Jurors Angela Bassett, Lucy Boynton, Channing Dungey, Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Elbaum and Angelica Ross Award Rest Stop Full Production Funds Along with Support From Tribeca Studios

NEW YORK, NY– October 15, 2020 – 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. The women filmmakers selected for the program were:


  • Writer/Director Zandashé Brown and Producer Monica Sorelle with Benediction
  • Writer/Producer Nadia P. Manzoor and Producer Khaula Malik with Cut Leaf
  • Writer/Director Crystal Kayiza and Producer Jalena Keane-Lee with Rest Stop
  • Writer/Director Mary Angēlica Molina with Rosario
  • Writer/Director/Producer Susan O’Brien and Writer Producer Giselle Byrd with Wings


For the first time this year, Tribeca and CHANEL hosted In Conversation, a series of publicly available talks between leading women in film featuring: actor/producer, Yara Shahidi and her business partner and mother, Keri Shahidi, discussing the business of film and setting one’s own career path; cinematographers Rachel Morrsion and Ellen Kuras, exchanging insights on visual storytelling; and actor/director Kristen Stewart and actor/writer Jenny Slate weighing in on creative collaborations with actors. 


In Conversation talks are available to view at
The leadership committee for the program, in addition to the jury, included the following:


  • MASTERCLASS ADVISORS: casting Alexa Fogel (The Prom, Judas and The Black Messiah), actor Annette Bening (American Beauty, 20th Century Women), directing Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard, Beyond The Lights), composer Laura Karpman (“Lovecraft Country”, Cotton Club Encore), writer/director/ producer Marti Noxon (Dietland, Sharp Objects), and costume designer Sharen Davis (Ray, “Watchmen”)
  • JURORS: actor/director/producer Angela Bassett (Black Panther, What’s Love Got to Do With It), actor/producer 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).
  • MENTORS: actor Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy, The Wife), actor Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”, Me Before You), producer Mollye Asher (Nomadland, Swallow), writer/director Nikki Caro (Whale Rider, Mulan), writer/director/producer Ry Russo-Young (The Sun is Also a Star, Before I Fall).
  • WRITING MENTORS: writer Brit Bennett (“The Mothers”,” The Vanishing Half”), writer/ producer Janine Nabers (“Atlanta”, “Watchmen”), writer/director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Someone Great, “Sweet/Vicious”), producer Kelly Carmichael (My Week with Marilyn, The 355), writer/producer Marja-Lewis Ryan (“The L Word: Generation Q”, 6 Balloons).


Crystal Kayiza, Writer/Director
Crystal Kayiza is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker from Oklahoma, named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. A recipient of the 2017 Jacob Burns Film Center Woman Filmmaker Fellowship and the 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellowship, Kayiza received the 2018 Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival for her film Edgecombe, which was an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired for distribution by the PBS series POV. Her most recent film See You Next Time, which aired on Starz, was an official selection of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released by The New Yorker. 


Jalena Keane-Lee, Producer
Jalena Keane-Lee is a director, cinematographer and producer who explore intergenerational trauma healing through an intersectional lens. Keane-Lee’s films have screened at the UN, HIFF, CAAMFest and LAAPFF and she has also produced a short film for Independent Lens. Keane-Lee is the co-founder of Breaktide Productions, an all women of color video production company rooted in intersectional solidarity that has carried out national video campaigns for brands like Nike and Thinx. In addition to winning two Cannes Lion awards for their branded content, Breaktide was included in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ list of 100 changemakers in 2019.



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Jeff David Gray – Tribeca Enterprises: 212.470.1209
Alyssa Grinder – Tribeca Enterprises: 716.574.8697
Annie Buck – CHANEL: 404.771.8501


About Tribeca Enterprises:
Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company, established in 2003 by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Tribeca provides artists with unique platforms to expand the audience for their work and broadens consumer access to experience storytelling, independent film, and media. The company operates a network of entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival; the Tribeca TV Festival; and its branded entertainment production arm, Tribeca Studios. In 2019,  James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.


CHANEL is a private company and a world leader in creating, developing, manufacturing and distributing luxury products. Founded by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century, CHANEL offers a broad range of high-end creations, including Ready-to-Wear, leather goods, fashion accessories, eyewear, fragrances, makeup, skincare, Jewelry and Watches. CHANEL is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections, presented twice yearly in Paris, and for having acquired a large number of specialized suppliers, collectively known as the Métiers d’art. CHANEL is dedicated to ultimate luxury and to the highest level of craftsmanship. It is a brand whose core values remain historically grounded on exceptional creation. As such, CHANEL promotes culture, art, creativity and “savoir-faire” throughout the world, and invests significantly in people, R&D and innovation. At the end of 2019, CHANEL employed close to 28,000 people worldwide.