Writer/director Suha Araj will received full production funds for her short film Rosa, Tribeca Enterprises has announced. Araj was one of five projects under consideration as part of the annual Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, a mentorship project sponsored by Tribeca Enterprises and Chanel.
Araj and producer Maryam Keshavarz will receive $80,000 of the program’s $100,000 grants, along with support from Tribeca Studios. Four other participants each will receive $5,000 to further development on their short films. The awards were announced following last week’s three-day workshop.
“I’m thrilled and touched,” said Araj. “This story comes from a very personal place and I hope to connect with a lot of different communities with this project. These three days with the Through Her Lens program have been so supportive and have helped me sharpen this story and has created an amazing network of women who I hope grow with.”
Rosa focuses on the title character who, while working at her aunt’s flower shop, begins a side business shipping undocumented bodies to their home countries for burial.
The four projects to receive $5,000 grants are:
- Writer/Director Gabriella Moses and producer Shruti Ganguly with El Tiembre de Su Voz
- Co-Writers/Co-Directors Francesca Mirabella and Kylah Benes-Trapp with H-E-A-T-H-E-R
- Writer/Director Laramie Dennis and producer Jenna Cedicci with Life on sMars
- Writer/Director Jennifer Suhr and producer Carolyn Mao with What Is Your Soul Purpose?
This year’s Through Her Lens jury was comprised of actor/director Dianna Agron, producer Effie T. Brown, actor Cara Delevingne, writer/director Mary Harron, cinematographer Rachel Morrison, and producer Paula Weinstein.
In announcing the award winner, the jury noted, “This was a very difficult decision. Each of the projects brought us into new worlds and all of them have subject matters that deserve to be seen. We selected a project that for us was the most unexpected, that offered a unique vision and cultural perspective. In this climate when the view of the immigrant experience can be so polarizing, this is a story that hit a universal chord. It gives fresh insight into our cultural landscape in a way you haven’t seen before.”