Announcing the 2nd Annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program!

We’re thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program! The program, presented by Tribeca and CHANEL, in collaboration with Pulse Films, and facilitated by Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), has selected five emerging female filmmakers to receive project support, and take part in master classes, one-on-one mentorship, and peer-to-peer sessions. At the end of the program each of the five filmmakers will pitch her project to a jury of industry experts. One filmmaker will be awarded $80,000 to produce her short film, along with the support of Tribeca Studios and Pulse Films to make the project, and the four other projects will each be awarded grant funds to continue the development of their films.

With the support of Tribeca and Chanel, TFI leads the outreach for culling filmmakers to participate in the program, which is invitation-only. Out of over 150 applicants, 15 finalists were chosen by TFI and brought to the jury for final deliberations. The final five filmmakers selected will participate in the three-day program in New York City October 25-27.

The THROUGH HER LENS program will cover a variety of topics, including script-to-screen development, story structure, casting, finding collaborators, and working with music composers, costume designers, and editors, as well as festival strategy and distribution. Participants, along with one female producing partner each, will attend master classes, have individual mentoring sessions with industry experts, meet distributors, and new this year participants will work with writing mentors to refine their stories while working towards a presentation of their projects.

“Supporting these gifted women is paramount to our mission at TFI to empower a more inclusive group of storytellers and give them the tools necessary to reach wider audiences,” said Amy Hobby, Vice President of Artist Programs at TFI. “We’re excited to bring TFI’s successful model of pairing monetary backing with sustained, hands-on mentoring to this groundbreaking program, along with our friends at Tribeca Enterprises, for the second year.”

TFI will continue to work as mentor to the winning film, as on ongoing resource for the filmmakers until audiences like you see the film.

The selected projects and filmmakers include:

CAMP MOONLIGHT written by Ani Simon-Kennedy, produced by Carly Hugo. 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.

Ani Simon-Kennedy is a New York-based filmmaker. She founded her production company Bicephaly Pictures with cinematographer Cailin Yatsko. Ani wrote and directed her first feature film DAYS OF GRAY in Iceland. She is currently in development on her second feature, THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD.

DISPLACEMENT THERAPY written by Joey Ally, produced by Constanza Castro. 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 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.

Joey Ally is a writer/director and a 2016 fellow of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. Her films have screened internationally including at Sundance, NBCUniversal Shortsfest, and Lunafest, and she won WME | IMG’s “Video of the Year” 2015. Her short film PARTNERS recently debuted online with “Vimeo Premieres.”

FEATHERS written by A.V. Rockwell, produced by Leah Natasha Thomas. 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.

A.V. 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. 

ON THE OUTS written by Catherine Eaton, produced by Jessica Vale. 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.

Catherine Eaton is a director, writer, actor and producer. Catherine’s debut feature, THE SOUNDING — starring Teddy Sears (24:LEGACY), Frankie Faison (THE WIRE, LUKE CAGE), Harris Yulin (TRAINING DAY) and Erin Darke (GOOD GIRLS REVOLT) —will premiere in 2017. Catherine is developing two series for television, both finalists for the Sundance Labs. She has performed on Broadway and on screen.

THE QUARRY written by Sonejuhi Sinha, produced by Charlotte Rabate. 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.

Sonejuhi Sinha is a director, producer, and editor working in both narrative and documentary storytelling. Her narrative short film, LOVE COMES LATER, premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and screened at over 50 film festivals internationally, garnering awards at festivals. She was selected for Shoot's New Director's Showcase at the DGA, is the recipient of a Tribeca All Access® grant, and recently participated in Semaine De La Critique's development lab, NEXT STEP in Paris with her feature script Love Comes Later.

Follow TFI on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook for updates on THROUGH HER LENS and the many other programs we have that support independent filmmakers, such as our Camden/TFI Filmmaker Retreat and our A&E IndieFilm StoryLabs retreat. We currently have many grants open for submissions, be sure to check those out and apply if one fits a project you’re currently working on.