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Meet the 10 women filmmakers selected for Tribeca’s Through Her Lens program

Since its founding in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has committed itself to showcasing independent films and providing a platform for up and coming filmmakers.

This year, the festival is making an effort to close the gender gap within the film industry and provide more opportunities for women directors, producers, and writers. Proving it,  Tribeca Film Institute has teamed up with Chanel, in collaboration with Pulse Films, to relaunch the annual program that spotlights ten emerging female filmmakers.

The program is called, Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker ProgramThrough Her Lens, offers extensive support and guidance for the program’s participants through master classes, one-on-one mentorship, peer sessions, and script-to-screen development.

It is a comprehensive program that offers the selected filmmakers the opportunity to collaborate with composers, costume designers, writers, cinematographers and receive key guidance from industry experts.

Serving on the team of mentors include star names such as Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Strange Days) as well as producer, director and actress Courtney Cox (Friends). In addition, the programs jurors include big-name actresses such as Dianna Argon and Cara Delevigne, with several other well-established women in the industry attached to the project.

At the end of the program, each filmmaker will pitch their short film project to a jury. One filmmaker will be awarded complete funding and financing to produce their short film via the support of Tribeca Studios. The other nine filmmakers of the program will be awarded grants to help them continue to develop their projects.

Here is a list of the talented artists and creatives below:

Kylah Benes-Trapp


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Although new to filmmaking, Benes-Trapp’s impressive background in visual art has equipped her with the ability to work with the mediums of photography, collage animation, and illustration to explore her interests in femininity, self-expression, nostalgia, and identity.

Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Trapp is currently based in New York. She is a graphic designer and currently serves as the content director for the art collective, Slug Agency. Check out her site to see more of her work!

Francesca Mirabella


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As a writer, actress, and filmmaker, Mirabella is a triple threat.

Currently in her final years of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate program, Mirabella has kept busy outside of her studies, as her films have made appearances in several film festivals (The Atlanta Film Festival, Picture Farm Film Festival, The Palm Beach International Film Festival, The New Orleans Film Festival, The Montana Film Festival, and more).

Mirabella is also in talks to develop a television show, feature film, and a collection of short films. Check her site out here.

Laramie Dennis

Dennis is a writer and director whose thematic interests in film lie in exploring sex, rock ‘n’ roll, adolescence, social anxiety and family (what a combination!).

She received her MFA at the University of Southern California.

Moving coast to coast, Dennis has moved between artistic fields. In New York, she was a theater director, co-founder, and chair of a theater company. She has also worked in casting for reality TV programming.

Although initially starting out in New York, Dennis is now based in L.A. and working on her animated series, The Golden Rule that is currently in production. Check out more of her work here.

Jenna Cedicci


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Cedicci is an international feature film producer and her CV includes developing and producing more than 75 commercials.

Though originally from Chicago, Cedicci moved to L.A to pursue film and was a producer for notable television shows such as Mozart in the Jungle and Good Girl’s Revolt.

This year Cedicci is the producer of the three titles; the documentary Fire on the Hill, a remake of the 1930’s German expressionist film Nosferatu, and an indie feature film titled Daddy Issues.

Suha Araj

Araj is a filmmaker and installation artist.

Araj uses storytelling to explore ideas of identity with a particular focus on the estrangement and displacement of immigrant communities.

In 2013 her short film The Cup Reader screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and in 2016, her short film I Am Palestine made its way through the international film festival circuit.

Maryam Keshavarz


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New project. New haircut.

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Another triple threat, Keshavarz occupies the titles of writer, director, and producer. Her short film The Day I Died was awarded both the Gold Teddy and Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Keshavarz has also had major success with her feature filmmaking.

In 2011, Keshavarz’s first feature, Circumstance, that explores forbidden queer love between two Iranian women also won the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award.

Her second feature Viper Club made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and stars Hollywood legend and bad-ass activist Susan Sarandon. The film is set to be released in theaters later in October.

Gabriella Moses

A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Moses has had success in the film festival circuit with her latest short films Sticky Fingers and Leche.

Moses is dedicated to crafting narratives and films that provide visibility to underrepresented individuals and communities.

Shruti Ganguly


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Based in New York, Shruti Ganguly is a filmmaker who has also worked for a variety of media companies, from MTV, to Conde Nast/Vogue, to being the VP of TV & Video at NYLON, running their video departments.

The films she was a producer on have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and AFI Fest

She is a co-founder and a partner at Fictionless, a production company for narrative film, documentaries, and TV series. She is currently producing a feature with Keanu Reeves and is developing a TV series with Refinery29.

Jennifer Cho Suhr

Based in Brooklyn, NYC, Jennifer Cho Suhr is a writer and director.

Jennifer earned her MFA in Film from NYU. Her thesis short Out There was awarded the notable Spike Lee Film Production Fund. The film’s script was also included on NYU’s Purple List of outstanding screenplays.

She is currently developing her debut feature, You and Me Both.

Carolyn Mao

Mao is a producer based in Los Angeles.

Her first feature Good Enough made waves at its premiere at the Boston’s International Film Festival.

Mao is collaborating with fellow Through Her Lens filmmaker, Jennifer Cho Suhr on the film You and Me Both.