struggles up-close as they yearn to find self-worth and to imagine a brighter future.
Title: Storyteller: the Wonderful, Magical Life of the Man Who Saved Ben Hur
Director/Producer: Joe Forte
Logline: Childless and never married, a real life Forest Gump sorts through the treasures of his life.
Title: Top Spin
Co-Director/Producer: Mina T. Son
Co-Director/Editor: Sara Newens
Logline: Facing steep odds, a group of tenacious American teenagers chase Olympic glory in table tennis – the greatest equalizer in sports, where regardless of size, age, and gender, anyone can win.