Female filmmakers receive grants
The Women in Film and General Motors Alliance awarded seven female filmmakers with their annual Acceleration Grants for Emerging Filmmakers. A WIF committee comprising filmmakers and industry executives made the selection of up-and-coming directors. The grant provides recipients with a broad-based understanding of the business of filmmaking through WIF's five-day mentoring program, set for Wednesday-Nov. 6 in Santa Monica. The winners are: Thailand native and NYU graduate Narumol Sriyanond Bartone, who is expanding her short "Thai Woman: Challenging AIDS" into a feature film; Austin filmmaker Margaret Brown, who directed the 2005 documentary "Be Here to Love Me: Townes Van Zandt" and is prepping a docu about New Orleans' Mardi Gras; Canadian native Shelly Niro, whose short "The Shirt" was screened at the Venice and Sundance film festivals; Stanford University graduate, magazine editor and novelist Pamela K. Johnson, who is turning her short "Talk Me to Death" into a feature; Southern Illinois University graduate Sandra Pfeifer, who directed two shorts, "Kathryn and Her Daughters" and "Truck Stop," and is shooting the documentary "Against All Odds," about the history of East St. Louis, Ill.; Chicago-born Marie Francoise Theodore, who directed the shorts "blood/memory" and "The Street," which is a finalist for the 2007 Sundance Screenwriter's Lab; and Sue Vicory, whose documentary short "Homelessness and the Power of One" helped to raise $75,000 for homeless shelters and inspired the pilot program Power of One, to continue to educate and advocate for the homeless.