LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Sundance Institute announced its first Bingham Ray Producing Fellow on Monday, and for local residents, the name selected for the prestigious recognition may be a familiar one.
A project to be produced by Summer Shelton was selected as one of 11 for the annual Creative Producing Labs and Creative Producing Summit, both held in the same week at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah.
As part of the announcement, Shelton was named as the first Bingham Ray Producing Fellow. Bingham Ray was a well-known independent film producer and executive who died earlier this year.
The 11 projects have been selected to participate in the Labs on July 30–Aug. 3 and will receive ongoing creative and strategic support throughout the year, as well as direct granting for further development and production.
Immediately following the Creative Producing Labs, the Creative Producing Summit (Aug. 3-5) begins. The summit is an invitation-only gathering that connects 40 producers and directors, including the Producing Fellows, with more than 30 top independent film industry leaders for three days of case study sessions, panels, roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings and pitching sessions.
Shelton is the daughter of Chester and Sandra Shelton of Westfield and a 1998 graduate of East Surry High School. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pfeiffer University in 2001 and a Master of Arts degree from Wake Forest University in 2006. She also studied filmmaking at the N.C. School of the Arts.
She now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., working as a freelance producer. She often works with critically acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani and was the associate producer of his upcoming feature, “At Any Price” (2012) starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron and “Goodbye Solo” (2008), an official selection of the Venice Film Festival that won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize for Best Film and co-producer of his short, “Plastic Bag” (2009). She is the co-producer of Scott Coffey’s upcoming feature, “Adult World” (2012), and has worked as a production manager and coordinator on various independent films.
Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute, said, “Sundance Institute is committed to supporting emerging independent film producers, and our Creative Producing Initiative is a rare opportunity for them to sharpen their creative instincts, evolve their problem-solving skills, and deepen their knowledge of the distribution landscape. In doing so, they are better equipped to successfully navigate an increasingly complex marketplace.”
Shelton’s project, as yet untitled, involves the attempts of two brothers to smuggle exotic lumber after a lumber conglomerate evicts their family. With plans to sell the lumber on the black market for money to buy their family new land, the pair launch on a journey more dangerous than they imagined. The effort is written and directed by Alex Moratto.