Tribeca and Chanel Offer Women Filmmakers $100,000 in Grant Money

Tribeca and Chanel Team Up to Support Women

In this fourth annual three-day program, THROUGH HER LENS, five emerging USA-based female writers of short-narrative films will receive one-on-one mentorship, artistic guidance, and financial support from Tribeca and Chanel.

$100,000 in Filmmaker Grants

4th Annual 3-Day Program

The Leadership Committee includes Kathryn Bigelow, Lena Dunham and Courteney Cox. The purpose of this extraordinary opportunity is to propel women filmmakers forward.
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Presented by Tribeca and Chanel, in collaboration with Pulse Films, and facilitated by Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), this immersive program provides one-on-one mentorship and industry support, along with guidance for artistic development. The intense master classes run for three days.

The winning female filmmaker in the competition will be awarded full financing to produce their short film and will receive support from Tribeca Studios to bring the film project to fruition.

Here’s How It Works

Five short film projects were selected from women storytellers. During this past summer, each of the five chosen filmmakers were given the extraordinary opportunity to work with writing mentors who helped to shape and refine each of the five projects.

When and Where

From October 16 to 18, the filmmakers will gather in New York City with the mentor and program advisors for an in-depth intimate program concentrating on script-to-screen development, casting, finding collaborators, and working with cinematographers, music composers, costume designers, and producers. The selected program participants will attend master classes and have individual mentoring sessions with leading women in filmmaking, meet distributors, and spend concentrated time refining their pitching skills.

It’s a Win-Win

On the final day, each of the five filmmakers will pitch their projects to a jury of industry experts. Although only one woman will receive the full financing, no one among these five carefully-chosen filmmakers will lose.  The four runners up will also receive grant money to assist in the further development of their films.

