Go behind the scenes to learn from Sundance Advisors in our Conversations from the Labs series. This collection of videos will deepen your understanding of all the creative disciplines that are supported through our Labs including Feature Film Directing and Writing, TV Writing, Emerging/Interdisciplinary Media, Documentary, Producing and Film Music.

In this video, three directors—Miguel Arteta, Walter Salles and Randa Haines—share how they conceive and construct the world of their films. Each director details how they distill their vision, allow for imaginative possibilities and engage and inspire their key collaborators. Haines shares two clips from her film The Doctor, showcasing how cinematography, production design, editing and performance all worked together to communicate the contrast between the protagonist’s god-like stature at the start of the film vs. his vulnerability after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Arteta discusses his experience building the world of Beatriz at Dinner and how choices about how to showcase an actor’s performance helps to define their place in the film’s environment. Finally, Salles shares the opening sequence of Central Station, which not only sets the table for the personal journey of the main character, but invites the audience into the socioeconomic political conditions in Brazil in the midst of a military dictatorship.

Other conversations in this ongoing series include those with editors Michelle Tesoro, Joi McMillon, Teri Shropshire & Dylan Tichenor; cinematographers Stephen Goldblatt, Robert Elswit, Brad Young and Charlotte Bruus Christensen; writer/director Miguel Arteta, writer/director Walter Salles, writer/director Randa Haines and more.

Director / Producer
Randa Haines began her career as an actress, studying with Lee Strasberg. Her first feature, CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, was nominated for three Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and five Academy Awards. The film received a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, a Directors Guild nomination for Haines, and launched Marlee Matlin's career with an Academy Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress. more...
Miguel Arteta is a Puerto Rican filmmaker living in Los Angeles. He studied film at the Wesleyan Film Program with Jeanine Basinger. His first three features, STAR MAPS (1997), CHUCK & BUCK (2000), and THE GOOD GIRL (2002), all premiered and found distribution at the Sundance Film Festival. He then made YOUTH IN REVOLT (2009) with Michael Cera, CEDAR RAPIDS (2011) with Ed Helms and John C. Reilly, and BEATRIZ AT DINNER (2017) written by Mike White and starring Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, and Connie Britton. more...
Salles’ filmic work centers on the issues of national identity and displacement. His first feature film, Foreign Land (1995), which focused on the Brazilian political turmoil of the early 90s, received the prize for Best Brazilian Film in 1995. Central Do Brasil (Central Station) won the Golden Bear at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival. During its development, Central do Brasil’s screenplay received the Sundance/NHK award. His other films received prizes at the Cannes (Linha De Passe), Venice (Behind the Sun), and San Sebastian Film Festivals. Salles also won the Golden Globe and the British BAFTA twice (The Motorcycle Diaries and Central Station). Films that Salles has directed or produced have received a total of eight Academy Award nominations, including one win for The Motorcycle Diaries. In 2014, Salles directed Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang, a documentary on the Chinese independent film director. The World of Jia Zhangke, a book with interviews conducted by Salles and Jean-Michel Frodon, was launched at the 2014 Sao Paulo International Film Festival. In 2017, Salles directed the short film When the Earth Trembles as part of the collective film Where Has Time Gone, which was produced by Jia Zhangke. Salles is also a producer of first features made by young directors from Brazil such as Karim Ainouz, Sergio Machado, Eryk Rocha and Flavia Castro. more...

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