In 2017, critically acclaimed directors and Slamdance alumni Anthony and Joe Russo announced the presentation of the inaugural AGBO Fellowship (previously “Russo Brothers’ Fellowship”) to be presented to a Slamdance filmmaker at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival. The award is presented through AGBO, the independent television and film production company founded by the Russo Brothers.
The 2021 recipient of the AGBO Fellowship was Agnieszka Polska, while 2020’s recipient was Carlota Martinez-Pereda. The 2019 recipient was Hannah Peterson and the inaugural recipient in 2018 was Yassmina Karajah.
The annual award includes a $25,000 prize in addition to an office at The Brothers’ Los Angeles-based studio, mentoring from Anthony and Joe, and a cash stipend for one year.
The Russos launched their career when their first film, Pieces, premiered at the 1997 Slamdance Festival. Steven Soderbergh, who was attending the festival, saw their film and offered to produce their next movie, Welcome To Collinwood, starring George Clooney, William H. Macy and Sam Rockwell. The Brothers have since made their mark directing four of the most successful installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Among these, Endgame grossed over $2.798 billion worldwide, thus becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.
“We’re very proud to partner with Slamdance,” said Anthony and Joe Russo. “Having begun our careers at this festival, we’re honored to partner with such a great organization, and to foster and support young filmmakers while creating a platform for new and emerging talent.”