Paula Weinstein
Paula Weinstein. Photo ©2018 Dorri Olds

“In the years since Tribeca launched THROUGH HER LENS with Chanel, the program has created invaluable opportunities for the next generation of women storytellers,” said Paula Weinstein, Executive Vice President of Tribeca Enterprises. “The program brings established women filmmakers together to mentor these emerging voices, provide hands-on guidance and feedback, as well as fund their projects. We’re proud to help expand the pipeline for great inclusive storytelling.”
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Executive Director of Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) Amy Hobby said, “TFI’s mission is to join with filmmakers in breaking barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability in the media landscape. The Tribeca Chanel program unequivocally aligns with our nonprofit’s goals to provide this level of meaningful support to women filmmakers of all kinds.”
The Leadership Committee participating in the program are:
MASTER CLASS ADVISORS: Costume designer Stacey Battat (The Beguiled, Still Alice), casting director Ellen Chenoweth (The Goldfinch, No Country For Old Men), writer/director Debra Granik (Leave No Trace, Winter’s Bone),composer Laura Karpman (Paris Can Wait, Underground), and cinematographer Rachel Morrison (Black Panther, Mudbound).
JURORS: Producer Effie T. Brown (FOX’s “Star,” Dear White People, “Project Greenlight”), actor/writer/director/producerLena Dunham (Tiny Furniture, “Camping,” “Girls”), cinematographer Rachel Morrison (Black Panther, Mudbound), and producer Paula Weinstein (“Grace and Frankie,” The Perfect Storm, Recount). 
MENTORS: Director/producer Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty), actor/director/producer Courteney Cox (“Cougar Town,” “Friends”), producer and TFI Executive Director Amy Hobby (What Happened, Miss Simone?,Secretary), writer/director Stella Meghie (Everything, Everything, The Weekend), writer/director/executive producer Veena Sud (“The Killing,” “Seven Seconds”), and producer Christine Vachon (Carol, Far from Heaven).
WRITING MENTORS: Producer Stephanie Allain (Beyond the Lights, Dear White People), writer/executive producer Janine Sherman Barrois (“Claws,” “Criminal Minds”), writer/director Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me, Life Partners), writer Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married, Untitled Monsters Franchise for Universal Studios), and writer/executive producer Marti Noxon (“Sharp Objects,” “UnREAL”).
The selected projects and filmmakers are:
H-E-A-T-H-E-R: Heather, a young, racially ambiguous artist, confronts questions of identity when she becomes a part-time babysitter for 11-year-old Jayda. Their dynamic prompts Heather to explore the limitations of her persona as she voyages into other realms of her imagination through fantasy, alternate realities, and moving collages.
Francesca Mirabella (Co-Writer, Co-Director)
Francesca Mirabella is a writer and director who received her MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate Film program, where she attended as a Dean’s Fellow. Her shorts have screened at a range of festivals and were most recently featured at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2017, Mirabella won an NYU Wasserman Award for Best Screenplay. A 2017/18 Marcie Bloom Fellow, Mirabella is currently developing her feature Modern Love, which was awarded a Tribeca All Access® grant.
Kylah Benes-Trapp (Co-Writer, Co-Director)
Kylah Benes-Trapp is a visual artist from California currently based in New York City. She works primarily in digital illustration, photography and graphic design and has recently started writing for film. Her work explores ideas of self-expression, femininity, identity and nostalgia. Her purpose is to create a world of possibility through her work that will inspire discovery.
LIFE ON sMARS: Six aspiring astronauts are sealed inside a solar-powered dome, attempting to simulate life on Mars. When Dana’s helmet malfunctions on the first spacewalk — depriving her of precious oxygen — she and her teammates have a critical decision to make.
Laramie Dennis (Writer, Director)
Laramie Dennis attended Wesleyan University and spent 10 years in New York City developing and directing new plays before earning her MFA in Film and Television Production from USC. Her short films have screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Short Film Corner at Cannes and have also been presented and distributed by Boyish, Shorts International and Sprint. Her short-form animated series, The Golden Rule, is currently in production.
Jenna Cedicci (Producer)
Jenna Cedicci is an international feature film and commercial producer. She has developed and produced more than 75 commercials and five features to date, three slated for distribution in 2019: the documentary Fire on the Hill, a remake of the classic German film Nosferatu, and the narrative indie feature Daddy Issues.
ROSA: While working at her aunt’s flower shop, Rosa takes her job underground when she begins a side business of shipping undocumented bodies to their home countries for burial.
Suha Araj (Writer, Director)
Suha Araj creates films that explore the displacement of immigrant communities. The Cup Reader, shot in Palestine, screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded The Next Great Filmmaker Award at the Berkshire International Film Festival and Baghdad International Film Festival. Araj followed with Pioneer High in 2015. She has received support for her work from the Sundance Film Festival, TorinoFilmLab, Independent Filmmaker Project, Berlinale Talent Project Market, Center for Asian American Media and Cine Qua Non Lab.
Maryam Keshavarz (Producer)
Maryam Keshavarz is a writer, director and producer whose short The Day I Died won the Gold Teddy and Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. Keshavarz’s first feature, Circumstance, won the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award and was distributed theatrically by Participant Media and Roadside Attractions. Her sophomore feature — Viper Club, starring Susan Sarandon — world premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and hits theaters this month.
EL TIMBRE DE SU VOZ: Yaneris, a Dominican teenager, plots a way to escape her hometown of Sosúa, where becoming an escort seems to be her only fate. After unexpectedly falling in love with her client’s son, she decides he may be the ticket to a new life — for both her and her disabled sister.
Gabriella Moses (Writer, Director)
