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MFA in Film

202020 Filmmaker Darcy Brislin Earns a Spot In Sundance Institute's 2017 Screenwriters Lab

darcy brislin
Darcy Brislin

January 5, 2017—Stony Brook Southampton/Killer Films MFA in Film Associate Director Magdalene Brandeis has announced that Darcy Brislin, a student in the MFA in Film's groundbreaking 202020 program, and her writing partner Dyana Winkler have been selected to take part in Sundance Institute's 2017 Screenwriters Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah running from January 13 to 18, 2017.

Drawn from around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Chile, and Iran, the screenwriters selected for the immersive writing workshop will have the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that embraces creative risk-taking and the art and craft of cinematic storytelling.

Under the leadership of Sundance Institute's Feature Film Program founding Director Michelle Satter and Labs Director Ilyse McKimmie, the fellows will work with a distinguished group of creative advisors headed up by Artistic Director Howard Rodman.

"In a time when the core values that Sundance champions—freedom of expression, inclusion, empathy—are as important as they've ever been, we are thrilled to be supporting this group of singular storytellers whose bold and personal work exemplifies those ideals," Satter said. "As a whole, they reflect the consistent breadth and artistry of diverse perspectives in independent storytelling."

"Darcy came into 202020 with a perfectly constructed short film script," Brandeis said, "although she realized the project was quite challenging, technically. The story took place all in one night at a gala party under a tent next to our historic Southampton windmill. But Darcy pulled it off. It's been a pleasure for me to review some of her longer form projects over the years. I'm thrilled with her recent success through our friends at Sloan and at Sundance."

Brislin, who hails from Boston, studied art history and French at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She received an MFA in screenwriting and directing from EICAR, the International Film School of Paris, where she met co-writer Dyana Winkler. Currently based in Los Angeles, Brislin has written screenplays with Sundance award-winning director Ondi Timoner and has a feature film in development entitled Crown Chasers, with Maria Bello attached to produce.

Dyana Winkler is a writer, director, and producer based in Brooklyn. Her most recent film, a feature-length documentary entitled "United Skates," is currently in post-production and has received awards from the Sundance Institute, New York State Council For the Arts, Fledgling Foundation, Film Independent, Chicken & Egg, IFP, and many more.

Brislin and Winkler met in Paris while completing their MFAs in screenwriting and directing, and discovered their shared passion for casting new light on historical figures. They went on to write their first screenplay "Turing," and have teamed up for a second time with "Bell," the recipient of the 2016 Sundance Sloan Commissioning Grant, and the project they will be working on at Sundance.

The film examines the role of Alexander Graham Bell at a pivotal point in history, when hearing society began a golden age of communication with the advent of the telephone and deaf society plummeted into a dark age with the eradication of sign language and spread of eugenics. The two women's project is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship for this year's Screenwriters Lab at Sundance.

The Screenwriters Labs at Sundance are the centerpiece of the Institute's year-round work and part of 24 residential labs the Institute hosts each year around the world to discover and foster the talent of emerging independent artists in film, episodic content, theatre, new media and music.