Meet the 2019 Class of Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program

Each year, we select emerging independent women filmmakers to particpate in Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program. Over the course of three days, industry mentors work with these creators to refine their short film concepts, and ultimately select one of their projects to fund and produce. We're excited to announce this year's class, which consists of women from around the world and three TFI alumnae. 

Hannah Peterson is a film director living and working in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Film Directing at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and has worked closely with filmmakers Sean Baker and Chloé Zhao. Filmmaker Magazine named Peterson as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2018. Her short film EAST OF THE RIVER premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival 2019, where it won a jury honorable mention and she was awarded the Russo brothers fellowship. Most recently, Peterson directed Disney Channel’s first original scripted series, SHOOK, executive produced by the Duplass Brothers.

Project: CHAMP

THL Partner: Taylor Shung

Taylor Shung is a producer who was born and raised in New York City. She recently produced the short film AGUA VIVA (directed by Alexa Lim Haas), which won the 2018 SXSW Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize and Mickey and the Bear (directed by Annabelle Attanasio), which had its world premiere at SXSW and its international premiere at L’acid Cannes 2019. Shung is also a producer for Borscht Corp, a film and arts non-profit in Miami. Her feature film credits as a production manager/line producer include AFTER YANG (Kogonada), NOMADLAND (Chloé Zhao), OMNIBOAT (Borscht), TO THE NIGHT (Peter Brunner), JACQUELINE ARGENTINE (Bernardo Britto), and A WOMAN, A PART (Elisabeth Subrin).

Project: CHAMP

THL Partner: Hannah Peterson

Kantú Lentz is a Peruvian filmmaker based in Los Angeles who creates films that take place in alternate realities with magical realism elements. Most recently she directed the short film JACK AND JO DON'T WANT TO DIE, commissioned by Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology Series, starring Justin Kirk and Olivia Edward.


THL Partner: Roja Gashtili

Roja Gashtili began her career at Alex Gibney's Jigsaw Productions and later as a coordinator on Charles Ferguson's Oscar®-nominated NO END IN SIGHT. Additionally, she worked as an associate producer on MTV's EXILED  with additional credits on the Hulu series A DAY IN THE LIFE, as well as Saturday Night Live: In The 90s. Gashtili most recently produced the Refinery29 Shatterbox film Jack and Jo Don't Want to Die JACK AND JO DON'T WANT TO DIE, directed by Kantú Lentz.


THL Partner: Kantú Lentz

Bane Fakih is a Lebanese filmmaker based in New York City. Her first short film, ASSIL AND JAD, won Best Short Film at the European Film Festival of Beirut, Best Student Film in Nadi Li Kol El Nass, and Best Original Screenplay at the New York City International Film Festival. Fakih holds a BA from the Saint Joseph University of Beirut and an MFA degree in Screenwriting/Directing at Columbia University, where she was awarded the Ezra Litwak Award for Distinction in Screenwriting. During her time at Columbia, Fakih wrote and directed VIBES, which is screening in OutFest, The Palm Springs International ShortFest, Berlin Feminist Week, FilmOut San Diego, Reelout Charlotte, NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Berlin Short Film Festival and OutWest Film Festival. Fakih is now developing her first feature, KEEP IT TOGETHER, which was selected by the Tribeca Film Institute for the Tribeca All Access® 2019 program and for the Cine Qua Non 2019 Screenwriting Lab.


THL Partner: Birgit Gernböck

Birgit Gernböck is a hands-on producer based in New York City. Prior to pursuing her MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University, she had already produced over 35 TV movies for all major German networks. In 2016, Gernböck produced Francisca Alegria’s AND THE WHOLE SKY FIT IN A DEAD COW'S EYE, which received the National Board of Review Award, screened at TIFF, NYFF, Telluride, and won the International Jury Award at Sundance 2017. She was an Associate Producer on Terence Nance’s critically acclaimed show RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS, which aired on HBO in 2018 and received a Peabody award in 2019. Gernböck is traveling the festival circuit with Darya Zhuk’s feature debut Crystal Swan, which had its world premiere at Karlovy Vary in 2018 and celebrated its U.S. premiere at Slamdance 2019. The film is the first Academy Award® submission from the former Soviet Republic nation since 1996 and most recently won the Media Choice Award at Shanghai IFF 2019.


THL Partner: Bane Fakih

Charlotte T. Martin is a writer who acts. Although she does not discriminate between writing projects based on medium, her first and truest love is screenwriting. After many experiments with homegrown web series and a charmingly DIY feature (THE FIRST OF OUR FRIENDS TO GET MARRIED, writer and co-director), Martin wrote and starred in the short CHEMISTRY, her first partnership with Cynthia Silver. MELISSA is their second collaboration.

Project: MELISSA

THL Partner: Cynthia Silver

Cynthia Silver is an NYC-based director and acting teacher. She began her artistic career training at New York City’s Atlantic Acting School, where she is now a faculty member, and earned her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her filmmaking is a culmination of twenty-five years of acting, directing and teaching. It is with former students and many longtime theatre colleagues that Silver made the award-winning shorts SLEEP TRAINING, SIBS, CHEMISTRY, and the short form series ADULT, all of which have screened at a wide range of festivals throughout North America. Her most recent short THE SHALLOW END, based on Wendy MacLeod’s one-act play of the same title, embarks on its festival run this fall. Silver lives in Manhattan with her husband Matt and their daughter Sadie.

Project: MELISSA

THL Partner: Charlotte T. Martin

Laura Moss is a filmmaker from New York City. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, as well as an IFP Emerging Storyteller. Her most recent project, the pilot of the sci-fi/comedy series NEUROTICA, starring Karen Gillan and Jon Bass, premiered this April at the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Director for a Comedy Pilot at Seriesfest. Moss’ short ALLEN ANDERS – LIVE AT THE COMEDY CASTLE (CIRCA 1987) premiered at SXSW 2018. Her previous short, FRY DAY, screened at SXSW and Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. FRY DAY has since screened at over 50 international festivals and won 19 awards, including the top shorts prizes at Melbourne, Miami, New Hampshire and Hollyshorts. It is currently available on the Criterion Channel.


THL Partner: Laura Moss

Mali Elfman is a Scottish BAFTA-nominated producer, who began her career with her micro-budget feature film DO NOT DISTURB (released by Warner Brothers, 2010). Since then Elfman has produced many films including Karen Gillan’s directorial debut THE PARTY'S JUST BEGINNING and Mike Flanagan’s BEFORE I WAKE. She’s produced over 45 short films for Fun Size Horror, a company she helped co-found. Elfman recently produced the pilot NEUROTICA with award winning director Laura Moss and writer Nick Kocher (SNL, It's Always Sunny) starring Karen Gillan. She has also produced numerous live events including Mark Danielewski’s “The Fifty Year Sword” at the Disney Concert Hall, and the horror immersive experience, “The Overlook Game.” Elfman’s goal is to ensure fair and enjoyable productions to help innovative storytellers bring monsters and mayhem to life.


THL Partner: Mali Elfman


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