Gabriella Moses is director, writer, and production designer based in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She has received support for her work through the New York Women in Film & Television’s 2017 From Script to Pre-Production Workshop, Sundance Institute’s 2018 Screenwriters Intensive and 2018 TFI Network. Moses believes in sharing stories with underrepresented protagonists that push viewers’ perceptions of identity and imagination.
Shruti Ganguly (Producer)
Shruti Ganguly is a filmmaker and the founder of honto88. She has directed numerous videos and is a recovering media executive, with roles at MTV, Condé Nast/Vogue and more recently at NYLON as the Vice President of TV & Video. Her films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and AFI Fest. Ganguly hails from India by way of Oman.
A sheltered Korean American family travels to Atlanta to retrieve the body of their son after he passes away from an accidental overdose. In the depths of their grief, they find an unlikely connection and momentary solace with the African American family who owns the mortuary.
Jennifer Cho Suhr (Writer/Director)
Jennifer Cho Suhr is a Brooklyn-based writer and director. She is developing her debut feature, You and Me Both, starring Constance Wu and selected for the Tribeca All Access® and Film Independent’s Producing Lab and Fast Track programs. Suhr earned her MFA from the NYU Tisch Graduate Film program, where she was awarded the Tisch Fellowship and a grant from the Spike Lee Film Production Fund.
Carolyn Mao (Producer)
Carolyn Mao is a Los Angeles-based producer and former development executive. Nice, a pilot she produced by creator Naomi Ko and director by Andrew Ahn, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She is currently raising financing forYou and Me Both. She is a fellow of Film Independent’s Project Involve, Producing Lab and Fast Track programs.
CHANEL and Tribeca work year-round to support women filmmakers, not only with THROUGH HER LENS, but during the annual Tribeca Film Festival with the annual women’s filmmaking lunch and the Nora Ephron Award. The Award was created in 2013 to honor exceptional female filmmakers who embody the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker. Women who have received the award include: Meera Menon (Farah Goes Bang, Equity), Talya Lavie (Zero Motivation), Laura Bispuri (Sworn Virgin), Rachel Tunnard (Adult Life Skills), Petra Volpe (The Divine Order), and Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) from this past year.
The 2016 recipient of the THROUGH HER LENS grant, Feathers, directed by A.V. Rockwell, premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired by Fox Searchlight. Last year’s main recipient, Suicide by Sunlight, by Nikyatu Jusu is currently in post-production.
Tribeca actively cultivates independent voices in storytelling and has been at the forefront of supporting women filmmakers. This past year, it led the way as the first major film festival to have near equal representation by women directors in its feature film program. THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program—the most recent iteration of Tribeca’s commitment to female artistic voices—continues to provide resources to help empower emerging women storytellers in the industry. The nonprofit affiliate of Tribeca, Tribeca Film Institute, supports female filmmakers through, among other initiatives, its cornerstone grant and mentorship program, Tribeca All Access. Currently in its 16th year, the program supports scripted, documentary and interactive storytellers from diverse communities, including those that are statistically underrepresented in the industry.
Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company based in New York City. Established in 2003 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, Tribeca provides artists with unique platforms to expand the audience for their work and broadens consumer access to experience storytelling, independent film and media. The company operates a network of branded entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival International, and Tribeca Studios. In 2014, The Madison Square Garden Company acquired a 50% stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together two of New York’s most important cultural and entertainment icons to enhance the reach and impact of both brands.
CHANEL, the international luxury goods company, was founded in France by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century. The company, which is privately held, offers a broad range of luxury products, including Ready-to-Wear, fragrance, cosmetics, leathergoods, accessories, fine jewelry and watches, through a U.S. network of 24 boutiques and approximately 91 locations at select retailers. CHANEL is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections presented in Paris. CHANEL maintains 190 fashion boutiques worldwide, including the legendary House of CHANEL on rue Cambon in Paris. Under the creative guidance of designer Karl Lagerfeld, the House of CHANEL remains dedicated to luxury, fashion, style and image.
CHANEL opened its very first watch boutique avenue Montaigne in 1987 for the launch of the Première watch. The boutique was then transferred to place Vendôme in 1990, displaying also from 1993 the new CHANEL Fine Jewelry creations. Since 1997, the flagship Watch and Fine Jewelry boutique sits at 18, place Vendôme. There are 12 boutiques featuring fine jewelry collections in the U.S. and 52 Watch and Fine Jewelry boutiques worldwide.
TFI partners with storytellers and joins them in breaking barriers of access, exposure, and sustainability in the media landscape. The Institute prioritizes creators whose points of view have been marginalized due to race, gender, sexuality, class, and/or politics. Through grants, mentorship, industry connections, and professional development, TFI helps to ensure that storytellers from a multitude of backgrounds have access to the resources and tools they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and thrive in their careers. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to cultivate the next generation of storytellers. Through customized mentorships and curriculum-aligned film screening workshops, TFI provides New York City public school students with media literacy skills necessary to be creative and thoughtful global citizens. TFI was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001 and is a 501(c)(3) year-round nonprofit arts organization.
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