Tribeca Enterprises and CHANEL concluded the sixth annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca CHANEL Women’s Filmmaker Program, announcing the recipient who will receive full production funding for their original short film at a virtual cocktail reception.
Writer/director Crystal Kayiza and producer Jalena Keane-Lee were selected by the jury to receive the production grant, along with production support from Tribeca Studios for their short film, Rest Stop. In addition, each of the other four women filmmaker teams received a grant to support the development of their respective films. A total of $100,000 in filmmaker grants was awarded amongst the five projects.
Following an intensive virtual, three-day workshop, the filmmakers from the five selected teams pitched their projects to a jury comprised of producer Angela Bassett (Black Panther, What’s Love Got To Do With It),actor Angelica Ross (“American Horror Story: 1984”, “Pose”), studio executive Channing Dungey, producer Jessica Elbaum (Booksmart, Hustlers),actor Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Marie Antoinette), and actor Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody, Murder on the Orient Express).
“This year’s THROUGH HER LENS participants came together to create more opportunities for women filmmakers to tell their stories, ranging from childhood to adulthood, despite the challenges of today’s extraordinary circumstances,” said Paula Weinstein, Chief Content Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “Writer/director Crystal Kayiza and producer Jalena Keane-Lee’s ability to connect with our mentors and jurors virtually is a testament to the strength of this program and how great storytelling can push us forward.”
From actor/director/producer, and activist, Angela Bassett on behalf of the jury: “Right now we are in a world of great uncertainty, but we are all looking for hope, love and unity. Crystal Kayiza and Jalena Keane-Lee were able to bring all of this together in a few, short poignant minutes. No matter where you are from, this film pierces the heart and souls of us all. They created a world with extraordinary voices; a multigenerational story filled with love, acceptance and belonging. It was truly an honor to be invited into her world of discovery.”
The winning project, Rest Stop, is centered on seven-year-old Meyi who, while on a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, realizes her place in the world through the eyes of her mother.
“This entire opportunity has been surreal. Creating during this time has been difficult, but the depth of my gratitude is unending. Being able to meet with these filmmakers, who we see as our heroes and who I really admire, has affirmed my ability to create work and keep me motivated,” said writer/director of Rest Stop, Crystal Kayiza.
“We are so honored to get to be a part of this new wave of female filmmakers, bringing these types of voices to the forefront. In our case, honoring the whole breadth of the immigrant experience, a coming-of-age story, and lessons that are learned from mothers to daughters,” said producer of Rest Stop Jalena Keane-Lee.
The announcement closes the 6th annual mentorship and development program, occurring for the first time virtually, presented by Tribeca and CHANEL in collaboration with Pulse Films.
Participants received project support, one-on-one mentorship, peer-to-peer sessions, and master classes on directing, costume design, composing, producing and editing.