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Will Participate With Script Written, Directed by Fellow Alumnus Alex Moratto

WINSTON-SALEM – Summer Shelton, a 2008 alumna of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking, has been named the first Bingham Ray Producing Fellow by the Sundance Institute.

Ray, a producer and executive, died earlier this year. For many years, he was a fixture at the Sundance Festival.

Shelton’s is one of only 11 projects selected for the Sundance Institute’s prestigious Creative Producing Labs and Creative Producing Summit, to be held July 30-Aug. 5 at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah. Shelton is one of five Fellows participating in the Feature Film Program; there are six Fellows participating in the Documentary Film Program. The 11 projects and Fellows will receive ongoing creative and strategic support throughout the year, as well as direct granting for further development and production.

The Feature Film Creative Producing Lab is a five-day Lab where narrative feature film producers work with an accomplished group of Creative Advisors to develop their creative instincts, communication and problem-solving skills in all stages of film production.

Shelton, a Mt. Airy native, will work on a script (“Untitled Amazon Project”) which was written by Winston-Salem native and School of Filmmaking alumnus Alex Moratto (2010). Moratto will also direct.

A synopsis of the feature film in development: When a lumber conglomerate evicts their family, two brothers attempt to smuggle exotic lumber in hopes of selling it on the black market for money to buy their family new land, but what begins as a hopeful act turns into a journey more dangerous than they imagined.

For more information, see the Sundance Institute website, as well as articles in The New York Times and Variety:

Summer Shelton is a free-lance producer born and raised in North Carolina. She often works alongside critically acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani, having been the associate producer of his upcoming feature AT ANY PRICE (2012) starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, his third feature GOODBYE SOLO (2008), which was an official selection of the Venice Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize for Best Film, and co-producer of his short PLASTIC BAG (2009) which premiered as the opening night film of the Corto Cortissimo in the Venice Film Festival and screened at Telluride and New York film festivals. PLASTIC BAG features the voice of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog and an original score from Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Rós. Aside from her work with Bahrani, she is the co-producer of Scott Coffey’s second feature film ADULT WORLD (2012) and has worked as free-lance production manager and coordinator on various independent films.

Alex Moratto is a Directors Guild of America Award-winning filmmaker who has directed award-winning short films and commercials. He received his BFA from the UNCSA School of Filmmaking, where he was a Kenan Excellence Award Scholar. He is a veteran of Werner Herzog’s Rogue Seminar, and is a North Carolina Arts Council Screenwriting Fellow. His latest effort, THE PARTING, has been screened at the RiverRun International Film Festival and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. 

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as BORN INTO BROTHELS, TROUBLE THE WATER, SON OF BABYLON, AMREEKA, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, Spring Awakening, The Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. World-renowned conductor and educator John Mauceri became Chancellor of UNCSA in 2006. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.