Sun Valley, ID (Mar. 15, 2023) — Variety has announced the 2023 class of 10 Producers to Watch who will join Creative Impact in Producing recipient, Nina Yang Bongiovi, and they will all be feted at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Idaho. The producers will be recognized during the Variety 10 Producers to Watch panel scheduled on March 31 at 4:00 p.m., moderated by Todd Gilchrist. The 10 Producers to Watch are:
- Mali Elfman (“Birth/Rebirth”)
- Rachael Fung (“Fremont”)
- Jamie Gonçalves (“Dos Estaciones”)
- Margot Hand (“Shortcomings”)
- Karl Hartman (“Eric Larue”)
- Karina Manashil (“Pearl“)
- Nikkia Moulterie (“Nanny”)
- Rishi Rajani (“Chang Can Dunk”)
- Jolene Rodriquez (“Righteous Thieves”)
- Valerie Steinberg (“Silver Star”)
“With the theatrical movie experience facing perhaps the greatest crisis in 100 years, the challenges facing film producers have never been more daunting,” said Steve Gaydos, Variety EVP of Global Content. “Mixing the hard cold facts of 21st century movie economics with the rules of new platforms and the complex needs of young audiences, producers of vision and daring are needed more urgently than ever. Here are 10 producers who dare to step up to face the tasks at hand. Variety is excited to celebrate them and Nina Yang Bongiovi in Sun Valley.”
“We are so thrilled to welcome Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch to Sun Valley as well as our Creative Impact Award recipient, Nina Yang Bongiovi,” said Teddy Grennan, founder and director of the Sun Valley Film Festival. “The caliber of talent brought by these honorees is unmatched and we are looking forward to celebrating their inspiring work.”
Two of the current producers have films screening at the Sun Valley Film Festival including Mali Elfman’s horror flick “Birth/Rebirth,” that follows a little girl’s dark revival back to life; and Rachael Fung’s “Fremont,” a story about an Afghan refugee as she navigates her new life in California. The two titles also recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, along with Margot Hand’s ”Shortcomings,” a romantic comedy directed by Randall Park; and Jamie Gonçalves’ “Dos Estaciones,” the feature that pays tribute to Mexico’s artisanal tequila makers.
“Chang Can Dunk’s” producer, Rishi Rajani has joined his counterpart, director Jingyi Shao, on Variety’s list of creatives to watch in 2023. The upcoming film follows as Chinese American high school student naively enters a bet and wagers $3,000, after promising his peers he’ll be able to dunk a basketball by the end of the school’s season. “Chang Can Dunk” will premiere on Disney+ film later this year. In addition, Nikkia Moulterie, the producer on the 2022 Sundance grand jury prize winner, “Nanny,” has been recognized this year. The thriller feature follows as a Senegalese undocumented immigrant has been stuck caring for another woman’s child, all in effort to obtain the funds to move her son from Senegal.
The 10 Producers to Watch will join previously announced Creative Impact in Producing Award recipient to Nina Yang Bongiov, who will participate in a Coffee Talk at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 31. The festival will also screen the film Fancy Dance, which she was a producer on. She has consistently put forward unique and compelling stories in both film and television. Bongiovi’s credits include “Dope,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Passing” and her critically acclaimed “Fruitvale Station.”
Variety’s 10 to Watch series spotlights emerging writers, actors, producers, directors, comics and cinematographers. Each of these lists is curated by a team of Variety editors, critics and reporters. Previous honorees include Jordan Fudge and Jeremy Allen (“United States vs. Billie Holiday”), Nicole Lambert (“The Many Saints of Newark”) in 2021; Peter Spears (“Nomadland”) in 2020; and Anita Gou (“The Farewell”) in 2019.
For additional information on films and ticket/pass details, visit: www.sunvalleyfilmfestival.org.