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Immersive 3-day mentorship program provides project support and master classes for emerging female filmmakers, and awards $100,000 in filmmaker grants

Leadership committee Amma Asante, Ilene Chaiken, Dakota Fanning, Donna Gigliotti, Mira Nair, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel Weisz, among others

NEW YORK, NY– October 12, 2017NEW YORK, NY– October 12, 2017 – Continuing their commitment to creating new opportunities for a new generation of women filmmakers and writers, Tribeca Enterprises and CHANEL announced today the third annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program. The 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 InstituteÒ (TFI), the multi-faceted program, 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 full financing to produce her short film, along with support of Tribeca Studios to make the project, and the four other projects will each be awarded grant funds to continue the development of their films.

The filmmakers will convene for three days in New York City, October 17-19, for an in-depth, intimate program concentrating on script-to-screen development, casting, finding collaborators, and working with music composers, costume designers, and producers. Selected participants, along with one female filmmaking partner each, will attend master classes and have individual mentoring sessions with leading women in filmmaking, meet distributors, and refine their pitching skills. During the summer, each filmmaker was given the opportunity to work with writing mentors to shape and refine her project.

“We created THROUGH HER LENS with CHANEL three years ago to support and nurture female artists through mentorship and funding,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises. "Since then, we’ve built a community of incredible women storytellers who recognize how critical it is to discover and empower female filmmakers. We're excited to welcome this next generation of rising talent to the program.”

“We’re thrilled to give such a talented new class of filmmakers the opportunity to participate in THROUGH HER LENS,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of TFI. “The program, and advancing the careers of female filmmakers in general, is an important part of our year-round work elevating diverse storytellers in order to advance racial, gender and economic equity.”

The Leadership Committee participating in the program includes:

  • MASTER CLASS ADVISORS: writer/director Amma Asante MBE (Belle, A United Kingdom, Where Hands Touch), actor Dakota Fanning (“The Alienist,” Brimstone, The Runaways), producer Donna Gigliotti (Hidden Figures, Silver Linings Playbook, Shakespeare in Love), composer Laura Karpman (Paris Can Wait, Underground), producer Riva Marker (Stronger, Beasts of No Nation), and costume designer Sandy Powell (Wonderstruck, Carol, The Aviator).
  • JURORS: director/producer Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding, Queen of Katwe), producer Paula Weinstein (“Grace and Frankie,” The Perfect Storm, Recount), and actor/producer Rachel Weisz (Disobedience, The Lobster, The Constant Gardner, My Cousin Rachel).
  • MENTORS: producer Caroline Baron (“Mozart in the Jungle,” Capote, Monsoon Wedding), writer/executive producer Ilene Chaiken ("The L Word," “Empire,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”), writer Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire, Limitless, Hairspray), casting director Ellen Lewis (Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Irishman), actor Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River, Ingrid Goes West, Avengers: Infinity War), and producer Celine Rattray (The Kids Are All Right, American Honey).
  • WRITING MENTORS: producer Effie T. Brown (Fox’s “Star,” Dear White People, “Project Greenlight”), producer Lucy Fisher (The Great Gatsby, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Divergent Series), president of TriStar Hannah Minghella (Trainspotting 2, Baby Driver), and director/writer/producer Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha, Little Women).

The selected projects and filmmakers are:

