2018 Though Her Lens Program

Tribeca, Tribeca Film Institute and CHANEL continue to provide extraordinary opportunities to propel women filmmakers forward with the fourth annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program. The mentorship program was created to provide a balance of industry support, artistic development, and funding for new and emerging U.S.-based female writers and directors of short-form narrative films.

Presented by Tribeca and CHANEL, in collaboration with Pulse Films, and facilitated by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI), the multi-faceted program has selected five short film projects from women storytellers to receive project support, and take part in mentorship and master classes over a three day immersive program. On the last day, each of the five pairs of filmmakers will pitch their projects to a jury of industry experts. One filmmaker will be awarded full financing to produce their short film, along with the support of Tribeca Studios to make the project. Each of the other projects will each be awarded grant funds to continue developing their films.

From October 16 through 18, the filmmakers will gather in New York City with the mentor and program advisors for an in-depth, intimate program concentrating on script-to-screen development, casting, securing collaborators, and working with cinematographers, music composers, costume designers, and producers. The selected program participants will attend master classes and individual mentoring sessions with leading women in filmmaking, meet distributors, and spend concentrated time refining their pitching skills. During the summer, each filmmaker was given the opportunity to work with writing mentors to shape and refine her project.

2018 Participating Filmmakers & Projects


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. 

Francesca Mirabella (Co-Writer, Co-Director) 

Mirabella a writer/director is an alumni of the NYU's Tisch grad film department where she attended as a Dean's Fellow. Her shorts have screened at many festivals, most recently at MoMa. In 2017, Mirabella won an NYU Wasserman Award for Best Screenplay. A 2017-2018 Marcie Bloom Fellow, Mirabella is currently developing her feature MODERN LOVE, which was awarded a Tribeca All Access Grant. 

Kylah Benes-Trapp (Co-Writer, Co-Director) 

Kylah Benes-Trapp is a visual artist from California currently based in New York City. She works primarily in the mediums of digital illustration, photography and graphic design and has recently begun writing for film. With her work she explores ideas of self expression, femininity, identity and nostalgia. Her purpose is to create through her work, a world of possibility that will inspire discovery. 



Six aspiring astronauts are sealed inside a solar-powered dome, attempting to simulate life on Mars. When Dana's helmet malfunctions on the first spacewalk — depriving her of precious oxygen — she and her teammates have a critical decision to make. 

Laramie Dennis (Writer, Director) 

Laramie Dennis attended Wesleyan University as an undergrad, and spent ten years in NYC developing and directing new plays before earning her MFA in Film and Television Production from USC. Her short films have screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Short Film Corner at Cannes, and have been presented/distributed by Boyish, Shorts International, and Sprint. She's currently in production on THE GOLDEN RULE, a short-form animated series. 

Jenna Cedicci (Producer) 

Jenna Cedicci is an international feature film and commercial producer. She has developed and produced more than 75 commercials and five features to date, three slated for distribution in 2019: the documentary FIRE ON THE HILL, a remake of the classic German film NOSFERATU, and the narrative indie feature DADDY ISSUES. 



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.  

Suha Araj (Writer, Director) 

Suha’s filmmaking explores the displacement of immigrant communities. THE CUP READER (Tribeca 2013) shot in Palestine, and was awarded The Next Great Filmmaker Award at the Berkshire International Film Festival and the Baghdad International Film Festival.  She followed with PIONEER HIGH (2015). She has been supported by Sundance, Torino Film Lab, IFP, Berlinale Talent Market, CAAM and Cine Qua Non. 

Maryam Keshavarz (Producer) 

Maryam Keshavarz is a writer/ director/ producer.  Her short THE DAY I DIED won the Gold Teddy and Jury Prize at the Berlinale.Maryam’s feature CIRCUMSTANCE won Sundance’s Audience Award and was distributed theatrically by Participant Media and Roadside Attractions.  Her sophomore feature VIPER CLUB starring Susan Sarandon will have its world premiere at TIFF before hitting theaters in October. 



Yaneris, a Dominical 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. 

Gabriella Moses (Writer, Director) 

Gabriella Moses is an award-winning director and production designer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She has received support for her work through the 2017 NYWIFT "From Script to Pre-Production" Workshop, the 2018 Sundance Screenwriters Intensive and 2018 TFI Network. She believes in sharing stories with underrepresented protagonists that push viewers' perceptions of identity and their imaginations. 

Shruti Ganguly (Producer) 

Shruti Ganguly is a filmmaker and the founder of honto88. She has run video departments and developed the video strategy at various media companies from MTV to Conde Nast/Vogue, to being the VP of TV & Video at NYLON. The films she has produced have gone to Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, and AFI. Shruti hails from India by way of Oman. 



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.  

Jennifer Suhr (Writer/Director) 

Jennifer Cho Suhr is a Brooklyn based writer/director. She is developing her debut feature, YOU AND ME BOTH, starring Constance Wu, selected for TFI’s All Access, Film Independent Producing Lab and Fast Track programs. Jennifer earned her MFA in Film from New York University where she was awarded the Tisch Fellowship and the Spike Lee Film Production Grant. 

Carolyn Mao (Producer) 

Carolyn Mao is a LA based producer and former development executive. NICE, a pilot she produced by creator Naomi Ko and director Andrew Ahn premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She is currently raising financing for the feature, YOU AND ME BOTH, with lead Constance Wu. She is a fellow of Film Independent’s Project Involve, Producing Lab and Fast Track.

October 16 through 18
New York City