Grant supports Latina filmmakers


Women in Film and the General Motors Corp. on Monday announced their second annual grant for emerging Latina filmmakers, officially dubbed WIF/GM 2007 Opening Doors/Abriendo Puertas: The Acceleration Grant for Emerging Latina Filmmakers.

A project of the WIF/GM Alliance, the grant is designed to support filmmakers from Latina/Hispanic communities and other under-represented groups. Five Latina filmmakers will be chosen to participate in a six-day, mentoring program, shepherded by members of New York Women in Film & Television, the New York-based chapter of WIF.

They will be chosen by a a WIF selection committee comprised of professional filmmakers and entertainment industry executives from the New York-based chapter from NYWIFT.

The grants are open to women of Latin/Hispanic descent, who have made at least one film, but who are not yet established in the industry.

Participants will receive round-trip transportation to New York City, where they will be hosted by NYWIFT from Oct. 15-21. They will also receive industry passes to the Hamptons International Film Festival that runs from Oct. 17-21 in East Hampton, Long Island.

Yasmina Cadiz from Chicago, Ill., one of last year's grantees, has since seen her 8-minute short "Mama Said" screen at 15 film festivals and is at work on her first feature film. "Access is far more valuable than money to someone in the beginning stages of a career. I acquired such a better understanding of the business side of the equation," she said of her participation in the program.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for new female talent," Judith James, chair of the WIF/GM Alliance, said. "Women In Film steadfastly believes in mentoring, fostering and supporting exceptional women who want to work in the entertainment industry. And the emphasis of the grant is to support emerging filmmakers from diverse communities."