2020 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
Zandashé Brown, Writer/Director
Monica Sorelle, Producer
A broken woman’s search for solace lands her at a Baptist church in rural Mississippi, where an eerie encounter leads her to discover unsettling truths.
Nadia P. Manzoor, Writer/Producer
Khaula Malik, Producer
With the weight of a terminal diagnosis, Adeeba, a Pakistani mother, reckons with her own mortality by living vicariously through her daughter’s college experience.
REST STOP – Pitch Winner
Crystal Kayiza, Writer/Director
Jalena Keane-Lee, Producer
While on a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, seven-year-old Meyi realizes her place in the world through the eyes of her mother.
Mary Angélica Molina, Writer/Director
A struggling writer who moonlights as a bartender agrees to poison a drug dealer’s adversary in order to get her student loans paid off and her nagging mother off her case.
Susan O’Brien, Writer/Director/Producer
Giselle Byrd, Writer/Producer
After 10-year-old Bodi survives a car accident, their grandmother tells them that they have been given wings as a gift of resilience. In these wings, Bodi finds the power to accept their true gender identity.
2019 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
CHAMP – Pitch Winner
Hannah Peterson, Writer/Director
Taylor Shung, Producer
While traveling on a train through Texas for an away game, point guard Genevieve has an unwanted encounter with her high school basketball coach. Wielding her strategy and grit off the court, Genevieve finds a way to retaliate.
Kantú Lentz, Writer/Director
Roja Gashtili, Producer
Twelve-year-old Rosa loves aliens and hates everything else, including her annoying little sister, Lu. When a car bomb detonates while she’s babysitting, Rosa must bring her sister to safety by convincing her that aliens have arrived to greet them.
KEEP IT TOGETHER
Bane Fakih, Writer/Director
Birgit Gernböck, Producer
Beirut, Lebanon, 1976. May defies the terror of the civil war on a daily basis. Today, she risks her safety on a sniper-controlled street to save a cherished item left behind: her deceased grandmother’s sandals.
Charlotte T. Martin, Writer
Cynthia Silver, Director
Over the course of her summer fellowship, queer theater director Cleo becomes the unwilling object of desire for her boss—a married woman.
OVER AND OVER
Laura Moss, Writer/Director
Mali Elfman, Producer
Evelyn is seeing troubling visions: technology infecting our food supply, wires growing out of her body and the resurrection of creatures that humanity long rendered extinct. Everyone assures Evelyn she’s fine, but she knows she is either mentally ill or humanity’s savior. She just can’t be certain which.
2018 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
Francesca Mirabella, Co-Writer/Co-Director
Kylah Benes-Trapp, Co-Writer/Co-Director
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.
LIFE ON sMARS
Laramie Dennis, Writer/Director
Jenna Cedicci, Producer
Six aspiring astronauts are sealed inside a solar-powered dome, attempting to simulate life on Mars. When Dana’s helmet malfunctions on the first space walk—depriving her of precious oxygen—she and her teammates have a critical decision to make.
ROSA – Pitch Winner
Suha Araj, Writer/Director
Maryam Keshavarz, Producer
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.
EL TIMBRE DE SU VOZ
Gabriella Moses, Writer/Director
Shruti Ganguly, Producer
Yaneris, a Dominican teenager, plots a way to escape her hometown of Sosùa, 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 a ticket to a new life—for both her and her disabled sister.
WHAT IS YOUR SOUL PURPOSE?
Jennifer Suhr, Writer/Director
Carolyn Mao, Producer
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.
2017 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
GIRL WANTS MAGIC
Anna Zlokovic, Writer/Director
Heather Grehan, Producer
Manny, an outcast and bullied high schooler, finds her only friend in music. When her teacher, Mr. Hornby, is possessed by a violent alien insect, Manny is forced to fight her biggest demon yet and discover her magic within.
