UNCSA graduate scores Sundance fellowship
Alan J. Van Dyke, a 2006 graduate of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking, has been selected for the Sundance Institute’s fourth annual Episodic Lab. Van Dyke’s The Wasteland Survival Handbook is among 10 original independent pilots so honored by the Sundance Institute, the largest independent film festival in the United States.
The Wasteland Survival Handbook is a futuristic science-fiction farce set five generations after a global apocalypse, in which a scheming high-school teacher and an ill-tempered cannibal queen decide to team up in a battle for survival.
Recipients of the fellowship will enjoy ongoing support from the festival’s programming staff, creative advisers, and industry mentors. They will develop their series’ and pilot scripts through a series of individual and group creative sessions, screenings and pitch sessions, guided by professional show-runners, producers, and industry executives.
“It does not get any better than this for an emerging artist who is interested in writing for television,” said Susan Ruskin, the dean of the School of Filmmaking. “Sundance is the foremost organization dedicated to supporting independent film and television projects. Alan will be advised and mentored by a stellar group of industry professionals. The experience will be of tremendous benefit to his work and his career.”
A native of Shelby, North Carolina, Van Dyke was previously selected for the Nickelodeon Writing Program in 2014 and has penned several episodes of Nickelodeon’s award-winning, animated comedy series The Loud House, which in inspired by series creator Chris Savino’s childhood growing up in a large family. While a student at the School of Filmmaking, Van Dyke wrote the student short films The People in Andy (2004), There’s This Guy (also ‘04), Raccoon (2005) and Rain, Rain (2006). He also made his directorial debut with The People in Andy.
“With the recent and ongoing growth of the episodic format, there are immense opportunities for emerging storytellers,” said Michelle Satter, the founding director for the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. “With this program, we identify new and diverse voices, offering them unparalleled and sustained access to customized creative and industry support.”
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