Film Independent Sets Participants For 2024 Global Media Makers LA Residency

EXCLUSIVE: Film Independent and the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday named the 20 filmmakers, from 12 different nations, selected to participate in the 2024 Global Media Makers LA Residency.

Running for five weeks, through June 30, the residency connects international filmmakers with each other and the U.S. entertainment industry, the goal being to build a multi-regional network that supports creative economic development and freedom of expression through global storytelling. Over the course of the program, fellows participate in filmmaking tracks focused on screenwriting, directing, creative development, and documentary filmmaking, where they develop their current projects. The program also provides master classes, industry sessions, field trips, cultural engagement, and networking opportunities.

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This marks the 10th GMM residency organized by Film Independent since 2016, coming off its first overseas residency in Colombia in April. With a record number of over 650 filmmakers nominated to apply, the selection process was highly competitive, attracting a diverse pool of creatives, including filmmakers from Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe for the first time.

“With this new cohort hailing from South Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Arab World, and Ukraine, we have now built a global community that is over 180 filmmakers strong, while forging alliances with a multitude of regional festivals and media arts organizations who are engaged in building sustainable ecosystems for these filmmakers to continue creating their important and urgent films,” said María Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Programs at Film Independent. “In LA our Fellows not only make long-lasting relationships with American Mentors but form strong bonds of collaboration with their peers across borders.”

Over the years, the Global Media Makers LA Residency has had more than 450 filmmakers and executives participate as mentors, including Mollye Asher (Nomadland); Effie Brown (CEO, Gamechanger); Shane Boris (Navalny); S. Leo Chiang (Island in Between); Eric d’Arbeloff (Co-President and Co-Founder, Roadside Attractions); Elissa Federoff (President of Distribution, Neon); Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives); Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain); Alan Poul (Tokyo Vice); Peggy Rajski (Trevor); Datari Turner (They Cloned Tyrone); Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Ron Yerxa (Little Miss Sunshine) and more.

Filmmakers working with the program this year include Amman Abbasi (Yasmeen’s Element); Ruth Atkinson (Script Consultant); Iram Parveen Bilal (Wakhri); Wendy Calhoun (Justified); Javier Fuentes-León (The Best Families); Ted Hope (The Savages); Lisa Leeman (One Lucky Elephant); Alix Madigan (Winter’s Bone); Avril Speaks (Jinn); and Angel Kristi Williams (Really Love), among others.

For a list of this year’s Fellows and their projects, broken down by country, read on.


Director/Producer: ABM Nazmul Huda
Project: First Fairytale Book
Type: Documentary Feature
Logline: Younguang Mro must climb both literal and metaphorical mountains in order to save his tribe’s most precious fairy tales that are in danger of disappearing.


Director: Debalina Majumder
Project: Citizen Nagar
Type: Documentary Feature
Logline: The survivors of the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre die slowly at the edges of a garbage dump, in the outskirts of a shining metropolis, Ahmedabad.

Writer/Producer: Saagar Gupta
Writer/Director/Producer: Sridhar Rangayan
Project: Songs of Eternal Love
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After the death of his lover, a grieving Jewish American professor must travel to India to face his partner’s Muslim family, who were unaware of their late son’s sexuality.


Writer/Director/Producer: Iván Löwenberg
Project: Enemy Alien
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Filemón, a man trapped by his mundane existence, goes from ironing shirts at his family business to becoming an unexpected hero during World War II in Mexico.


Director: Shanta Nepali Sharki
Project: The Last Survivors of Dhye
Type: Documentary Feature
Logline: Three women on the High Himalayan plateau must navigate the growing challenges of shifting climates, forcing them to relocate and leave behind culture and identity.


Writer/Director: Diepriye Diri
Project: Baby Girl
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Baby Girl struggles to understand why her mother hates her. As she goes on a journey of self-discovery, she uncovers the situation surrounding her birth.


Producer: Haris Khan
Writer/Director: Eshah Shakeel
Project: Dancers
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Paras and Ramza’s secret passion for dance blooms in a small, conventional town in Punjab, which is grappling with corruption under the garb of modernity.

South Africa

Producer: Babalwa Baartman
Writer: Neo Sibiya
Project: Ukushona Kwelanga
Type: Episodic Series
Logline: When Anathi kills her rapist, a close friend, she must find a way to heal or risk losing herself.

Sri Lanka

Writer/Director/Producer: Bavaneedha Loganathan
Project: 46 Mondays
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: During the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, a widow and her autistic daughter travel to a military prison for 46 consecutive Mondays to ensure that her brother remains alive.


Writer/Director: Wajdi Jhimi
Project: Oleander
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Driven by greed, a brother plots to seize the farm that his sister inherited. War is inevitable.


Producer: Heddwyn Kyambadde
Writer/Director: Isaac Oboth
Project: Mr. Otim
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After finding out his son needs a life-saving surgery, a 36-year-old math teacher takes on a second job as a kickboxer to pay for the surgery.


Writer/Director: Zoya Laktionova
Producer: Nataliya Libet
Project: Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface
Type: Documentary Feature
Logline: Extracted from under the rubble of war, diaries tell the tragic stories of three generations of Ukrainian families in Mariupol, including the director’s.

Writer/Director: Anastasiya Gruba
Producer: Oleksandra Kostina
Project: Women Suicide Season
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Simon escapes from his mother to a hermit’s life in a trailer, but his loneliness is interrupted by suicidal women who are drowning nearby.


Writer/Director: Naishe Nyamubaya
Project: Black Snake
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: A family is forced to face their true cultural heritage when the appearance of a mysterious tree coincides with their move to a remote village.

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