The NYU Production Lab, an incubator helping to launch the careers of the next generation of creatives, announced today its 2022 slate of supported projects. The selected works include a documentary about a grandmother’s hidden past, a comedy focused on a teenage prodigy and an Egyptian film about a polygamous marriage that is on the rocks. One is in production and two are in development.
The 2022 projects were chosen from 101 submissions to the Lab, founded in 2015 to help NYU students and alumni move from an academic to professional setting. The lab provides in-kind support and financial investment and actively mentors filmmakers until they secure distribution. The program has no fixed timeline.
“At first glance, our three slate films this year are very different - a French personal documentary, an Egyptian co-production, and an American indie. What they have in common is an incredibly specific vision. These are the only three people in the world who could tell these stories. They open us up to new and very unique worlds,” said John Tintori, associate arts professor in the Graduate Film Program at the Tisch School of the Arts and academic director and co-founder of the NYU Production Lab.
The NYU Production Lab’s successful track record is apparent at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, where three filmmakers who have been supported by the Lab will screen their projects. Laurel Parmet will show her feature film, The Starling Girl and Laura Moss will show her feature-length work, birth/rebirth. The Vacation, a short film by Jarreau Carrillo, was financed by The Lab as a proof-of-concept for his feature-length film, The Last to Survive in America.
“It’s hard, as an emerging artist, to find safe, on-going mentorship, and they were able to receive creative and strategic guidance,” Tintori said about these filmmakers. “We’re crazy about Jarreau and this short will go a long way in putting him on the map. While we did not support the other films financially, Laura [Moss] and Laurel [Parmet] are both filmmakers we have consistently championed. Above all, we see ourselves as launching filmmakers, not simply films.”
Other past projects include Dead Pigs, written and directed by Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey), who co-founded the lab while a graduate student; Songs My Brothers Taught Me from Chloe Zhao, who won critical acclaim for The Rider and Nomadland; and Homebody, directed by Joseph Sackett, who won the Breakthrough Director award when the film premiered at OutFest last year.
Now in its eighth year, The Lab is in the process of expanding to support the development of artists across all genres. Plans include mentorships, experiential learning opportunities and hands-on professional development training.
The 2022 Slate
Based on his short film, An Edited Life, Mathieu Faure’s autobiographic film, The Final Cut, documents his discovery that his filmmaker grandmother is a Holocaust survivor and his efforts to encourage her to confront her past. A French producer and independent filmmaker, Faure earned a Master’s degree in News and Documentary from NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. His work has aired on CNN and PBS and has been published in the New York Times and Huffington Post. An Edited Life won the 2018 Student Academy Award for Best Documentary. The Final Cut is in production.
Nicholas Colia’s Griffin in Summer is a comedy chronicling Griffin Nafly, the most ambitious playwright of his generation who is only 14 years old. When the suburban teen befriends a moody handyman named Brad, his life – and his art – are changed forever. Colia earned an MFA from Tisch’s Graduate Film Program, where he received the Martin Scorsese and Maurice Kanbar Scholarships. He has directed two award-winning short films, Alex and the Handyman, winner of the National Board of Review Student Grant and the First Place King Award at NYU’s Wasserman Awards, and Untitled Short Film About White People, winner of the Audience Award for Best Student Short at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival. Griffin in Summer is in development.
The Leftover Ladies depicts a 60-something wife who tries to leave her polygamous husband after he reveals a renewed interest in their stale marriage. Farida Zahran is an Egyptian writer and director who earned an MFA from Tisch’s Graduate Film Program. Based in Brooklyn, she has worked in film and television, and most recently wrote an episode of Ramy, the Hulu comedy-drama about a first-generation American Muslim living in New Jersey. Zahran’s short film, Youth, premiered at SXSW in 2019 and earned an Oscar-qualifying award at the Palm Springs ShortFest. The Leftover Ladies is directed by Zahran and produced by Leah Chen Baker, a member of the Producers Guild of America and 2020 recipient of the Media Services Producing Award. Baker has produced two independent features and shorts that have been distributed by HBO Max and Focus Features.
About the NYU Production Lab
The NYU Production Lab is a development center whose mission is to support the next generation of creatives in designing and launching thriving careers