Crew of alums documents the 2009 Sundance Institute Directors Lab

Michael Bodie MFA ’09 directs webisode series with many Bruins involved

An almost all-Bruin crew, led by director Michael Bodie MFA ’09, is hard at work on a series of eight “webisode” documentaries tracking the progress of this year’s edition of the world-famous Sundance Institute Directors Lab.

Since 1981, the Institute has supported up to 25 emerging filmmakers per year from the U.S. and around the world. The young artists are coached by established professionals who volunteer their services to workshop sessions in screenwriting, directing, film composing and producing.

Films that have emerged from the workshops include Cary Fukunaga’s “Sin Nombre,” Cherien Dabis’s “Amreeka,” Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's “Half Nelson,” Josh Marston's “Maria Full of Grace,” Darren Aronofsky's “Requiem for a Dream,” Kimberly Peirce's “Boys Don’t Cry” and Walter Salles's “Central Station.”

The Lab this year features TFT alums such as Catherine Hardwicke working as mentors and a stellar group of Bruins filming them behind the scenes, including cinematographer/editor Mikiko Sasaki MFA ’09, assistant editor Tim Shechmeister and cinematographer Lisa Wiegand MFA ’98.

Screenwriting alumnus and Lab artist Jonathan Wysocki MFA ’03, featured in Episode 3 of the current webisode series, is developing a feature film based on his script “All Fall Down,” about a nine-year-old boy who makes an ill-fated decision to dress up as Osama bin Laden on Halloween.

Professor Gyula Gazdag, in his 13th year as Artistic Director of the Lab, appears throughout the series offering sage advice to the participants.