Continuing their support for women directors, Horizon Award co-founding producers Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell Taylor, and Christine Vachon, announced the winners of the second annual Horizon
Award. Academy Award nominee Chloë Sevigny will bestow up-and-coming filmmakers Macarena Gaona, Juliette Gosselin, Shanice Malakai Johnson, and Florence
Pelletier with the Horizon Award at a reception in Park City, Utah, with creative talent, producers, entertainment executives and media in attendance to
celebrate these rising women directors and their achievements in independent filmmaking.
The Horizon Award ceremony and reception will take place on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 6:30 pm at the WireImage Portrait Studio at Village at
the Lift (825 Main Street, Park City), co-hosted by Jeff Vespa.
The Horizon Award is an annual award that seeks to identify and mentor talented, up-and-coming female directors – the primary goal being to support women
directors early enough in their development to help them overcome the hurdles in advancing their learning curve and careers.
In addition to the Horizon Award, the four winners will receive grants from the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. The Foundation supports the artistic
achievements of female filmmakers through a series of grants that reflect Adrienne Shelly’s dedication to the art of filmmaking and her own successful
transition from actress to filmmaker.
This year’s winners are:
Horizon Award First Place
Co-directors of "Mes Anges à Tête Noire"
Horizon Award Runners-Up
Macarena (Macqui) Gaona (New York University) Director of "Channel 999 and Channel 1000"
Shanice Malakai Johnson (Scottsdale Community College) Director of "End to the Suffering"
On making the announcement, Cassian Elwes said: “I’m so excited to announce the winners of the second annual Horizon Award. This year’s overwhelming number
of submissions and caliber of work made it very hard indeed to pick just one winner – the jury identified one grand prize winner, and two runners-up.
Additionally, we have added new partners to our already formidable team – proving that not only is the move towards gender equality in the zeitgeist, but
that there are very real advocates amongst our peers. After the recent summit for systemic change (hosted by Sundance and Women in Film), I am more
convinced than ever that we can make a difference and that history is on our side. I remain steadfastly committed to the idea that, one day soon, women
will have exactly the same opportunities as men to direct movies.”
Franklin Leonard, Founder and CEO of The Black List and one of the award’s original advocates added: “We are passionate supporters of this award that
recognizes fresh voices and perspectives in storytelling. This effort mirrors our own effort – the Black List’s 500 Feminist Films project, created by our
Director of Community, Kate Hagen. We look forward to mentoring the winners in the year to come.”
The jury was comprised of 38 influential directors, producers, and executives from the filmmaking community who viewed 483 short film submissions from over
200 colleges and universities world-wide, including the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, India, China, South Africa, Scotland, France, Mexico, Portugal,
Columbia, Brazil, Russia, Serbia, the Ukraine, and more. This year, submissions increased by over one hundred from last year, with additional countries and
universities participating. Submissions were received from NYU, USC, UCLA, Chapman, Emerson, Penn State, Loyola Marymount, University of Wisconsin,
University of Washington, Syracuse, TCU, Ryerson (Toronto), Oxford, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, University of Delhi, and more.
Now in its second year, the Horizon Award provides an all-expense-paid trip for the winning female college students to the Sundance Film Festival, where
they will have the opportunity to present their films to some of the industry’s most influential names. The winners receive mentorship, festival access,
and important introductions by Elwes, Howell, and Vachon to agents, producers, executives, festival staff, and other influencers throughout the Sundance
The Horizon Award was founded by producer, Cassian Elwes ("Margin Call," "All is Lost," "Dallas Buyers Club"), and Michelle Satter, Founding Director,
Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, in response to a Sundance Institute and Women In Film Los Angeles study that revealed that only 4.2% of the top
100 films each year from 2002-2013 were directed by women. Elwes partnered with Howell ("Captain Fantastic," "Mississippi Grind," "Big Eyes," "The Place Beyond the Pines:), and Vachon ( "Goat," "Carol," "Boys Don’t Cry," "One Hour Photo," "Far From Heaven"), to create the award as an opportunity for young female directors to have mentorship
and networking opportunities in conjunction with Sundance, the home of American Independent film.
You can see links for more info on the study:
Sponsors and Partners for the 2016 Horizon Award are: The Black List, CreativeFuture, The Creative Mind Group, Done To Your Taste Catering, FilmLA,
Indiegogo, MPRM Communications, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, Sundance Institute, Twitter, Verge, Vimeo, WireImage, Adina Design, and Women in Film. This
impressive group has come together to support an award that they hope will continue to identify, nurture, and launch the careers of future female directors
for years to come.
Full List of Jurors:
Stephanie Allain Producer ("Dear White People," "Hustle & Flow")
Dori Begley Magnolia Pictures (SVP, Acquisitions)
Amy Berg Director ("Janis: Little Girl Blue," "Deliver Us From Evil," "Prophet’s Prey")
Arianna Bocco IFC Films (SVP, Acquisitions & Co-Productions)
Robbie Brenner The Firm (Partner, President of Film)
Susan Carter Hall Painter
Amal ElWardi Zeal Media Company (Producer)
Cassian Elwes Producer ("Margin Call," "All is Lost," "Dallas Buyers Club")
Janet Grillo Director ("Jack of the Red Hearts," "Fly Away")
Poppy Hanks Macro Venture (SVP, Development & Production)
Catherine Hardwicke Director ("Miss You Already," "Red Riding Hood," "Twilight")
Lynette Howell Taylor Producer ("Captain Fantastic," "Mississippi Grind," "Big Eyes")
Liza Johnson Director ("Elvis & Nixon," "Return," "Hateship Loveship," "In the Air")
Eda Kowan Lionsgate (SVP, Acquisitions & Co-Productions)
Gina Kwon Amazon Studios (Executive, Comedy)
Helen Lee-Kim Good Universe (Partner, Head of International)
Laura Lewis CAA (Agent, Film Finance)
Alix Madigan Broad Green Pictures (Head, Creative)
Marianna Palka Actress/Director ("I’m the Same,""Always Worthy," "Good Dick")
Bruna Papandrea Pacific Standard (Producer/Partner)
Keri Putnam Sundance Institute (Executive Director)
Dee Rees Director ("Bessie," “Empire”)
Laura Rister Untitled Entertainment (Head of Production)
Rena Ronson UTA (Partner)
Michelle Satter Sundance Institute (Director, Feature Film Program)
Cathy Schulman STX Entertainment (President & Chief Content Officer)
Lauren Selig Shake and Bake Productions (Executive Producer)
Mary Jane Skalski Producer ("The Visitor," "Mysterious Skin," "The Station Agent")
Lara Thompson E1 Entertainment (SVP, Worldwide Acquisitions)
Christine Vachon Producer ("Goat," "Carol," "Boys Don’t Cry")
Ruth Vitale CreativeFuture (CEO)
Angie Wang Director ("Cardinal X")
Hanna Weg Producer ("Septembers of Shiraz")
Tanya Wexler Director ("Hysteria," "Finding North," "Ball in the House")
Joanne Wiles ICM (Partner/Agent, Motion Picture Talent)
Pam Williams Pam Williams Productions ("Lee Daniels’ The Butler," "Fail Safe")
Lisa Wilson The Solution Entertainment (Co-Founder/Partner)
So Yong Kim Director ("Love Song," "For Ellen," "In Between Days")