Myna Joseph, Writer/Director
Amy Lo, Producer
Following a near-fatal car accident, Lu wrestles with creeping invisibility as she approaches the second half of her life. On this long winter day, she finds her physical identity fractured, ignored, misunderstood and judged—but with wry humor and stubborn resilience, she’s determined to be seen.
SUICIDE BY SUNLIGHT – Pitch Winner
Nikyatu Jusu, Writer/Director
R. Shanea Williams, Co-Writer
Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, finds it difficult to suppress her bloodlust when a new woman is brought around her estranged twin daughters.
Marianne Amelinckx, Writer/Director
Claudia Lepage, Producer
Venezuela could have been one of the richest countries in the modern world, but ineffective government policies and corruption have made the country one of the most dangerous places to live. Vuela (Fly) tells the story of a chance encounter between Luisa and Monica just before they take off to different countries and leave everything behind them, including the opportunity to get to know each other.
Nicole Emanuele, Writer/Director
Sarah’s bachelorette party is all cigarettes and penis shots, until she and her best friend, Marie, get the call to report for active duty the next day. They’ve been training for years to be deployed by the U.S. Navy, so they’ve got this, right?
2016 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
Ani Simon-Kennedy, Writer/Director
Carly Hugo, Producer
Away from home for the first time, Maggie is attending the only summer camp for children with a life-threatening sun allergy. When everyone goes for a celebratory night swim, she’s faced with a personal crisis.
Joey Ally, Writer/Director
Constanza Castro, Producer
A young married couple, trapped in the limbo of "baby up or split up," is trying "Displacement Therapy," a controversial new treatment that uses lookalike robots as vessels onto which to displace their feelings toward each other...by using them as literal punching bags. As communication shuts down, and bodies pile up, they are called to ask themselves whether it is the symptom or the cure that will kill them.
FEATHERS – Pitch Winner
A.V. Rockwell, Writer/Director
Leah Natasha Thomas, Producer
Eli, a volatile inner-city youth, 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.
ON THE OUTS
Catherine Eaton, Writer/Director
Jessica Vale, Producer
A wild agoraphobic from a backwater town in Louisiana travels to a hotel in New Orleans to work as a writer and is offered—ironically—a travel column. Terrified of open spaces and crowds and unable to leave the hotel, she realizes she can steal the stories of the hotel guests to keep the job and win the battle, if not the war, against her condition—all while throwing the lives of everyone around her into chaos.
Sonejuhi Sinha, Writer/Director
Charlotte Rabate, Producer
A gynecologist and abortion provider, Reese, practices in a remote town in America. When a threat emerges in town and Reese finds herself drawn into a rabbit hole of paranoia, she takes matters into her own hands.
2015 SELECTED PROJECTS AND FILMMAKERS
Numa Perrier, Writer/Director
In the last days of her mother’s life, Tanya, a young woman, crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her sister introduces her to the world of internet-cam girls.
THE LAST SHIFT
Roja Gashtili, Co-Writer/Co-Director
Julia Lerman, Co-Writer/Co-Director
A young nurse grows obsessed with a locked door in the ward where she works, as a revolution unfolds beyond the hospital walls.
Vera Miao, Writer/Director
A seemingly “perfect” Chinese daughter, Mona loves her sternly loving Ma more than anything. But when a handsome neighbor moves in next door, Mona discovers just how far Ma will go to keep her home.
ONE CAMBODIAN FAMILY PLEASE FOR MY PLEASURE
A.M. Lukas, Writer/Director
A young mother living in the bleakest of American landscapes seeks to help a refugee family despite her own hardships, and through her desire, reveals truths about herself, America and the nature of the word “freedom.”
Christina Voros, Writer/Director
A runaway girl encounters a stranger in the West Texas desert. The secrets they keep will change the course of their lives forever.
WIG SHOP – Pitch Winner
Kat Coiro, Writer/Director
WIG SHOP is a dark comedy centered on an Orthodox Jewish woman who, over the course of getting her wigs styled, discovers that her African American hairdresser might be her husband’s lover.