  • VUELA - Marianne Amelinckx (Writer/Director). Venezuela could have been one of the richest countries in the modern world, but ineffective government policies and corruption have made the country one of the most dangerous places to live. Vuela (Fly) tells the story of a chance encounter between Luisa and Monica just before they take off to different countries and leave everything behind them, including the opportunity to get to know each other. Marianne Amelinckx is a Venezuelan writer/director whose passion for storytelling led her to write and direct Salta, a very personal short film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. Vuela is the second short film of the trilogy: Salta, Vuela, Corre. She is also currently working on ‘39 bedrooms’, a personal blog that might turn into her first feature film.
  • WINGMEN - Nicole Emanuele (Writer/Director). Sarah’s bachelorette party is all cigarettes and penis shots, until she and her best friend Marie get the call to report for active duty the next day. They’ve been training for years to be deployed by the US Navy, so they’ve got this, right? Nicole Emanuele’s short film Love, Gina (2017) played at Cinequest and Rooftop Film Festival and was featured on The Playlist. She produced Not Waving But Drowning (2012) with Adam Driver, Lilli Reinhart, Megan Guinan and Vanessa Ray and is currently a development executive at YouTube Red overseeing series and films including Step Up: High Water and Doug Liman’s Impulse.
  • NO FAULT - Myna Joseph (Writer/Director). Following a near-fatal car accident, Lu wrestles with creeping invisibility as she approaches the second half of her life. On this long winter day, she finds her physical identity fractured, ignored, misunderstood, and judged – but with wry humor and stubborn resilience, she’s determined to be seen. Myna Joseph’s short film Man screened at Cannes in Directors’ Fortnight, Sundance, SXSW, and New Directors/New Films Festival. She was nominated for a 2016 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay for The Mend, which was also nominated for a Gotham Award. Myna attended the Sundance Directors’ and Screenwriters’ Labs with her feature Charlotte XVI and is a graduate of Wellesley College and Columbia University’s M.F.A film program.
  • SUICIDE BY SUNLIGHT - Nikyatu Jusu (Writer/Director). Valentina, a day-walking Black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin, finds it difficult to suppress her bloodlust when a new woman is brought around her estranged twin daughters. Nikyatu Jusu is an award-winning Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker. Her screenplay Free the Town participated in the Sundance Institute’s inaugural Diverse Writers Workshop and was selected for both the 2013 Durban Film Mart and Film Independent’s Fast Track. Her short film, Flowers, won the HBO short film award and is her third film acquired by HBO.
  • GIRL WANTS MAGIC - written by Anna Zlokovic (Writer/Director). Manny, an outcast and bullied high schooler, finds her only friend in music. When her teacher, Mr. Hornby, is possessed by a violent, alien insect, Manny is forced to fight her biggest demon yet and discover her magic within. Anna is an award-winning writer/director based in Los Angeles and an alumna of the USC Film & TV Production program. Her films and music videos have screened internationally at festivals including SXSW, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Fantasia Int'l Film Festival, and Oberhausen Int’l Film Festival. She is a founding member of the Aporkalypse filmmaking collective.

This past year, CHANEL strengthened its initiatives to support female filmmakers with Tribeca when it became the presenting partner of the Nora Ephron Prize. Awarded during the annual Tribeca Film Festival, the prize was created in 2013 to honor exceptional female filmmakers who embody the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker. Women who have received the award include: Meera Menon (Farah Goes Bang, Equity), Talya Lavie (Zero Motivation), Laura Bispuri (Sworn Virgin) Rachel Tunnard (Adult Life Skills), and Petra Volpe (The Divine Order) from this past year.

The main recipient of last year’s THROUGH HER LENS grant, Feathers, directed by A.V. Rockwell, is currently in post-production. In 2015, the program’s inaugural year, the grant was awarded to WigShop, directed by Kat Coiro (L!fe Happens, And While We’re Here), which debuted at the 2016 Hamptons International Film Festival.

Tribeca actively cultivates independent voices in storytelling and has been at the forefront of supporting women filmmakers. THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program—the most recent iteration of Tribeca’s commitment to female artistic voices—continues to provide resources to help empower emerging women storytellers in the industry. The nonprofit affiliate of Tribeca, Tribeca Film Institute, supports female filmmakers through, among other initiatives, its cornerstone grant and mentorship program, Tribeca All AccessÒ. Currently in its 15th year, the program supports scripted, documentary and interactive storytellers from diverse communities, including those that are statistically underrepresented in the industry.
Tammie Rosen, Tribeca Enterprises, 212.941.2003,
Annie Buck – CHANEL – 404.771.8501

Tribeca Enterprises is a multi-platform storytelling company based in New York City. Established in 2003 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, 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 branded entertainment businesses including the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival International, and Tribeca Studios. In 2014, The Madison Square Garden Company acquired a 50% stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together two of New York's most important cultural and entertainment icons to enhance the reach and impact of both brands.

CHANEL, the international luxury goods company, was founded in France by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century. The company, which is privately held, offers a broad range of luxury products, including Ready-to-Wear, fragrance, cosmetics, leathergoods, accessories, fine jewelry and watches, through a U.S. network of 24 boutiques and approximately 91 locations at select retailers. CHANEL is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections presented in Paris. CHANEL maintains 190 fashion boutiques worldwide, including the legendary House of CHANEL on rue Cambon in Paris. Under the creative guidance of designer Karl Lagerfeld, the House of CHANEL remains dedicated to luxury, fashion, style and image.

CHANEL opened its very first watch boutique avenue Montaigne in 1987 for the launch of the Première watch. The boutique was then transferred to place Vendôme in 1990, displaying also from 1993 the new CHANEL Fine Jewelry creations. Since 1997, the flagship Watch and Fine Jewelry boutique sits at 18, place Vendôme. There are 12 boutiques featuring fine jewelry collections in the U.S. and 52 Watch and Fine Jewelry boutiques worldwide.


Tribeca Film Institute champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world. Through grants and professional development programs, TFI supports a diverse, exceptional group of filmmakers and media artists, providing them resources needed to fully realize their stories and connect with audiences. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century. Featuring hands-on training and exposure to socially relevant lms, the Institute administers programs to more than 25,000 students annually. TFI was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001 and is a 501(c)(3) year-round nonprofit arts organization