Providing Mentorship and Grants to Emerging Women Filmmakers

The Leadership Committee Includes: Amy Schumer, Gayle King, Marlee Matlin, Paula Weinstein, Ali Adler, Melissa Barrera, Kay Cannon, Jacqueline Durran, Misha Green, Soo Hugh, Zoe Lister-Jones, Laura Karpman, Leslie Mann, Tina Mabry, Adepero Oduye, Frida Torresblanco, DeWanda Wise, and Maria Zuckerman

NEW YORK, NY– October 12, 2019 – Tribeca and CHANEL affirm their commitment to creating new opportunities for women filmmakers for the seventh annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca CHANEL Women’s Filmmaker Program, taking place October 12 through 14, 2021. The celebrated program will welcome program finalists and jurors for in-person events while gathering esteemed industry leaders from around the globe for a virtual program of workshops, classes, and peer-to-peer sessions for the filmmaker finalists.


Founded in 2015 by Tribeca and CHANEL and in collaboration with Pulse Films, the mentorship program provides industry support, artistic development, and funding to emerging U.S.-based self-identifying women and non-binary writers and directors. In a world that has seen so much change the need for THROUGH HER LENS is more vital than ever, with the program providing a crucial and continuing platform for stories that tell the triumphs and struggles of intrepid women.

“THROUGH HER LENS has proven to be an important vehicle for women filmmakers,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “In a world that is in constant upheaval, it's paramount to provide a reliable place where the ever-changing journey of women can continue to be told.”


The three-day immersive program will feature a hybrid of virtual and in-person one-on-one mentorship, intimate participant masterclasses focused on script-to-screen development, music composition, costume design, producing, and directing. Participants will work with mentors to shape and refine their projects and pitches, and at the conclusion of the program, each pair will pitch their projects to a jury of industry experts. One team will receive full financing to produce their short film with support from Tribeca Studios. The four other projects will be awarded grant funds to support their films’ development.


To date, past fully supported projects have achieved noteworthy successes including: A.V. Rockwell's Feathers (2016), which was acquired by Fox Searchlight after it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival; Nikyatu Jusu’s Suicide by Sunlight (2017), which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festiva; and 2018's ROSA, by Suha Araj, which premiered at BlackStar Film Festival in August 2020 and is now screening on HBOMax. Upcoming projects include 2019’s CHAMP by Hannah Peterson and 2020’s REST STOP by Crystal Kayiza.


Tribeca and CHANEL have convened a diverse range of leading women creators to share their experiences with, and provide curated guidance to, five teams of women filmmakers that have been selected to receive project support for their upcoming short narrative films.  The 2021 Leadership Committee includes:


  • MASTERCLASS ADVISORS: actor/producer Marlee Matlin (CODA, Children of a Lesser God), music composer Laura Karpman (“Lovecraft Country”, “What If”), producer Maria Zuckerman (Spencer, “100 Foot Wave”),  actor/filmmaker Adepero Oduye (12 Years a Slave, Pariah), casting Alexa L. Fogel (The Prom and Judas and The Black Messiah), and costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Little Women, Pride and Prejudice)
  • JURORS: actor Melissa Barrera (In the Heights, “Vida”), Co-Host, CBS Mornings and Editor at Large, Oprah Daily Gayle King, producer Paula Weinstein (“Grace & Frankie”, Blood Diamond), actor Leslie Mann (The Other Woman, This Is 40),
  • MENTORS: Producer Frida Torresblanco (Pan's Labyrinth, Disobedience), writer / director / producer Maryam Keshavarz (Viper Club, Circumstance)  writer/producer Soo Hugh (Pachinko, The Terror), storyteller/advocate DeWanda Wise (‘She’s Gotta Have It’, Fatherhood) writer/producer Ali Adler (Supergirl, “The New Normal”)
  • WRITING MENTORS: actor Zoe Lister-Jones (How It Ends, BAND AID), writer/ producer Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned, “Pose”), writer/director/producer Misha Green (“Lovecraft Country”, The Mother), writer/producer Amy Schumer (Trainwreck,” Inside Amy Schumer”), director/writer/producer Kay Cannon (Blockers, Cinderella).


  The 2021 Selected Projects and Filmmakers:


A stoic widow and an eager polymath must traverse post-apocalyptic upstate New York to retrieve invaluable data from a mysterious motel. Along the way, they are forced to choose what from their pasts to keep carrying, and what to leave behind.

