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2023 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellows: Charlotte Wells, Nikyatu Jusu & Francisca Alegria Among Selected 8

2023 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellows: Charlotte Wells, Nikyatu Jusu & Francisca Alegria Among Selected 8

The Sundance Institute announced the eight participants selected for the fifth annual Momentum Fellowship with names such as Charlotte Wells, Nikyatu Jusu and Francisca Alegria among the selected pack of eight. The program is designed to support and provide coaching to mid-career artists with a focus on career development during a pivotal moment in their creative practice. The 2023 Momentum Fellows are:

2023 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellows

Francisca Alegria is an award-winning filmmaker who’s short film And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye received the award for Best International Fiction Short at Sundance Film Festival. Her debut feature The Cow Who Sang A Song Into the Future premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2022 and was supported by the 2017 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Lab along with the Catalyst Forum.

Rita Baghdadi is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker known for the intimacy of her bold, character-driven films. Her latest feature, Sirens, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. Rita’s work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, Netflix, HBO, IDA and Film Independent.

Michelle Garza is a director and screenwriter who graduated from CCC in Mexico City and Goldsmiths in London. Her debut feature Huesera premiered at Tribeca 2022 where it won the Best New Narrative Director and the Nora Ephron awards. Michelle also won the Citizen Kane award for the best new director at Sitges 2022.

Nikyatu Jusu is a writer and director and her first feature film, Nanny, was developed at the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Labs and debuted at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. Her follow up original feature film screenplay was acquired by Universal Studios and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions. She works as an Assistant Professor of Directing and Screenwriting, Film and Video Studies, at the College of Visual & Performing Arts at George Mason University.

Bing Liu is a China-born, Midwest-raised filmmaker. His directorial credits include Minding the Gap, America To Me and All these Sons. Bing was supported by the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Lab on his first fiction feature which is currently in development.

Kate Tsang is an artist/filmmaker creating imaginative, offbeat stories with heart. Her debut feature Marvelous and the Black Hole premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. She wrote on the Emmy-nominated shows Adventure Time: Distant Lands (HBO MAX) and Steven Universe Future (Cartoon Network).

Charlotte Wells is a BAFTA winning Scottish filmmaker whose debut feature, the award-winning Aftersun premiered in Critics’ Week at Cannes. Prior to Aftersun, Wells wrote and directed three short films, Tuesday, Laps, and Blue Christmas. She is a graduate of the MBA/MFA program at NYU where she was supported by BAFTA NY and LA. Charlotte, with her project Aftersun, was supported by the Sundance Institute’s 2020 Directors and Screenwriters Labs.

Violet du Feng is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. She has directed, produced or executive produced 13 films including the most recent Tribeca-premiered and Sundance Documentary Film Program supported Hidden Letters. Her main producing credits include Dear Mother, I Meant to Write about Death, Singing in the Wilderness, Confucian Dream, Maineland and Please Remember Me.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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