EXCLUSIVE: Breaking Through The Lens (BTTL), the initiative set up to promote female and non-binary filmmaking voices, has selected the 10 projects that will take part in its 2020 edition during this week’s Cannes virtual market.
For the event’s third edition it will partner with producer Kathryn M. Moseley’s One Two Twenty Entertainment, which has recent credits including Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter and Body Brokers with Michael Kenneth Wiliiams.
Run by Daphne Schmon, Emily Carlton and Elpida Stathatou, BTTL would have taken part during the physical Cannes festival in May but had to pivot to online as per the rest of the market and fest.
The 10 projects hail from seven countries and include Tokyo Talents fellow Janus Victoria’s debut feature Kodokushi, and queer ensemble buddy comedy Let’s Do This from non-binary Canadian Screen Award-nominated director Lora Campbell.
Each project will benefit from development investment from One Two Twenty Entertainment, with the plan being to guide them through to production, sales and distribution. During Cannes the filmmakers will take part in the first stage of a year-long program to pitch their project to investors, sales and entertainment companies.
“We are excited to partner with One Two Twenty Entertainment and participate in the virtual Marche du Film,” said Daphne Schmon founder of BTTL. “This new way of connecting creates tremendous opportunities that will enable BTTL to expand our reach beyond the physical Pavilion and gives us innovative tools to support our filmmakers and their outstanding projects during these uncertain times.”
“I believe that storytelling can change the world. It is the oldest and most powerful way to communicate,” added One Two Twenty Entertainment’s CEO Moseley. “I founded One Two Twenty Entertainment three years ago to develop and produce diverse projects that serve as a springboard for emerging talent in the film industry. I am thrilled to partner with Breaking Through The Lens in their mission to empower female and non-binary filmmakers as they use their voices to create the next generation of stories for us all to enjoy.”
The 10 projects are:
ALEGRÍA | Drama | Spain | Dir: Violeta Salama | Prod: Clara Nieto
A journey through culture, religion and contradictions in a land where being a Jew or a Muslim makes a huge difference and even more being a woman.
BIRTH / REBIRTH | Horror | USA | Dir: Laura Moss | Prod: Mali Elfman
A psychological horror film about motherhood and creation, inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This film centers on a single mother and a childless morgue technician who are bound together by their relationship to a re-animated little girl.
CHICKENSHIT | Drama | USA | Dir: Jessica dela Merced | Prod: Mickey Valles-Schiff
With the help of a scrappy group of boys, 11-year-old Phoenix sets out on a dangerous mission to save her Detroit neighborhood from arsonists and prove herself to her father.
JENNIFER, 42 | Animated True-crime Doc | USA | Dir: Elle Kamihira | Prod: Katie Hyde
The dramatic story of Jennifer Magnano, a Connecticut mother of three, and her family’s battle to escape dad Scott’s brutal violence and coercive control. Voiced by Jennifer’s three children, a series of shocking acts turn Jennifer’s struggle into a life-and-death game that she cannot win.
KODOKUSHI | Drama | Philippines, Japan, Malaysia | Dir: Janus Victoria | Prod: Lorna Tee
A middle-aged Japanese salaryman risks everything and moves to the Philippines to escape the fate of kodokushi—the lonely death.
LET’S DO THIS | Comedy | Canada | Dir: Lora Campbell | Prod: Emily Andrews
A queer ensemble buddy comedy where four best friends with student debt looming over their heads attempt the heist of a breakfast television show giveaway despite their total lack of criminal know-how and skill.
LILLY | Bio Pic Drama | USA | Dir: Rachel Feldman | Prod: J Todd Harris
Based on the life of Fair Pay activist Lilly Ledbetter, LILLY is a political drama about a poor tire factory worker, cheated of a fair wage solely because of her sex, who finds the power within herself, risking all that she has to fight for justice against powerful, entrenched corporate and governmental systems.
MAMA BEARS | Documentary | USA | Dir: Daresha Kyi | Prod: Laura Tatham
The lives of conservative, Christian mothers are utterly transformed when they decide to accept their LGBTQ children. Spread throughout the country but connected through private Facebook groups, they call themselves “mama bears” because they fight ferociously for the civil rights of their children and the entire LGBTQ community.
MOUTH | Drama | USA | Dir: Kimi Lee | Prod: Isabel Marden and Kim Bailey
Broke Fem-Studies major, Raina, voluntarily opts to be a girlfriend for hire to Tom, a man twice her age. Oscillating between two interwoven timelines–one in the past, the other in the present–Raina attempts to make sense of her ambivalence towards security and love.
SKIN OF YOUTH | Vietnam | Dir: Ash Mayfair | Prod: Ngoc Tran
San and Nam court the criminal underworld of 90s Saigon to find enough money for San’s gender reassignment surgery. The young lovers are unaware that the price they have to pay will test their love and limit of their humanity.