Kenyan scriptwriter, director and producer, Tony Koros, has made the list as a Fellow for this month’s screenwriters Lab.
Tony began his career as a staff writer for Mheshimiwa, a comedy drama series that was aired on KTN. He has also written for acclaimed tv drama series Jane & Abel and One in a Million, both airing on Multichoice’s Maisha Magic East. He has served as both a writer and content producer for corporate entities such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Standard Chartered Bank, the Urgent Action Fund and the Association of Media Women in Kenya.
Tony has also worked with Filamujuani (Films in the Sun), an organization that takes high school students from slum areas and trains them in video production and photography. Over 90 students have now gone through the program.
His latest short film, Tithes & Offerings, premiered in competition at the 2019 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and has since been acquired for distribution by CANAL+, a French premium tv station. His previous short films have screened at over 70 international film festivals including the Palm Springs International Shortfest (where he won the Alexis Prize in 2017)
Tony describes himself as a storyteller, whose works reflect a Kenya he knows, a Kenya whose stories need to be told. He says that the Kenyan beautiful landscape is an aspect he continues to reflect in his films. He writes for the people that have gotten him to where he is, for the people whose stories need to be told, and because writing is his number one craft.
The Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab is known for championing independent stories for the stage and screen, providing and preserving the space for artists in film, theatre, film composing, and digital media to create and thrive.
This January, the Sundance Institute selected fifteen budding storytellers from Chile, India, Kenya, Tunisia and the U.S. to meet virtually for its January Screenwriters Lab. The online event will take place online via Sundance Co//ab from January 11th -15th, 2021.
The Fellows will work to further develop twelve original projects, in collaboration with an experienced group of Creative Advisors, under the leadership of Michelle Satter (Founding Director, Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program).
Other projects and Fellows selected for the Screenwriters lab include:
1. The Catch (Ghol) – (India)
Rishi Chandna (writer/director) – Rishi Chandna is a self-taught filmmaker based in Mumbai.
2. Chariot – U.S.A
Alyssa Loh (writer) – Alyssa Loh is a writer and filmmaker whose essays on technology, surveillance, and visual culture have appeared in Artforum, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The American Reader, where she served as deputy editor.
3. Fancy Dance – U.S.A
Erica Tremblay (co-writer/director) and Miciana Alise (co-writer) – Erica Tremblay is an award-winning writer and director from the Seneca-Cayuga Nation.
4. Forward – U.S.A
Mary Ann Anane (writer) and Cris Gris (director) – Mary Ann Anane is a Ghanaian-born, New Jersey-raised screenwriter and novelist.
Cris Gris holds an MFA in directing and screenwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
5.The Macrobiotic Toker – U.S.A
Tracy Droz Tragos (writer/director) – Tracy Droz Tragos is a writer, filmmaker, and mother of two kids.
6. Motherhood – Tunisia
Meryam Joobeur (writer/director) – Meryam Joobeur is a Tunisian American director, based in Montréal, Canada.
7. The Mysterious Gaze of the Flamingo – Chile
Diego Céspedes (writer/director) – Diego Céspedes is a Chilean filmmaker who studied Film & Television at Universidad de Chile.
8. Black Comic-Con – U.S.A
Natasha Rothwell (writer/director) – Natasha Rothwell is a series regular and producer on Issa Rae’s Peabody Award-winning HBO series Insecure, for which she was nominated for a 2019 NAACP Image Award.
9. Parts & Labor – U.S.A
Cristina Costantini (co-writer/director) and Jacob Albert (co-writer) – Cristina Costantini is an Emmy Award-winning director.
Jacob Albert lives in Oakland. He ghostwrites popular science books for research scientists and is at work on a novel. Formerly a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he has received fellowships from the Blue Mountain Center, the Michener Center, and the Elizabeth George Foundation.
10. A Real One – U.S.A
McKenzie Chinn (writer/director) – McKenzie Chinn is a filmmaker, actor, and poet based in Chicago.
11. Stampede – U.S.A
Sontenish Myers(writer/director) – Sontenish Myers is a Jamaican-American writer-director based in Harlem, New York.