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Tribeca Film Institute links with Pond5 to give 6 unique films grants

Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Pond5 announced a partnership to launch a forward-thinking filmmaking fund and an ongoing industry program aimed at promoting sustainable careers for independent storytellers.

The program speaks to the needs of filmmakers who lack resources during “in-between” phases such as research, creative collaboration, festival travel, content, community screenings, outside-the-box mentorship, and extra release support.

As evident by the TFI’s Through Her Lens filmmaking program announced in October, the company has been dedicated to making sure that filmmakers with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of perspectives are provided with an array of support to improve visibility in an often-inaccessible, difficult-to-break-into industry.

In speaking on TFI’s mission and the new partnership with Pond5, executive director of TFI, Amy Hobby stated,

“TFI’s mission is to break barriers in access, exposure, and sustainability. We have assessed that there is a period of time in a project cycle when filmmakers need support not only financially, but also from peers and veterans of the industry.  Partnering with Pond5, we’ve been able to create a very flexible fund and program that can meet those needs.”

If you haven’t heard of Pond5, here is a little summary about the company. Pond5 is the world’s largest, most vibrant video-first content marketplace, providing filmmakers, creators, and producers of all kinds with the content, inspiration, and tools they need to improve their projects.

As the only content marketplace that meaningfully shares licensing revenue with its contributing artists, Pond5 provides an important platform for professional visual and audio creators

As asserted by Pond5 CEO, Jason Teichman,

“Pond5 prides itself on being the world’s most filmmaker-friendly creative marketplace. Helping filmmakers succeed in their craft is what we’re all about. As filmmakers ourselves, we know how hard it can be to secure the finances, resources, and footage necessary to tell your story. If we can play a small role in helping filmmakers tell an even better story, we feel like we’ve done our job.”

The program between TFI and Pond5 will offer support through funding, targeting-networking events, access to Pond5 content and mentorship programs, all designed to facilitate a sense of community for independent storytellers.

Additionally, TFI alumnae and Pond5 artists can apply for micro-grants through the program three times a year, offering multiple opportunities to receive funding.

Last night, TFI and Pond5 hosted a Producers Networking event, bringing together emerging filmmakers and established producers to meet and discuss future projects, as well as announcing the first 6 grant recipients for 2019. Peep the list of recipients below.

499 AÑOS (499 YEARS)


Creative Documentary Feature

Directed by: Rodrigo Reyes

Producers: Inti Cordera and Andrew Houchens

499 Years examines the brutal legacy of colonialism nearly five centuries after Cortez arrived in the Aztec Empire. Bold, unique, and strikingly cinematic, the film uses magical realism, combining documentary and fiction to show how past traumas continue to affect contemporary reality while challenging us to overcome our histories of violence.



Scripted Feature

Directed by: Raya Martin

Writer/Producer: Valerie Castillo Martinez

Executive Producer: Whitaker Lader

Co-Producers: Jeremy Chua, Nikolo Juban

Set in 90’s suburban Manila, the story takes us into the colorful pop-culture world of four 13-year old friends, back in the days when video games were still a novelty.

Mimaw and her friends Paolo, Kachi, and Gilligan go on a journey of self-discovery together as they play games and wrestle with new dilemmas – puppy love, circumcision and other horror stories.



Documentary Short

Directed by: Pawel Nazaruk & Tomasz Adamski

Producer: Pawel Nazaruk

The Cold War race to dig the deepest into the Earth reveals an entrance to Hell in arctic Russia. Forty years later, Yuri Smirnoff is the last man standing.



Scripted Short

Director: Myna Joseph

Producers: Amy Lo, Lucy Owen, Lizzie Shapiro

Executive Producer: Lana Yang

Following a near-fatal car accident, Lu wrestles with creeping invisibility as she approaches the second half of her life.

On this long winter day, she finds her physical identity fractured, ignored, misunderstood, and judged – but with wry humor and stubborn resilience, she’s determined to be seen.



Scripted Feature

Directed by: Tchaiko Omawale

Producers: Hope Olaide Wilson, Maya Emelle, Sophia Solomon

Co-Producers: Sabine Hoffman, Sascha Brown Rice

A 17year-old orphan is shipped off to her estranged grandmother and she plots her escape while navigating a foreign environment, new friendships and a hidden eating disorder.



AR Experience and Installation

Lead Artist & Executive Producer: Tani Ikeda

Lead Artist & Creative Director: Jess X. Snow

Additional Lead Artist: Layqa Nuna Yawar

Producer: Kevin Tsukii

Through a network of augmented reality murals centering Survivors of sexual assault, Survivor Love Letter presents a galaxy where survivors are not only believed and supported but also loved unconditionally.

Using our AR app, users can watch the mural and the love letter come to life through animation and read a library of love letters from survivors and allies all over the world and ultimately have the option to add to the galaxy by writing their own.