EXCLUSIVE: Tilane Jones, President of inclusive film collective ARRAY, was honored with the Slamdance Founders Award on Saturday during a virtual presentation. The award is Slamdance’s highest accolade and Jones is the fifth recipient to receive the award. Previous winners include Chris Nolan, The Russo brothers and Steven Soderbergh.
The Founders Award is given to an individual that supports the filmmaker community of Slamdance well into their careers.
“Tilane has helped our community of artists grow through recognizing talent, launching and sustaining careers,” said Peter Baxter, President and co-founder of Slamdance. “We recognize she has worked tirelessly, with great dedication to nurture emerging artists who become the next generation of filmmakers. We want to thank Tilane and her company ARRAY for her ongoing support of these artists, inspiration and being part of Slamdance’s community. For these reasons, we are honored to present Tilane Jones with Slamdance’s Founders Award.”
Slamdance runs through February 25 and will be the most accessible festival ever, with all films, Q&A’s and panels available on Slamdance.com and other digital platforms. The 27th edition of the fest includes 25 features along with 107 shorts and episodics. The fest also includes a new program titled “Unstoppable” a showcase for creators with disabilities.
Jones joined Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY when it launched in 2010 to help amplify films by people of color and women. She was named president in August of last year and leads Array Alliance, the non-profit dedicated to social impact and education. She also heads The Array Creative Campus, a three-building compound for production and public programming, focused on marginalized filmmakers. Jones oversees Array Releasing, the company’s film distribution arm, where she has been responsible for the acquisition, booking and marketing of the collective’s diverse slate of 25+ features which includes Merata, The Burial of Kojo, Vaya and Roll With Me. Their slate also includes Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca and Merawi Gerima’s Residue, which won the Audience Award Best Narrative Feature and Slamdance Acting Award for Obinna Nwachukwu at last year’s Slamdance. Both films also received nominations at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.