Five Black screenwriters and directors were selected to take part in the 2019 Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Labs at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah.

The Directors Lab, which began May 27 and goes until June 18, will give directors a hands-on experience in which they will rehearse, edit and shoot important scenes from their scripts. The Screenwriters Lab, which will take place from June 20 to June 24, will provide one-on-one screenwriting sessions with screenwriting advisors.

Among the recipients of these fellowships include A.V. Rockwell, Dionne Edwards, Aristotle Torres, Bonsu Thompson and Kobi Libii.

Among A.V. Rockwell’s list of credits include her recently-released and acclaimed short film, Feathers as well as The Gospel, KIDS and B.L.B. Rockwell was also a recipient of fellowships from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Sundance Institute. Bronx native Artistole Torres recently finished production on his third short film, The Chair, a Mandarin thriller which just finished shooting on location in Taiwan. Brooklynite Bonsu Thompson is a former editor-in-chief for The Source, as well as the creator and executive producer of the digital series, Prelude. UK Native Dionne Edwards’ short film, We Love Moses, was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Actor, writer and comedian Kobi Libii has accrued acting credits on shows such as Transparent, Girls, Jessica Jones, and Madam Secretary.

Learn about their intriguing projects below:

The American Society of Magical Negroes (U.S.A.) / Kobi Libii (director and screenwriter): Omar, a young black man, is recruited into an undercover society of Magical Negroes who secretly conjure literal magic to make white people’s lives easier. Once he realizes they are using supernatural means to do the very thing he’s felt obligated to do his whole life, he attempts to buck the system and put his own dreams first.

A Thousand and One Nights (U.S.A.) / A.V. Rockwell (director and screenwriter): An orphan with a mysterious past and the free-spirited hairdresser who takes him in embark on a search for identity and stability in a rapidly changing New York City.

Story Ave. (U.S.A.) / Aristotle Torres (director and co-writer) and Bonsu Thompson (co-writer): After running away from guilt and grief, a teenage graffiti artist holds up an unsuspecting old man in a robbery gone right that changes both of their lives forever.

Pretty Red Dress (United Kingdom) / Dionne Edwards (director and screenwriter): South London, present day. Travis, a black man newly released from prison, returns to a turbulent home life with his longtime girlfriend Candice and their androgynous daughter Kenisha. The family’s precarious balance is sent spinning when they discover him cross-dressing, calling all of their relationships into question.


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Photo: Getty Images/ Bonsu Thompson / Aristotle Torres