A film exploring the human face of drug trafficking in Colombia became the first of the 2013 NYU Purple List films to wrap production. Manos Sucias, co-written by NYU Tisch graduate film thesis students Josef Wladyka and Alan Blanco, directed by Wladyka and shot by Blanco, began shooting last month and wrapped production this week.
Now in its second year, the NYU Purple List is a short list of the best screenplays generated from the NYU graduate film program. Purple List selections are made annually by industry experts, which this year included Sundance Labs’ Rachel Chanoff, IFP Labs’ Amy Dotson, actor Peter Dinklage, filmmaker Karyn Kusama and cinematographer Chris Manley.
Manos Sucias tells the thrilling tale of a desperate fisherman and a naive kid who embark on a dangerous journey trafficking drugs up the Pacific coast of Colombia. The film, Wladyka's NYU graduate film thesis and his first feature, is also the winner of the Spike Lee Fellowship Award and was produced by NYU Tisch graduate film 2013 graduate Elena Greenlee.
“In February of 2010, I set out on a journey to two major port cities on the southern Pacific coast of Colombia accompanied by an NYU colleague and a close friend native to the region. We were granted special access to Malaga Naval base, where we photographed and explored narco submarines and torpedoes confiscated by the Colombian Navy,” said Wladyka. “What struck me most were the realities of those ensnared by this world. Over the next two years, I returned to the homes of these individuals and listened to their deeply personal accounts of how their lives remain entrenched in the drug trade.”
Submissions for consideration for the Purple List are received exclusively from the NYU graduate film program. Out of last year’s Purple List winners, Shaka King's “Newlyweeds,” was an Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Kim Spurlock's “The Whispering Giant” was part of the IFP Emerging Narrative Lab and Chloe Zhao's “Lee,” was accepted in both the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and the IFP Emerging Narrative Lab.
Other 2013 Purple List winners include Desiree Akhavan, who is midway through production of Disposable Lovers, shooting right now in New York City; Pamela Romanowsky, who just returned from the Sundance Directing Lab with The Adderall Diaries; “Arrow,” by Emily Carmichael; “Out There” by Jennifer Suhr; “Those People” by Joey Kuhn and Grainne Belluomo; and “Yosemite” by Gabrielle Demeestere.
“Films like Manos Sucias embody the high degree of research, collaboration and risk taking involved in generating a truly authentic narrative that is characteristic of our MFA program,” said John Tintori, chair of the graduate film program at NYU. “With the Purple List and other innovative programs, we endeavor to give our students that extra bump in terms of raising awareness for their work and, ultimately, getting their films made.”
The 2013 NYU Purple List is available at: http://gradfilm.tisch.nyu.edu/object/purple_list.html