  • Annalise Lockhart (Director)

Annalise Lockhart is a writer/director, born and raised in NYC. Her work is influenced by her Afro-Futurist beliefs, and the genre’s power for change. Her first short film as writer and director, INHERITANCE, won Best US Short at the Palm Springs Shortfest, the Lionsgate/Starz Award for Best Speculative Fiction at BlackStar Film Festival, and Best Actress in a Short at Fantasia Film Festival.  She has worked extensively as a 1st Assistant Director on projects such as Random Acts of Flyness (HBO), The Assistant, and The Fits. She is currently developing her first feature. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing while at Stanford University.

  • Mary Glen Fredrick (Writer/Producer)

Mary Glen Fredrick is a writer, actor, and video editor, mostly from Kansas City. A writer for both theatre and film, she loves bending form and incorporating diverse elements, creating kinetic, femme-centric stories that dance with the absurd, the imaginative, and the apocalyptic. Recently: Her dystopian physical comedy Anarchy premiered in NYC at New Perspectives Theatre Company, and she completed an Eastern Frontier Society Residency developing her first feature film, Kin. She received her BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University and her MFA in Acting from UC San Diego. You can check out more of her work and self at


Yuki, a 12-year-old with a vivid fantasy life, complicates her already morose beach vacation with her father and grandmother.

  • Maya Tanaka (Writer/Director)

Maya Tanaka is a filmmaker who originally hails from the SF Bay Area. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston University's film program, where she was awarded the Fleder-Rosenberg Filmmaking grant. She enjoys work that focuses on femmes and alternative narratives. Her most recent short, The Price of Cheap Rent, premiered at TIFF 2020 and won the NYWIFT Woman Director award at TIDE Film Festival. Maya’s work has been screened at Urbanworld, New Orleans Film Festival, Atlanta International Film Festival, Cincinnati International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Cucalorus, Aspen Shortsfest, Hollyshorts, Blackstar, and more.

  • Shuchi Talati (Producer)

Shuchi Talati is a filmmaker from India whose work challenges dominant narratives around gender, sexuality, race, and Asian identity. Her recent short film, A Period Piece, about an afternoon of period (i.e. menstruation) sex, played at SXSW and Palm Springs. Shuchi’s projects in development include Girls Will Be Girls, a sexual awakening film set in a conservative boarding school in India. Girls have been selected for Berlinale Script Station, Jerusalem Film Lab, Gotham Week, and Cine Qua Non Lab. Her work has been recognized by Berlinale Talents, the New York State Council for the Arts, Women in Film, and Région Île-de-France. Shuchi is also a producer for documentaries and her credits include We Are: Brooklyn Saints for Netflix and Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas for HBO. She has an MFA from the American Film Institute and is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Bitchitra Collective, and the Freelance Solidarity Project.


Sardonic twenty-something Cynthia walks us through a play-by-play of a recent “squicky” date, requiring her to confront some uncomfortable truths.

Caroline Lindy (Director)
After growing up in NYC and earning a BA from Kenyon College, Caroline moved to LA to pursue her passion for filmmaking. Her first short film, KINDRED SPIRIT, was accepted into numerous festivals and won a series of awards. She then received a grant from WOMEN IN FILM as well as a sponsorship from Blumhouse to write and direct another short film called YOUR MONSTER. Last year, it was accepted into over 20 festivals and won several awards. YOUR MONSTER is now being developed into a series by Topic Studios and Merman Productions. Caroline is also a commercial director for Sandwich Video. Caroline’s new film, ASPIRATIONAL SLUT, is a hyper-sexual romantic comedy starring Ellyn Jameson, Jake Nordwind, and Kenton Chen and produced by Kate Hamilton.

Kate Hamilton (Writer/Producer)
Kate received her BFA in theatre from Boston University and worked several years as “just” an actor, before realizing that her skill and passion for storytelling exceeded the limitations of serving as a cog in someone else’s machine.  She started a female-driven production company, “Queen's Gambit Films” (established before the show!), and began screenwriting.  Alongside her producing partner, Natalie Britton, Kate has produced dozens of short films championing underserved voices encompassing themes of fertility, LGBTQ relationships, racism, sexism, and mental health struggles.


Riddled with insomnia, a father and daughter duo go on a midnight joyride through New York City, in a search for a flower that only blooms at night.

