EXCLUSIVE: Another script developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab is being made into a movie. TideRock Media and Taggart Productions said today that they’re taking Mark Elijah Rosenberg’s feature debut Ad Inexplorata into production this summer. The film, which Rosenberg will also direct, is about an American astronaut on a one-way mission to Mars. The project also received support from Creative Capital, San Francisco Film Society and the Indian Paintbrush Fellowship. Josh Penn, Matthew Parker, Jason Michael Berman and Thomas B. Fore will produce Ad Inexplorata. Penn and Parker were producers on Beasts Of The Southern Wild, which was one of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s breakout films and is now up for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture. Parker also produced Mother Of George, which was at this year’s Festival. Berman and Fore produced LUV, which played during last year’s Sundance. Michael Nardelli will serve as executive producer.
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The founder of Brooklyn’s Rooftop Films, Rosenberg was a 2011 Screenwriters Lab participant. Introduced in 1990, the Lab has proven a viable breeding ground for filmmakers and for Sundance itself. Now held twice a year at the Sundance Resort in Utah, the Lab is a five-day workshop where six to eight indie writers work with established screenwriters like Walter Mosley to develop their projects. Filmmakers can apply for the January workshop, which is usually held before the Film Festival. The June Lab is invite only. Many of those who go through the Screenwriters Lab move on to the Directors Lab as well as other aspects of Sundance’s Feature Film Program. And that’s where, like with Ad Inexplorata, you’re seeing some real results. David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale, both of which were big draws at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, came out of the January 2012 Screenwriters Lab. The Oscar nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild was a 2011 Screenwriters Lab participant as was Elgin James’ Little Birds debut in back in 2009. As well as including filmmakers from around the world in Labs in Utah, the Sundance Institute established the RAWI Middle East Screenwriters Lab in Jordan in 2005. In 2011, former Miramax production President and recently appointed Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam introduced the Mumbai Mantra // Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab for Indian filmmakers.