EXCLUSIVE: The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) revealed today 10 grant winners for the 15th annual Tribeca All Access (TAA) program, which puts the spotlight on stories from historically underrepresented voices.
The 10 projects, seven of which are directed by women, include scripted and documentary projects. Recipients will each receive a $10,000 grant as well as customized year-round support, guidance, and industry access from TFI.
The grant honorees include a wide variety of films that tackle different themes included a coming-of-age story that focuses on immediate access to technology as well as the current administration and how it affects all different races, ages, and regions.
Established in 2004, TAA has since supported more than 560 filmmakers including Oscar-nominated Dee Rees, director and writer of Mudbound and Roger Ross Williams, director of the 2016 Academy Award-nominated documentary Life, Animated. Gillian Robespierre, director of the critically acclaimed Obvious Child was also a recipient.
Five grants will be awarded to scripted projects in various stages:
After 17 years in exile, Walter’s wife and daughter are reunited with him in the U.S., now absolute strangers. They struggle to overcome the personal and political hurdles between them, sacrificing the lives they built while separated and need to rely on the muscle memory of Angolan dance to rediscover each other.
Director, Screenwriter, Producer: Ekwa Msangi
Producer: Huriyyah Muhammad
After cutting her ties to responsibility and romance, a reckless train hopper on a nightmarish ride must confront the cost of freedom.
Director, Co-screenwriter: Natalia Leite
Co-screenwriter: Liz Armstrong
In the era of chill, where the goal is to “live your best life” for your followers, two young lovers are torn apart. Twenty year-olds Zoe and Oscar fight for love, sex and connection in the age of Instagram.
Director, Screenwriter: Francesca Mirabella
Co-Producer: Ilana Rossein
NO HALF STEPPIN’
When Malik’s single mother confiscates the speaker he uses to dance on the subway, he reinvents himself as the “man of the house” to earn her respect. As he fights a looming eviction from their South Bronx home, the call of his passion for dancing becomes too strong to ignore.
Director, Screenwriter: Joel Vargas
Producer: Alyssa Villegas
We Strangers follows Rayelle “Ray” Martin, who is a commercial cleaner for a company that sends her to clean foreclosed homes and commercial spaces. While on the job, she meets a dentist who invites her to become his personal housekeeper for a substantial amount of money. Ray accepts the job, and she unwittingly enters a whole new world of the rich Northwest Indiana elite.
Director, Screenwriter: Anu Valia
Producer: Rachel Nederveld
Five grants will be awarded to documentary projects in various stages:
ALWAYS IN SEASON
As the trauma of more than a century of lynching African Americans bleeds into the present, Always in Season follows both the relatives of the perpetrators and the victims who are seeking justice in the midst of heated national debates surrounding the value of black lives.
Director, Producer, Writer: Jacqueline Olive
Produced by: Ann Bennett
BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM
In the shadow of Texas’s lucrative building boom, immigrant workers are on a downward spiral to poverty, illness, and death. Building the American Dream explores intimate stories from the frontlines of the construction industry, as undocumented immigrants fight for their basic rights.
Director, Producer: Chelsea Hernandez
Producers: Marisol Medrano and Mario Troncoso
Midnight Traveler follows a family of Afghan filmmakers on the run from the Taliban. Told from filmmaker Hassan Fazili’s first-person perspective, their story provides unprecedented access into the complex refugee crisis with the West.
Director: Hassan Fazili
Producer: Emelie Mahdavian
In a Florida town where hardship and struggle have afflicted generations, hopes for the future are concentrated on the young. Pahokee is a poetic observation that follows four youth ascending from heartbreak and relishing in the joyous rites of passage that serve as their send-off from the only town they call home.
Directors, Producers: Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan
Producer: Maida Lynn
Co-Producers: PJ Raval
Unbowed is the untold life story of an iconic seventy-year-old revolutionary. Surviving a lifetime of resistance, torture and prisoner exchanges, she restarts her life in the aftermath of a political deportation.
Directed and Produced by Nehad Khader