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Emerson @ Sundance 2023

theater marquis lit up at night reading Sundance Film Festival

Oscar nominee and Peabody and Emmy Award winner Elaine McMillion Sheldon, MFA ’13 and Mary Helena Clark ’05 will screen their most recent documentaries next month at the Sundance Film Festival, joining multiple alumni who have worked on films entered into the festival.

Sundance will run from January 19-29, in Park City, Utah.

Director/producer McMillion Sheldon’s King Coal will have its world premiere in the NEXT category, which showcases “bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling.” King Coal examines the past, present, and future of coal-mining country as the power of coal wanes, told through the journey of a young girl learning the story of coal.

Clark co-directed A Common Sequence, which looks at the people saving animals from extinction, researching medicine, harvesting food, and coding the human genome in a world controlled by data. The doc is premiering in the New Frontier category, which “champions artists who engage in experimental storytelling at the crossroads of film, art, performance, and media technology.”

Ben Brewer ’10 is writer/director of the short A Folded Ocean, screening with the Midnight Shorts Program.

Elaine Sheldon McMillion, Kevin Blankenship, Anna Feder
Elaine McMillion Sheldon, MFA ’13, left, speaks after a screening of her film Heroin(e) in 2018. File photo

Rob Wilson ’04 associate produced and edited Fancy Dance, in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. In Fancy Dance, a Native American woman whose sister has disappeared kidnaps her niece from her white grandparents and embarks on a search for the missing woman. Wilson also did editing work on Fair Play, entered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, about a young couple whose relationship is threatened when one of them gets promoted at a cutthroat hedge fund.

Emily Grill ’14, was casting assistant on no fewer than three films being screened at Sundance this year: Eileen (Premieres), You Hurt My Feelings (Premieres), and Shortcomings (U.S. Dramatic Competition).

Also working on Eileen were Liz Vacovec, MA ’11, executive in charge of physical production, and Dylan Tonken ’21, extras casting assistant. Randi Antenberg ’21 was a production assistant on You Hurt My Feelings, and Nathan Gendzier ’82 was location manager on Shortcomings.

Ric Schnupp ’09 was re-recording mixer/supervising sound editor on KOKOMO CITY (NEXT)

Other alumni work at Sundance:

Alex Berman ’94 was colorist on Cat Person (Premieres)

Beatrice Black ’20 was health and safety production assistant on A Thousand and One (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

Siobhan Dolan ’18 was production secretary on Young. Wild. Free. (NEXT)

Sebastian Hernandez ’17 was a production assistant on Ricky (U.S. Fiction Short Films)

Emerson folks planning to head to Park City are invited to a mix-and-mingle event with fellow Emersonians and industry professionals on Friday, January 20, 12:00-3:00 pm MST, at The Spur Bar and Grill. Learn more and reserve a spot on Eventbrite.

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