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Tribeca Film Institute and Pond5 Announce Winners for Aspiring Filmmaker Program

Tribeca Film Institute announced the winners of their 2019 TFI Pond5 program funding aspiring filmmakers.

Eight applicants, narrowed down from a pool of 200, were awarded with up to $7,500 in funding for their filmmaking endeavors. The program, in junction with media company Pond5, began the initiative last year to support indie filmmakers in “systematically-excluded communities.”

“These filmmakers are telling timely stories through their unique perspectives using both documentary, scripted, and interactive formats,” Amy Hobby, Tribeca Film Institute’s executive director, said in a statement. “The TFI Pond5 Program allows us to continue to support filmmakers that we believe so strongly in. We’re excited to fund this group of emerging creators.”

Recipients will be able to use funding for everything from music licensing and hiring crew members to attending workshops and mentorship sessions. This year, 50% of grantees are women.

Winners include writer, director and producer Jorge Thielen-Armand for his feature “La Cercanía” about a woman leaving her family to move to Paris to join her ex-husband and his new family. Director and producer Patricia Antelles, along with producer Melinda Hess, won for “Constructed Memories” about a daughter and father conversing “across barriers of space and time.” Writer, director and producer Ekwa Msangi, along with producer Huriyyah Muhammad, won for “Farewell Amor” about a family reunited with their father and husband who recently came out of exile after 17 years.

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Director and producer Anna Fitch, co-director and producer Banker White and producer Sarah Dosa have received funding to hire crew members for their documentary “Heaven Through the Backdoor.” Writer and director Lorena Padilla and producer Georgina Gonzalez earned funds to take a directing actors workshop to help with their feature “Martínez.” Writer and Director Milton Liu and writer and producer Steven Sakai received funding for a “large portion of the budget” for their feature. Director and producer Jasmin Mara López and producer Bron Moyi of “Silent Beauty” and Deepak Rauniyar of “The Sky is Mine” also won funding.

“Thanks to the support from TFI Pond5 Program I will be able to explore my characters in a deeper way. Directing actors is an art and I want to be totally prepared to be able to improvise and respond to my actors during my shooting,” said Lorena Padilla, writer and director of “Martínez.”

Past winners include Elegance Bratton and Chester Algernal of the documentary “Pier Kids,” which premiered at Outfest 2019, as well as Rosie Westhoff and Fiona Hardingham for their short “Our Sister,” which premiered at BFI London Film Festival 2019.

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