Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Film Commission is pleased to announce the filmmakers selected for the 2023-24 INDIE GRANTS program. The three filmmakers will receive funding to produce short films, and their production crews will provide real-world training to South Carolina’s future filmmakers.
Created to bolster South Carolina’s film industry, INDIE GRANTS connect rising filmmakers with the resources they need to take their ideas from script to screen. The short films created through the program have been official selections at more than 200 international film festivals, including Sundance, Tribeca, the American Black Film Festival, and more.
The selected projects are:
- THE OFF-BRANDS | Columbia
Shayla Racquel, Co-Writer/Director
Constance, a quirky teenager, tries to gain recognition in her high school beyond being labeled as "sickly."
Michelle Iannantuono, Writer/Director and Maddox-Julien Slide, AD/Line Producer, in collaboration with Trident Technical College, incorporating motion capture and UnReal Engine 5
A sci-fi romcom. A trans street kid named Lazzo smashes every obstacle in his cyberpunk world to acquire a new arm for his disabled android girlfriend - even if it means stealing one.
Rhodes Farrell, Producer and McKinley Benson, Writer/Director
A struggling man resorts to cloning himself for financial gain, but when his clone runs away, the two embark on a comical and heartwarming voyage of self-discovery.
“It has always been a dream to marry my love of film with my love of my hometown, which molded me into the woman I am today,” said Shayla Racquel of Columbia, director and co-writer of THE OFF-BRANDS. “To receive this grant feels like a major acknowledgment to keep going, and I cannot wait to make South Carolina proud with this project.”
Each short film will employ top industry department heads and professional crews, providing real-world workforce training for emerging crew through Trident Technical College.
“Production jobs are lucrative and employ a wide variety of skill sets in the state,” said Matt Storm, South Carolina Film Commissioner. “It’s an industry used by all sectors of our economy. We’re focused on helping grow the film industry by offering training and support for South Carolinians so they can better leverage the opportunities it offers. INDIE GRANTS is an important tool in helping us do that.”
Professional collaborators who support grant recipients through the creative process have included Oscar-winning Cinematographer Russell Carpenter (Avatar: The Way of Water, Titanic), Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect, Perfect Harmony), Madeleine McGraw (Black Phone, Outcast), Jackie Hoffman (Glass Onion, Only Murders In The Building), and writer Brad Land (Goat).
“I'm proud to have been given this opportunity as a chance to represent the Upstate and show what we're capable of,” said Rhodes Farrell, Producer of CLONELY. “It's not just me who is the recipient of this grant but rather our whole community.”
“We can’t wait to show you something you've never seen before,” said Michelle Iannantuono, writer/director of LAZZO, one of the other films selected. “And offer unique opportunities to the state’s film community while doing it."
Production teams with homegrown connections to South Carolina can apply for the next Indie Grants funding cycle in spring 2024.
For more information on Indie Grants and other training programs, visit indiegrants.org. Headshots, behind-the-scenes photographs, and other artwork available upon request.