Checking in with MPS Grant Winner Daniel Laabs

Dec 14, 2015

Writer/Director Daniel Laabs on a location scout in October 2015.

In September, the Austin Film Society & MPS awarded one of three MPS Camera & Lighting Grants to Writer/Director Daniel Laabs for his feature film Jules of Light and Dark. The film is a character study in the form of a police procedural. It stars Tallie Medel (known from critically-acclaimed indie films including Joy Kevin & Uncertain Terms) and Joslyn Jensen (known from the SXSW film Funny Bunny and the AFF film Her Composition), two strangers who are brought together by a mysterious car accident while each is trying to reconcile dual lives in a rural Pennsylvania town. In addition to being a grant recipient, Jules of Light and Dark was also a participant in the AFS Artist Intensive Workshop.

Daniel has directed five short films to date, the likes of which have screened at SXSW, the Dallas International Film Festival, Inside Out Toronto, the Maryland Film Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival, to name a few. Daniel and DP Greta Zozula (the Sundance film The Immaculate Reception) are gearing up to shoot on location in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains in January (brrr!) on the Arri Alexa. Jules received $3000 in equipment rentals; Dan, Greta, and the rest of the crew believe the MPS grant will help fill in some gaps in their equipment needs. They’re shooting in an area without a production house and will be sourcing gear from across the country. “Since our main core team is based in Dallas, anything we bring with us to Pennsylvania will be a little piece of home,” said Daniel. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with MPS & AFS as we prepare to make this film.” And we can’t wait to see it on the big screen!