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Sundance Institute announces fellows for 2022 Native Lab

Sundance Institute announces fellows for 2022 Native Lab


PARK CITY, Utah — The nonprofit Sundance Institute returns to in-person artist development Labs this summer, announcing today the 2022 Fellows across its signature Native, Directors and  Screenwriters Labs. For four decades, Sundance Institute’s Labs have brought together accomplished artists and promising new storytellers to work rigorously and creatively on their projects as part of a vibrant community. Emerging creators will be supported at this year’s Labs as they work to develop original work for the screen, with guidance and mentorship from seasoned creative professionals.


The Native Lab is overseen by Adam Piron, director of the Institute’s Indigenous Program, and Moi Santos, the Program’s interim manager. This edition began online from May 2 – 6, 2022 and continues from May 9 – 14 in person for the first time in two years in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During the Native Lab, Creative Advisors will be focused on the specific development of storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds. Participating are five Native Lab Fellows and three Indigenous Program Full Circle Fellows (U.S.-based Native artists, ages 18-24), supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. All Fellows will sharpen their storytelling and technical skills while exploring centering their creative practices in their Indigeneity in a supportive community environment, including one-on-one feedback sessions and roundtable discussions.


“My team and I are beyond thrilled to be supporting this latest cohort of artists for our lab. We come from storytelling cultures millennia older than film and television themselves and this year’s selection is a vibrant testament to our artists celebrating and expanding those traditions across genre, artistic approaches, and formats,” said Piron. “The work speaks for itself. If the past few years have proven anything within the film, TV and art world, it’s that Indigenous artists have been pushing the envelope by telling their own stories on their own terms.”


The backbone of the Labs is the community of experienced advisors from all corners of the industry. The Native Lab will convene two pairs of Creative Advisors: Sundance alum Patrick Brice and Bernardo Britto and Shaandiin Tome (Diné) and Erica Tremblay (Seneca-Cayuga).




Justin Ducharme (director/writer) with Positions (Canada): Positions follows a young queer Indigenous man after moving to an urban centre from the rural town he grew up in and his unapologetic exploration through sexual desire, his quest for financial stability, and the pursuit of agency over his own body.


Justin Ducharme is a filmmaker, writer and curator born and raised in the Métis community of St. Ambroise on Treaty 1. His writing has been featured in Room Magazine, Canadian Art and Prism International. He currently lives and works on the Unceded Territory of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations.


Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire (writer) with How to Deal with Systemic Racism in the Afterlife  (U.S.A): Lyle Westman is dead and over it. When he discovers he has to spend 1,400 years haunting in redface, he decides to strike back at the systemic problems plaguing the afterlife.


Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire is a Kanien’kehá:ka and Mi’kmaq actor, comedian and writer from the Mohawk reservation of Kahnawà:ke. He’s an actor and writer on Rutherford Falls, the Peacock comedy by Sierra Teller Ornelas, Mike Schur and Ed Helms. He’s a former house performer at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.


Daniel Pewewardy (writer) with Residential (U.S.A.): A young professional Native man is plagued by a paranormal threat in his new apartment. To stop the threat he must uncover the mysteries of the apartment building — a former Native American boarding school.


Daniel Pewewardy is a Comanche filmmaker and comedian from Lawton, Oklahoma. They also act, perform stand up, and are the creator of the internet meme persona @pendletonmane. Daniel resides in Wichita Kansas, where he works as a public  programming librarian and serves as board vice chair for the Mid-America All-Indian Museum.


Tiare Ribeaux (director/writer) with Huaka’i (U.S.A): A diasporic Hawaiian woman leaves an unhealthy environment to return to her home on O’ahu and reconnect with her family. While facing new trials on the island, a kinship forms with a Hawaiian marine biologist, connecting her to a deeper source of her ancestry within the realm of the ocean.


Tiare Ribeaux is a kānaka maoli filmmaker, writer and artistic director based between Honolulu and Oakland. Her filmmaking style involves a magical realist exploration of labor, spirituality and the natural environment, drawing upon the structure of dreamworlds and Hawaiian cosmology to critique both social and ecological imbalances.


Tim Worrall (Ngāi Tūhoe) (writer) with Ka Whawhai Tonu – Struggle Without End (New Zealand): A half-caste boy-soldier and a Māori girl-prophet strike up an unlikely friendship in the midst of the climactic battle of the New Zealand Land Wars then struggle to rescue each other and lead a group of children to safety.


Tim Worrall (Ngāi Tūhoe) is a Māori screenwriter, director and artist based in Rotorua with his wife, Taria Tahana and their two sons. He was the co-lead writer and lead director of the New Zealand drama series Head High and is a founding member of the Steambox Films Collective.


The 2022 Native Lab Fellows will be joined at the Lab by the 2022 Full Circle Fellows:


Kymon Greyhorse is a Navajo + Tongan + 2Spirit film director, screenwriter, cinematographer and editor. Greyhorse’s work explores the human experience, shining light on the underrepresented and normalizing Indigenous stories and existence. He wants his films to inspire and empower yearning voices that have been silenced for too long.


Anpa’o Locke is an Afro-Indigenous filmmaker, who is Húŋkpapȟa Lakota and Ahtna Dené from the Standing Rock Nation. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Film Studies. Anpa’o has created films on the Native diaspora experience and Indigenous activism with a focus on sovereignty and self-determination as a mode for empowered storytelling.


Zoë Neugebohr is a writer/director currently finishing her education at the University of Southern California studying Film Production. She is Odawa-Ojibwe, originally from metro Detroit. Zoë seeks to dedicate space in film for the beauty of Indigeneity, in all its forms, to thrive and speak for itself.


The Sundance Institute Indigenous Program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Warner Bros. Discovery, Nia Tero Foundation, Indigenous Screen Office, SAGindie, Oneida Indian Nation, New Zealand Film Commission, Jenifer and Jeffrey Westphal, Susan Friedenberg, Susan Shilliday, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Chelsea Winstanley, Exposure Labs, Felix Culpa, Bird Runningwater, Sterlin Harjo, and Sarah Luther.





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