Tiye Amenechi (Writer/Director)
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Tiye Amenechi attended LaGuardia High school of Music and Art and Performing Arts where she studied drama. As a fellow at the Ghetto Film School, she was selected to direct the 2014 thesis film, Sergei shot on location in Kiev Ukraine. Tiye went on to study and obtain her BFA in Film and Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a junior, she was selected as a Sundance Ignite Fellow where she developed and then wrote, co-produced, and directed Mama Said No White Barbies that have screened at the Museum of Moving Image, Metrograph and was chosen as a selection of UrbanWorld 2018 Festival. Tiye assisted Reinaldo Marcus Green on his upcoming feature, King Richard. She has produced projects for Nike and Gucci among other companies. Most recently, Tiye has completed her first commercial work for VICE x Superbird and currently assists Barry Jenkins.
Satchel Lee (Producer)
Born and raised in New York City, Satchel Lee graduated with a BFA in Film and Television from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. As both a photographer and filmmaker, Lee’s work looks at sexuality, identity, and relationships. Throughout her career she has worked on shows like “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and  “She’s Gotta Have It”. She was a writer on MTV’s reboot of “TRL" and host of NBC LX’s “Sincerely, Gen Z”. She was a co-producer on ‘Mama Said No White Barbies’ directed by Tiye Amenechi which was an official selection of UrbanWorld 2018 Festival. Lee was also the creative director of DRØME, a queer art and fashion magazine which featured artists like Billie Eilish, Lena Waithe, and Amandla Stenberg. Most recently Lee has created film and photo campaigns for brands like Coach, Gucci, Nike, Def Jam Records, and Tory Burch. 


An African goddess must find and convince her former mortal lover to return to the eternal world with her before she destroys the earth.

Phumi Morare (Writer/Director)
Phumi Morare is a South African writer/director who is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She uses her Black female gaze to tell intimate, human stories of everyday Africans, and she loves exploring African history and folktales. Phumi’s short film Lakutshon’ Ilanga (When The Sun Sets) is a finalist for the 2021 Student BAFTA awards and the 2021 Student Academy Awards. It was selected to play at Telluride Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and the Pan African Film Festival. Her project, Why The Cattle Wait, was selected for the 2021 Berlinale Talents Durban program. Phumi completed her MFA in Film Directing at Dodge College at Chapman University. She has a background in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and management consulting at McKinsey & Company. She currently freelances as a strategist at Statement Films, a company that incubates African women creators.



The world of film, from its boldest directors and most talented actors, has been intrinsically linked to the history of CHANEL since its inception. House founder and visionary Gabrielle Chanel worked with the leading filmmakers of her time, drawing inspiration from and supporting her fellow creative peers. Her legacy of fostering creativity lives on through CHANEL’s dedication to the art of film, which is expressed through programs such as THROUGH HER LENS and the brand’s other long-standing film partnerships.


Tribeca Enterprises supports independent voices in storytelling and since the beginning has been active in propelling women voices in film forward. The Tribeca Festival has been uplifting women filmmakers and has reached gender parity in programming over the last few years. THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca CHANEL Women's Filmmaker Program — an ongoing iteration of Tribeca’s commitment to providing a platform for new artistic voices — continues to provide resources to help empower emerging women storytellers in the industry.


Jeff David Gray – Tribeca Enterprises: 212.470.1209
Annie Buck – CHANEL: 404.771.8501


About Tribeca Enterprises:
Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company, established in 2003 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. 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 entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Festival; the Tribeca TV Festival; its branded entertainment production arm, Tribeca Studios; and creative production company, m ss ng p eces. In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.


Chanel is a private company and a world leader in creating, developing, manufacturing and distributing luxury products. Founded by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century, Chanel offers a broad range of high-end creations, including Ready-to-Wear, Leather Goods, Fashion Accessories, Eyewear, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare, Jewelry and Watches. Chanel is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections, presented twice yearly in Paris, and for having acquired a large number of specialized suppliers, collectively known as the Métiers d’art. Chanel is dedicated to ultimate luxury and to the highest level of craftsmanship. It is a brand whose core values remain historically grounded on exceptional creation. As such, Chanel promotes culture, art, creativity and “savoir-faire” throughout the world, and invests significantly in people, R&D and innovation. At the end of 2020, Chanel employed over 27,000 people worldwide.