1497, the nonprofit organization that is dedicated to supporting South Asian filmmakers, has announced Mira Nair, Geeta Malik, and Minhal Baig as mentors for its third Features Lab.
The Lab’s first year was held virtually, while the second year was hybrid, held virtually and in-person. For its third year, 1497 is conducting the Lab as an in-person in Malibu, California. Baig is returning after having also served as a mentor for last year’s lab.
The 2023 edition will move cross-country to Malibu for the first time, taking place October 18 through 23, wherein a newly structured format each of the three Lab participants will be given a dedicated pod of experts — a filmmaker, a producer, a representative, and a Lab alum from whom they will receive script feedback and career guidance.
Mentees will also work with filmmaker and veteran script consultant Adrienne Weiss to further develop their scripts, with a particular emphasis on the emotional journey of their stories.
1497 has assembled a team of industry figures descended from all eight officially recognized South Asian countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka — to serve as mentors, Lab advisors, and on the selection committee.
Apart from Oscar and BAFTA nominated Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, Mississippi Masala), recipient of the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women and the Academy Nicholl Fellowship Geeta Malick (India Sweets and Spices, Abbott Elementary), and Sundance favorite Minhal Baig (Hala, We Grown Now), this year’s mentor pods also include Mohammed Ali (Authentic), Uzma Hasan (Little House Productions), Raj Raghavan (ColorCreative), Kishori Rajan (Random Acts of Flyness), Priya Satiani (Entertainment 360), Rabia Sultana (Sultana Films), and 1497 Features Lab Alums Sofian Khan (The Interpreters), Kaushik Sampath (Grooming), and Iesh Thapar (Alien Kulture).