AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers will return to the bargaining table today for a fourth day of negotiations after taking the weekend off. Both sides began formal talks Wednesday afternoon after talks broke down between SAG and the AMPTP. AFTRA and SAG are negotiating the primetime/TV contract separately for the first time in 27 years. A source close to the negotiations said the producers offered to return to the bargaining table the last week of May, giving AFTRA sufficient time to work out a deal with the AMPTP.
Director Michael Almereyda ("Hamlet") will receive this year's $25,000 Sundance/ Sloan Commissioning Grant, and screenwriter Ryan Knighton has been named the 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. Almereyda's prize will help develop his treatment of "The Stanley Milgram Project" into a screenplay, based on the early-1960s violent obedience experiments involving Yale students. The blind Knighton will develop a screenplay based on his memoir "Cockeyed."
Lab work set
Sundance revealed its 16 Directors and Screenwriters Lab participants and their all-star creative advisers. The lineup of mentors includes Robert Redford, Walter Bernstein, Atom Egoyan, Stephen Gaghan, Susannah Grant, Randa Haines, Dylan Kidd, Christine Lahti, Michael Lehmann, Tim Blake Nelson, Iain Softley and Vilmos Zsigmond. The Directors Lab will be held May 26-June 21, and the Screenwriters Lab is June 21-26 in Sundance.