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The Northwest Film Forum has announced Mirta Desir as the awardee of its fourth annual Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” grant.
Desir, a Haitian American, is producing her first narrative feature film “Angie.” She will receive an unrestricted award of $25,000 to support the making of her film, which she describes as a “love letter to Latin American artists and Haitians’ oral history — a marriage of human drama and the power of Voudou.” For Desir, the grant was “an amazing source of support for women filmmakers.”
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“‘Angie’ is a story that I am compelled to tell. It is based on two things: Haiti’s historical interconnectedness with Voudou and my love for my younger sister, who died too young,” Desir said. “Through the lens of magical realism, ‘Angie’ explores the bond between sisters and its power to overcome the worst of circumstances. This grant is appreciated during this development phase of ‘Angie.'”
The Lynn Shelton “Of a Certain Age” grant, co-founded by Duplass Brothers Productions and NWFF, was named after Lynn Shelton. Shelton was the late film and television director who spearheaded films such as “Your Sister’s Sister” and episodes of shows like “Little Fires Everywhere” and “New Girl.”
As per the award description, the grant “champions a U.S.-based female, non-binary and/or transgender filmmaker — age 39 or older — in the process of developing and directing their first narrative feature.” Last year, Guatemalan filmmaker Izabel Acevedo received the grant for her film “El intermediario” (“The Middleman”). This year’s selection committee members were Jane Charles, Saelyx Finna and Numa Perrier.
“It has been an honor to be a part of this grant,” NYFF Grants Manager Mikayla Nicholson expressed. “Every year we receive an incredible crop of applications, and this year is no different. After a lengthy deliberation process, the panelists unanimously decided that Desir showed immense talent to make a great and distinctive first feature film. The panelists were drawn to her use of magical realism to tell a deeply personal story, and the way she articulated her inspirations and her vision in her application.”
Desir was selected from a list of 14 finalists. The other 13 finalists were Brooke Swaney; Charlotte Glynn; Claudia Calderón; Emily Ray Reese; Erin Li; Kelsey Siepser; Keshni Kashyap; Malika Zouhali-Worrall; Masami Kawai; McKenzie Chinn; Ro Haber; Sushma Khadepaun; and Tiffany Frances.
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