Conde Nast Entertainment, Indigenous Media Debut Project HER Short Films (Exclusive)

Photographed by Annie Tritt
CNE president Dawn Ostroff

'The Affair' showrunner Sarah Treem and 'Homeland' director Lesli Linka Glatter were among the mentors who guided seven female filmmakers through the incubator program.

Conde Nast Entertainment and Indigenous Media on Wednesday released six short films directed by female filmmakers as part of its Project HER incubator program. 

The incubator, announced in February 2017, sought to connect filmmakers at various stages of their careers with mentors who would work with them to develop a short film that could eventually be adapted into a television series. The goal was to help bridge the gap in opportunities for women directors in film and television.

"We strongly believe that the future is female and Project HER is a platform to make women's voices heard, so Conde Nast Entertainment and Indigenous Media are proud to foster a community of up-and-coming creators and established Hollywood talent working together to accomplish that," said Teal Newland, senior vp marketing and new platforms at CNE. "The incubator is a step towards creating an environment where women can explore new forms of storytelling and emerge to go on and navigate and disrupt the current Hollywood system."

Mentors for the incubator included frequent Homeland director Lesli Linka Glatter, The Affair showrunner Sarah Treem, Eves Bayou director Kasi Lemmons, Private Parts director Betty Thomas and Indigenous Media co-founder Rodrigo Garcia.

Project HER yielded six short films that spanned a range of genres, from sci-fi to drama. Among the projects were a 1930s-set short about a woman with mysterious abilities, a satire about a professional "Snugglr" in Chicago and a science-fiction story of four teenagers with inhuman abilities. 

"As evidenced by the amazing work that each of Project HER mentors have done, women's voices are indisputably valuable, and the industry has a responsibility to help resolve gender disparity in the business by providing them the opportunities they deserve,' said Garcia, who has directed episodes of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Big Love. Added Indigenous co-founder Jon Avnet, "We are privileged to work with Conde Nast Entertainment and be able to give these seven talented women an avenue to share their stories."

Project HER is the second incubator program to yield from CNE and Indigenous. The companies previously collaborated with Josh Hutcherson's Turkeyfoot Productions on The Big Script, in which five up-and-coming writers were chosen from over 2,000 The Black List scripts.

Here are full descriptions of the Project HER films, which are now available online at CNE's The Scene and via the Project HER Facebook show page

Beauty by Joyce Sherri

In this film, set in the 1930s, a black woman with mysterious abilities interviews to be housekeeper to an eccentric white widow, but in order to get the job she must use her abilities in a way she didn't intend.

Black Night by Jordan Trippeer

To discover their origins, four teenagers with inhuman abilities must escape the experimental lab that imprisons them — but is this, too, part of the experiment?

Good Eggs by Maria Burton

A 40-year-old woman who finally feels settled in life and her relationship finds she may be not be as content as she thought after an ex-boyfriend requests one of her frozen eggs.

The Row by Philiane Phang

A prison guard's life is drastically changed by one inmate's death sentence.

Snugglr by Georgia Bernstein and Cemre Paksoy

An emotionally unavailable professional Snugglr offers comfort to her lonely and often strange clients around Chicago.

Watch Party by Blythe Haaga Parker

Three women laugh and figure out their own lives as they get together weekly to watch their favorite trashy reality show.