UNCSA graduate Summer Shelton nominated for prestigious prize
Summer Shelton, a 2008 graduate of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, has been nominated for the Piaget Producers Award from the Independent Spirit Awards, which will be presented March 3 in Santa Monica, California, and broadcasted live on IFC beginning at 5 p.m. that day.
Film Independent has recognized and celebrated artist-driven filmmaking since 1980, its members being filmmakers, industry leaders, and film lovers. For 21 years, the Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite budget limitations, have demonstrated the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films. The award includes an unrestricted grant of $25,000 sponsored by Piaget.
“The members of Film Independent are professionals with unique vision and passion for storytelling,” Susan Ruskin, dean of the School of Filmmaking, observed. “That perfectly describes Summer Shelton, who has produced films that are incredibly well-crafted. This nomination by her peers is richly deserved, and we wish her the best.”
Shelton, a native of Mount Airy, began her professional career as associate producer on Ramin Bahrani’s award-winning 2008 drama Goodbye Solo (which was filmed in Winston-Salem), followed by Bahrani’s 2009 short Plastic Bag (the opening-night short at the Corto Cortissimo in the Venice Film Festival) and Himkar Tak’s award-winning short Medicine Man the same year, then re-teaming with Bahrani in Sigur Ros: Eg anda (2012).
Shelton was the associate producer of Bahrani’s 2012 feature At Any Price and co-producer of director Scott Coffey’s Adult World (2013), both of which she also appeared in. She co-produced Goodbye to All That (2014), the feature directorial debut of acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Angus MacLachlan (also a UNCSA graduate), followed by Little Accidents (2014), the award-winning feature debut of writer/director Sara Colangelo, which had its world premiere at Sundance.
Her subsequent credits include writer/director Jim Strouse’s award-winning comedy People Places Things (2015), the short Icarus (2015), and Andrew Jarecki’s Emmy-winning HBO mini-series documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015), which resulted in the arrest of its subject in New Orleans prior to the final installment’s broadcast.
Last year, Shelton produced writer/director Rachel Israel’s debut feature, Keep the Change, an expansion of her 2013 short of the same name, which won a FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival’s award as Best Narrative Feature. Shelton’s most recent credit is writer/director Matthew Brown’s Maine, starring Laia Costa and Thomas Mann, due for release this year.
This is only the latest recognition Shelton has received, having been the recipient of the inaugural Bingham Ray Creative Fellowship from the Sundance Institute in 2012, so named for the renowned film executive who co-founded October Films and championed independent filmmakers; a Rotterdam Producing Fellowship in 2013, and Film Independent Sloan Producing Fellowship in 2014.
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