Heineken Affinity Award Profile: Victoria Mahoney

This is part of our series of posts spotlighting the ten Heineken Affinity Award winners. Read all the profiles so far.

An initiative through our Tribeca All Access® program, the Affinity Award celebrates emerging and established African-American filmmakers by creating further awareness and dialogue around their work. Learn more here. Along with the Affinity Award winners receiving an initial grant, you can now vote for one filmmaker to win a $20,000 cash award, which will be announced during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Vote here.

Though her directorial feature debut Yelling to the Sky—a semi-autobiographical glimpse at a young girl's struggle to fit in at high school while dealing with a complex home life—was released only last month, Victoria Mahoney is a veteran in the business, as she's been acting since the early '90s.

Starring in everything from Hollywood blockbusters like Legally Blonde to an episode of Seinfeld, Mahoney finally needed a change and began diving into writing. Before she knew it the script for Yelling to the Sky was accepted into Sundance's Directors and Screenwriters' Labs and Mahoney's status as a director raised faster than it ever had when she was an actress.

Mahoney is now in pre-production on his next feature, Chalk, which follows a person making peace with their past while finding murder suspects.

Asked what she wants audiences to get out of her filmmaking, Mahoney says...

"The level of 'take away' exists on such a case by case basis. It all depends on what an audience member is experiencing and investigating in their own life. My overriding intention as a filmmaker, is to tap into individual inquiries and reflect—whatever is hidden. Inspiring an audience's need for further inquiry into whatever stories, wishes, wants, hungers, desires, questions or aches—presently propel them. From my filmmaking, I'd love audiences to receive some measure of inspiration; to investigate the human condition."