Wavelength Productions is giving shine to more underrepresented voices with its second annual WAVE Grant, which stands for “Women at the Very Edge.” The grant helps first-time, female or non-binary filmmakers of color with the production of their first short documentary or narrative film. This year’s recipients include Fiona Kida, Camille Ramos, and Geena Hernandez.
The three filmmakers will receive $5,000 grant as well as mentorship in the producing, development and post-production of their story as well as fundraising and distribution strategy.
Wavelength, which is the production company behind Sundance pics Feels Good Man and Farewell Amor, received an overwhelming number of candidates and as a result, they tripled their current initiative with the aforementioned three winners.
“Wavelength is honored to expand the WAVE Grant to include Fiona, Camille, and Geena to pursue their careers as young filmmakers,” said Jenifer Westphal, Founder, CEO and Executive Producer at Wavelength. “We found their projects to be nuanced, moving and powerful and addressed the complexities of being a young woman growing up in the world today.”
“Overall, the strength of this year’s submissions was unprecedented and we were blown away by the talent and vision of these up-and-coming filmmakers,” said Joe Plummer, President and Executive Producer at Wavelength. “We were impressed by each project submitted and although we wish we could have funded all 74, these three in particular stood out due to their wit and their willingness to tell a great f**king story.”
Fiona Kida, a Tanzanian-American filmmaker from Nashville and is currently in pre-production on Blue Hour, which she wrote and will direct. Kida is also planning on composing the score for the short which follows the protagonist Mel whose plans to confess her love to her close friend June are soon upended.
A native of Minneapolis and now based in Brooklyn, Camille Ramos is working on Sticky Fingers with her fraternal twin Chloe. The short follows urban newbie Moll who, feeling isolated and ignored in the big city, develops an unsavory habit to fulfill her desire to be seen.
Based in Atlanta, Geena Hernandez and works at Bento Box Entertainment. Hernandez’s short Chicks, is a horror-comedy about a shy teen who goes to her first slumber party and finds out what girls really do during sleepovers.
Last year’s WAVE Grant was announced at Sundance and went to recipient Eliana Pipes to help fund her project ¡Nails! which follows Catalina, a wide-eyed 15-year-old Latina taking dance classes to prepare for her Quinceañera. When Catalina develops an unexpected crush on a girl in her class, her fingernails suddenly begin to grow at a superhuman pace – a blessing for a Latina, but a curse for a lesbian (at least at first glance). Production on ¡Nails! was halted due to the COVID-19 virus and is being reimagined as an animated short.
Wavelengthhas two films premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival including Cusp and The Blazing World. In addition to the WAVE Grant, Wavelength has partnered with the BTFC on the series “The System” which will help six black producers fund their projects on the Black experience in the American education system. The winners of “The System” will be announced in the coming weeks.