Women in Film and Google have set Kameishia Wooten and Robin J. Hayes (Choices), Patricia Seely and Alexandra Clayton (Please In Spanish), and Katarina Zhu (Silverlake Cleaners) as the fellows for the inaugural WIF Shorts Lab supported by Google.
As part of the program, fellows will benefit not only from WIF’s years of expertise in nurturing creatives, but also from funding support courtesy of Google, including grants to complete production on their short films. Additional production and post-production support is being provided to the filmmakers by Warner Chappell Music, Picture Shop, and Cinelease. The films will be completed by this summer and will be owned by the filmmakers, who will look to submit them to festivals and for award consideration.
The fellows were selected by a jury of industry leaders and veteran producers, including Stephanie Allain, Lake Bell, Margie Moreno and Talitha Watkins. They will be mentored in the process of creating their films by producers including Kira Carstensen (Rebel Hearts), Alexandra Perez (Into the Dark) and veteran line producer Martha Cronin.
“Short films are a critical tool for advancing filmmakers’ careers, though they can be a challenge to resource, especially for people underrepresented in the field,” said WIF Director of Programs Maikiko James. “We’e thrilled to be working with these three stellar projects and their teams, and grateful for Google’s support to make it possible.”
“The fellows selected by WIF and Google for the inaugural Shorts Lab are promising writers, directors, and producers with a remarkable gift for telling compelling, diverse stories,” added Google’s Head of Content & Entertainment Partnerships, Elle Roth-Brunet. “Each of these women are dynamic creatives and the team at Google is honored to provide them with resources that can help get their projects over the finish line and elevate more voices of women in Hollywood.”
The partnership between Women in Film and Google was negotiated by UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, the brand consulting division of UTA, which represents Google. More information on the 2022 WIF Shorts Lab participants and their projects can be found below.
Logline: CHOICES is a coming-of-age comedy about a class clown, a nerd, and an aspiring prom queen who await pregnancy test results in a girls’ bathroom at their South L.A. high school.
Kameishia Wooten, writer/director: Kameishia Wooten is a passionate director, writer, and producer who creates provoking, inclusive, socially impactful stories for film and television. She has written, directed, and produced 6 short films and a web series. Most recently, Kameishia’s proof of concept short, DESTINY’S ROAD, received the Best Narrative Short Film Audience Award at the 2021 Moorpark Film Festival, Best Short Film Award at the 2020 Black Truth Film Festival, and has screened in over 20 film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Robin J. Hayes, producer: Dr. Robin J. Hayes hails from a blended Afro-Latine, Caribbean, and African American family in Brooklyn (before it was artisanal). With the assistance of academic scholarships, she attended St. George’s—an elite New England boarding school—and studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, she collaborated with veterans, clergy, and soccer moms to lead dozens of humanitarian aid missions in Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
PLEASE IN SPANISH
Logline: Feeling disconnected from her ethnic roots, a young woman warms to her cultural identity after meeting a lively neighbor.
Patricia Seely, writer/director: Patricia Seely is a Los Angeles based multimedia producer whose recent projects include THE COCKTAIL PARTY, an official selection at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, written and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jessica Sanders, and THE RISING VOICES STORY, directed by Kwanza Nicole Gooden, which featured the stories of BIPOC filmmakers on their journey to create meaningful, inclusive short films under the Rising Voices initiative. She was previously the VP of Production for Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, producing the ESPN+ series Detail, the scripted podcast The Punies, the sports fantasy audiobooks The Wizenard Series and Legacy and the Queen, and behind-the-scenes documentation of the Academy Award-winning animated short DEAR BASKETBALL. Other past credits include the feature film LIZA, LIZA, SKIES ARE GREY, written and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry Sanders, and the Emmy-nominated National Geographic series, Hard Time.
Alexandra Clayton, producer: Alexandra Clayton is a producer and filmmaker whose work leans into the earnest and awkward experience of being human. UNPACKING is her narrative feature debut as a co-writer/director/producer. She recently produced the narrative feature IN SILVA, an environmental-horror set in the mountains of Colorado. Other producing credits include the feature docs REFRAME (post), and FACES OF THE MODERN MAYA (pre-production), two narrative shorts in 2021, two web series, and a lot of branded content. Films she’s acted in have screened at over 30 festivals including Karlovy Vary, NYC’s Rooftop Films, SF’s Cinema by the Bay, and have streamed on Amazon and Kinoscope. A grounded optimist who thrives on the creation of original work from the ground up, Clayton believes the stories we tell create the culture we live in. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog Roo.
Logline: On Hwa-young’s last day of work before moving to New York, she has two disparate encounters with the same local that make her question the decision to leave her family and community behind.
Katarina Zhu, writer/director: Katarina Zhu is a Chinese-American filmmaker/actress from the suburbs of New York. She graduated from NYU in 2018 with a BFA in Drama. Since then she has gone on to write, direct, and act in her own short films. Through her work, she’s interested in exploring how cultural divides can be bridged and how they inform relationships, especially within families and across generations. Lastly, she’s interested in films that focus on characters, typically younger females, who transcend their circumstances in order to claim agency in their lives.
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