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Catherine Eaton, Joey Ally, Carly Hugo, Ani Simon-Kennedy, Jessica Vale, Leah Natasha Thomas, (Bottom row, L-R) Costanza Castro, Charlotte Rabate, Sonejuhi Sinha, and A.V. Rockwell. Photo: Getty.
FILM ARTICLE

Tribeca and CHANEL Announce Recipient of Production Funds from Women's Filmmaker Program THROUGH HER LENS

Filmmaker A.V. Rockwell has been awarded with full production funds for her short film along with support from Pulse Films and Tribeca Studios.

Tribeca Enterprises and CHANEL concluded their second annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program, announcing the project and recipient who will receive full production funding for her original short film at a cocktail reception this evening in Tribeca.

Feathers by A.V. Rockwell was selected by the jury to receive the production grant, along with production support from Pulse Films and Tribeca Studios. Additionally, the four other writer/directors in the program each received a development grant to support continued work on their respective films to bring them closer to production. In total $100,000 in filmmaker grants were awarded between the five projects.

Following an intensive, three-day workshop, five filmmaker pairs pitched their projects to a jury comprised of: producer Anne Carey (20th Century Women, The Diary of a Teenage Girl), actor Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral, Night Moves), writer/director Tamara Jenkins (The Savages, Slums of Beverly Hills), writer/director/producer So Yong Kim (Lovesong, Treeless Mountain), and actor/director Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein, Friends With Kids).

A.V. Rockwell with jurors Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Westfeldt.

Rockwell is a Jamaican-American film, television and video director from Queens, New York. Her most recent work, The Gospel, a short film commissioned by singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, premiered at a special event during the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016.

“It has been a remarkable three days working with these exciting new filmmakers,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises. “We congratulate A.V. and thank all the filmmakers and industry advisors who gave their time to support the projects and creators selected for our program and put a spotlight on these essential female voices.”

"We as jurors find it incredibly exciting that Tribeca and Chanel are supporting emerging voices," says Carey, speaking on behalf of the jury. "We spent the afternoon hearing from five great filmmaking teams. They were each so different from each other and opened up worlds we hadn’t seen before. When you are giving a prize to someone everyone always says it’s a tough decision. But it was in fact a very difficult decision."

Anne Carey, Tamera Jenkins, Leah Natasha Thomas, A.V. Rockwell, So Yong Kim, Dakota Fanning, and Jennifer Westfeldt

Added Jenkins, "I’ve been lucky a couple times as a young filmmaker to receive grant support and it’s really life changing. It’s not just the money but that the affirmation of what you are saying is worthwhile. We selected the filmmaker who we felt had a singular voice and are excited to support her development as an artist. We found the work to be both brutal and poetic. We selected Feathers from A.V. Rockwell."

"Getting into THROUGH HER LENS was already an honor," says Rockwell. "I'm very grateful that the jury has given me the opportunity to see Feathers come to life."

Feathers, written by Rockwell, is about Eli, a volatile inner-city youth, who creates havoc in his attempts to re-escape from the mysterious and crumbling juvenile detention center known as “The Mill.” When the repercussions become more dire than he can handle, Eli gains purpose and introspection on his troubled life.

Producer Leah Natasha Thomas and filmmaker A.V. Rockwell react upon the announcement.

The announcement wraps up a powerful program, presented by Tribeca and CHANEL, in collaboration with Pulse Films, and facilitated by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI), which offered the participants project support, one-on-one mentorship, peer-to-peer sessions, and master classes on directing, editing, casting, composing and music selection, costume design, and producing. The five women writers/directors selected for the program, who each participated with a female producer from their project, by their selection were:

· Joey Ally with Displacement Therapy and producer Constanza Castro
· Catherine Eaton with On the Outs and producer Jessica Vale
· A.V. Rockwell with Feathers and producer Leah Natasha Thomas
· Ani Simon-Kennedy with Camp Moonlight and producer Carly Hugo
· Sonejuhi Sinha with The Quarry and producer Charlotte Rabate

Dakota Fanning

The leadership committee for the program, in addition to the jury, included the following mentors: director/writer Shari Springer Berman (10,000 Saints, American Splendor), actor/writer/producer Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca, Black Mirror), writer/director/producer Jenni Konner (Girls), director Tanya Wexler (Hysteria), producer Rachel Winter (Dallas Buyers Club); master class advisors: editor Sarah Flack (Lost In Translation, The Limey), co-producer Amy Herman (Noah, The Wizard of Lies), composer Laura Karpman (Paris Can Wait, Underground), casting director Avy Kaufman (The Bourne Ultimatum, Life Of Pi), costume designer Arianne Phillips (Nocturnal Animals, Walk The Line), and director Shari Springer Berman; and writing mentors: writer/director Sophie Barthes (Madame Bovary), director/writer Catherine Hardwicke (Miss You Already, Thirteen), writers JaNeika and JaSheika James (Empire), executive producer Susan Cara Lewis (Pariah, The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete), writer/director Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie), and producer Cathy Schulman (Crash, The Illusionist).

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 year-round through its cornerstone grant and mentorship program, Tribeca All Access®. Currently in its fourteenth year, the program supports scripted, documentary, and interactive storytellers from diverse communities, including those that are statistically underrepresented in the industry.

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