WIF Selects Filmmakers for Shorts Lab – Film News in Brief

Women in Film
Courtesy Women in Film

Women in Film, Los Angeles has announced the three teams of women filmmakers that have been selected as inaugural fellows of the WIF Shorts Lab, supported by Google. The teams will be paired with mentors including producers Kira Carstensen and Alexandra Perez and line producer Martha Cronin and receive grants to complete their films.

The projects are “Choices,” from writer-director Kameishia Wooten (pictured, left), producer Robin J. Hayes and line producer Meagann Pallares; “Please in Spanish” from writer-director Patricia Seely (pictured, center) and producer Alexandra Clayton and “Silverlake Cleaners,” from writer-director Katarina Zhu (pictured, right).

The projects were selected by a jury including Stephanie Allain, Lake Bell, Margie Moreno, and Talitha Watkins.

American Cinematheque Announces ‘New Jack City’ Special Screening Event

The American Cinematheque has announced a “New Jack City” Special Screening Event on April 9 followed by a Q&A with director Mario Van Peebles.

“New Jack City’ getting shut down in Westwood in 1991 is indicative of a confluence of violence against Black people on-screen and off-screen in real life. This is a legacy of film and television that actively continues to haunt us today,” said series co-curator Roya Rastegar. “We often talk about the power of film to represent marginalized communities. But the burden to ‘be real’ and authentically represent one’s community can be a trap for BIPOC filmmakers. This program reflects on and honors films from the 1990s that blunted the force of representational and respectability politics and played with the idea of what’s ‘real.’”

Over the next year, The American Cinematheque will host “Perpetratin’ Realism” to explore the new wave of films in the 1990s by Black filmmakers. Dubbed by scholar and critic Manthia Diawara, “new Black realism” films featured dynamic portrayals of Black people grappling with the hierarchies of power and the living legacies of white racism, gun violence, and illicit economies.

Currently, programmed films include “Clockers” directed by Spike Lee, “Menace II Society” directed by The Hughes Brothers, “Set It Off” directed by F. Gary Gray, “I Like It Like That” directed by Darnell Martin and “House Party” directed by Reginald Hudlin.

Film Independent Announces 2022 Screenwriting Lab Participants

Film Independent have announced that Sari Arambulo, Rob Connolly, Elise H. Greven, Sanford Jenkins, Phumi Morare and Lanre Olabisi have been selected for its annual Screenwriting Lab.

Now in its 24th year, the Screenwriting Lab provides mentorship and career development to emerging screenwriters with feature fiction screenplays. Previous Screenwriting Lab participants include acclaimed filmmakers Chloé Zhao and Andrew Ahn, who workshopped their debut films “Songs My Brother Taught Me” and “Spa Night” through the program. This year’s class will receive guidance from advisors Javier Fuentes-León, Pamela Ribon, Ellen Shanman, Robin Swicord and Christopher Makoto Yogi. Ruth Atkinson, Alex Camilleri, Angela Cheng Caplan, KD Davila, Matthew Dy, Greta Fuentes, Sam Intili, Amanda Marshall, Alex Moratto, Sheila Hanahan Taylor and Elliott Whitton will serve as additional guest speakers and advisors.

Film Independent also awarded the inaugural Hyde Park Entertainment & Warner Music Group Screenwriting Fellowship, which provides a $12,500 stipend to support the development of a script. This year’s Fellowship was awarded to Arambulo, for her script “Family Style (fka Foodie).” Hyde Park Entertainment will produce her project and provide her with industry mentorship.

View a list of the selected screenwriters and their below:
“A Storybook Ending”
Writer/Director: Lanre Olabisi
When a black man accidentally kills a white cop, the cover-up sets off a chain reaction that brings together seven disparate characters who all become embroiled in a game of theft, mistaken identity, blackmail, and murder.

“Family Style (fka Foodie)”
Writer: Sari Arambulo
When a food-obsessed Filipina transracial adoptee forms an unlikely friendship with a picky eater who begins working at the same Filipino restaurant, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery to find her true birth mom.

“Joy and Pain”
Writer/Director: Sanford Jenkins
An exploration of two families, through a young couple burying a parent and bearing their first child.

“Lavender Country”
Writer/Director: Rob Connolly
Lavender Country is the true story of Patrick Haggerty and his band of radical Gay Liberationists as they create the world’s first overtly-queer country album in 1973, chronicling their fight for survival, freedom, and true intimacy amid the sexual revolution.

“Silent Spring”
Writer: Elise H. Greven
Biologist Rachel Carson takes on the government and powerful chemical industries as she struggles to write “Silent Spring,” the book that sparks the creation of the American environmental movement.

“There is Salt in the Water”
Writer/Director: Phumi Morare
A Senegalese surfer and immigrant to South Africa struggles to start a surf school for Black children from the slums. His efforts are thwarted further when his daughter falls ill and develops an obsession with water.

‘Reservation Dogs’Creators Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo and Receive ICG Publicists Television Showpersons Award

Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, multi-award-winning co-creators and executive producers of the acclaimed TV series “Reservation Dogs,” have been named recipients of the ICG Publicists (International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600) 2022 Television Showpersons Award.

“Reservation Dogs” is the first TV series to feature an all-Indigenous team of writers, directors and series regulars. Harjo and Waititi will be honored at the ICG Publicists Awards luncheon at The Beverly Hilton on March 25, it was announced today by Awards Chairs Tim Menke and Sheryl Main.

“As we look forward to celebrating publicists, we are also excited to recognize the showmanship of Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi for co-creating the innovative and critically-acclaimed Reservation Dogs. We applaud them for advancing the representation of Indigenous people on television. Reservation Dogs is compelling TV at its best for all audiences,” said Menke.

Academy Museum to Honor Tilda Swinton and Steve McQueen at Gala

The Academy Museum has announced details of its second annual gala. Miky Lee, Steve McQueen and Tilda Swinton will all be honored on Oct. 15.

Halle Berry, Jason Blum, Ryan Murphy and Lupita Nyong’o will all co-chair the night which will raise vital funds to support the museum’s access, education and programming initiatives.