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Women in Film 2011 Finishing Grants

by Melissa Silverstein
October 3, 2011 2:38 AM
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For the 26th year, Women in Film (in LA) has announced several grants to help projects get through that last hurdle towards the finish line.

The fund is supported by Netflix (so I guess I like them a little more now cause I and everyone else has been pissed about them raising their rates)

The Winners:
Narratives Feature Films:
Jenny Deller’s “Future Weather”
Tina Gharavi’s “I Am Nasrine”

Documentary Films:
Lisa Denker’s “Ability: The Judy Finelli Project,”
Kristi Zea’s “Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray,”
Debbie Lum’s and Allison Sargent’s “Seeking Asian Female,”
Roynn Lisa Simmon’s “Naked”
Heather Lenz and Karen Johnson’s “Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots”

Narrative Short Films:
An animated short by Natasha Subramaniam
Alisa Lapidus, “Zergut”

The Details (from the press release):

“ABILITY: THE JUDY FINELLI PROJECT” – Documentary
LISA DENKER – DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, ALBANY, CA
One remarkable woman transcends the limitations of living with multiple sclerosis through reconnection to the circus arts and family, recovering the will to live anew.

“EVERYBODY KNOWS… ELIZABETH MURRAY” - Documentary
KRISTI ZEA – DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, VALLEY COTTAGE, NY
The Museum of Modern Art has honored only four women with major retrospectives of their work, most recently Elizabeth Murray. This documentary traces the life and work of this remarkable, dynamic woman whose paintings have broken rules, and established her as a veritable iconoclast of the mainstream art world.

“I AM NASRINE” - Narrative Feature
TINA GHARAVI – DIRECTOR/PRODUCER, SOUTH SHIELDS, TYNE+WEAR, UK
Nasrine could be, and is, any teenager. Events throw her world into revolution as circumstances beyond her control change her life forever. In this subtly observed film we meet a young woman doing her best to understand herself, find a better world, and to deal with the consequences of politics around her. Her brother, Ali, to look after her is also on his own journey. When tragedy befalls the pair, Nasrine has to decide whether to take the reins of her life into her own hands.

“SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE” - Documentary
DEBBIE LUM –PRODUCER/DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
ALLISON SARGENT – CO-PRODUCER, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Two strangers, an elderly American man and a young Chinese woman, pursue a marriage brokered by the Internet, but they get more than they bargained for when she moves across
the Pacific to start a new life with him in America in this intimate and quirky personal documentary about modern love.

“NAKED” - Documentary
ROYNN LISA SIMMONS – DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER, MIDDLETOWN, CT
Naked is one woman’s grueling struggle with breast cancer. Thoughtful, funny, and courageous, Meredith reveals all as she visits her oncologist, fights with insurers, has her breasts photographed by an artist, and consults with plastic surgeons.

“FUTURE WEATHER” - Narrative Feature
JENNY DELLER – DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Abandoned by her single mom, a teenage loner becomes fixated on ecological disaster, forcing her and her grandmother, a functioning alcoholic, to rethink their futures.

“ZERGUT” – Animation Short
NATASHA SUBRAMANIAM & ALISA LAPIDUS, CO-DIRECTORS, LOS ANGELES, CA
Within a refrigerator, a battle ensues as moldy foods forgotten in the depths of the back, rise up against the fresh ingredients that reside in the front. These confrontations escalate to become a war, as foods morph, disintegrate, dance, explode, and become a textural, abstract display of color and form culminating in a grand finale sequence that results in their obliteration.

“KUSAMA: PRINCESS OF POLKA DOTS” - Documentary
HEATHER LENZ – DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER, IRVINE, CA
KAREN JOHNSON - PRODUCER
Yayoi Kusama’s rise to fame within the art world. In her youth, Kusama rivaled Andy Warhol. Now 82, she has spent the last 30 years in a Tokyo mental institution. This is the story of a misfit who gains acceptance


The winners get cash as well as in-kind production services and were chosen from a total of 113 submissions, made up of 71 Documentaries (41 features and 30 shorts) and 41 Narrative Films (19 features and 22 shorts). The submissions included applications from all over the United States and all corners of the globe including Chile, Ireland, Romania, Sweden, Canada and the UK.

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