Sundance Institute announced details about the incoming group of Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellows. The eight recipients of the fellowship work across disciplines and stood out for their boundary-pushing work in fiction, documentary, and episodic.
All eight Fellows will receive bespoke support throughout the year: mentorship from the Sundance Institute and Adobe executives, two skill-building workshops, referrals to career development opportunities, coaching, a $6,250 cash grant, introductions to industry contacts and advisors, a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, and a one-year membership to Sundance Collab. Each of the Fellows has already participated in a Sundance Institute Lab or program relevant to their career path.
“Any artist can speak to how practical support paired with a nurturing community makes all the difference–this is especially true for women filmmakers, who are notoriously underrepresented in the industry. Providing multi-faceted assistance to our fellows as they develop their creative practices is our goal” said Adella Ladjevardi, Associate Director for Women at Sundance. “Our collaboration with Adobe has had a profound impact on the careers of so many talented storytellers in the past–we’re very excited to see how the new group advances with this customized and robust support.”
Created in 2020, this fellowship was formed by the Institute and Adobe around a shared commitment to nurturing, developing, and championing underrepresented voices. Filmmakers are nominated from across Sundance Artist Programs including the Documentary Film Program, the Episodic Program, the Feature Film Program, the Indigenous Program, and Women at Sundance. Recent highlights for the 2021 Women at Sundance Adobe Fellows include: Meryam Joobeur just wrapped production on her debut fiction feature Motherhood, Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s short film Video Visit premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival, McKenzie Chinn is directing a short film based on her scripted feature A Real One, and Cris Gris is directing multiple TV shows for various streamers and is preparing to direct her feature Forward.In addition to the support for Women at Sundance, Adobe is a leadership supporter of the Sundance Institute, as a presenting sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival and founding supporter of Sundance Ignite (a year-long artist development program for filmmakers ages 18-25). Adobe also supports Sundance Collab, our global digital space for learning and community.
Women at Sundance is made possible by leadership support from The David and Lura Lovell Foundation, The Harnisch Foundation, and Adobe. Additional support is provided by Kimberly Steward, The Latinx House, Paul and Katy Drake Bettner, Barbara Bridges, Abigail Disney and Pierre Hauser—Like a River Fund, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Susan Bay Nimoy, Ann Lovell, Zions Bank, Pat Mitchell and Scott Seydel, and an anonymous donor.
The fellows selected for the 2022 Adobe Women’s Fellowship are:
Elizabeth Ai is a documentary and fiction filmmaker, show creator, and fellow of Berlinale Talents, Center for Asian American Media, Film Independent, Firelight Media, Tribeca Institute and Sundance Institute. She’s currently in post-production with her documentary feature New Wave and is simultaneously developing the dramatic series adaptation.
Deidre Backs worked at Alexander Payne’s development company before transitioning to independent producing. She was an associate producer on Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, then served under Daniel Lupi on Spielberg films and Jordan Peele’s Us. She produced Little Chief, premiering at Sundance 2020 and is a 2021 Sundance Producing alum.
Aisha Bhoori is a Pakistani-American writer who has written on MS. MARVEL (Disney+) and THE STAIRCASE (HBO Max). She is a 2021 Sundance Episodic Lab Fellow. She graduated from Harvard, where she was a three-time recipient of the Edward Eager Memorial Fund Prize for Best Creative Writing.
Based in New Orleans, Zandashé Brown is a writer/director born-and-bred in and inspired by southern Louisiana. Her work raises a Black femme lens to the tradition of southern gothic horror by exploring the axis of catharsis, spirituality, and Black southern experience. She recently participated in the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs.
Joie Estrella Horwitz is a filmmaker, writer and producer based in Los Angeles. Her work employs a mixture of research based fieldwork with a collaborative approach to filmmaking to explore the space between fact and fiction at the intersection of physical and emotional borders.
Miciana Hutcherson’s feature script, Nancy’s Girls, led to the 2019 and 2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Program Fellowships. Her second feature, Fancy Dance (co-writer), was supported by the 2021 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, 2021 SFFilm Rainin Grant, and was featured on the Indigenous List hosted by The Black List and the 2022 Scripted Cannes Screenplay List.
Meghan Ross is an Austin-based writer/director and Sundance Episodic Lab fellow. Her shorts were featured in The New Yorker’s Best Shouts of 2020 and nominated for The Webby Awards 2021. Her writing has been published by Reductress, VICE’s Broadly, TV Without Pity, The Toast, and other defunct but beloved sites.
Jin Yoo-Kim is producing Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust. She directed and produced for Take Out with Lisa Ling on HBO Max, and is in development for her docuseries, Cult Foods. She was a Sundance Producers Fellow, Firelight Media Impact Producing Fellow, and participated in the Film Independent Doc Lab.