NewFest and Netflix announce 2023 recipients of New Voices Filmmaker Grant to support emerging LGBTQ+ Filmmakers
NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization, has announced the recipients of the 2023 New Voices Filmmaker Grant, an initiative in partnership with Netflix to support emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers. This is the second year of this program, in which a cohort of four filmmakers each receive a $25,000 grant to support professional development and create new work, and will have access to network-building opportunities through industry events and a mentorship track facilitated by NewFest.
The 2023 recipients of the New Voices Filmmaker Grant are Terrance Daye, Drew de Pinto, Emily May Jampel, and LaQuan Lewis.
“Now, more than ever, it is essential to amplify LGBTQ+ voices, so we were incredibly excited by the volume and strength of applications received,” said NewFest Executive Director David Hatkoff. “We saw in this program’s first year that it has the power to change careers and lives, and can’t wait to see how the 2023 recipients utilize the resources and guided mentorships to make an impact in the industry. We continue to be grateful to Netflix for their trust and support in making this possible on such a large scale.”
“All four grant recipients submitted inspired, textured, and auspicious short-form work samples from a range of LGBTQ+ experiences and cinematic storytelling techniques–from narrative to innovative non-fiction to animation,” said NewFest Director of Programming Nick McCarthy. “Yet one unifying element is their clear perspective, confident vision, storytelling prowess, commitment to new modes of storytelling, and vital collective spirit to have LGBTQ+ films be made, seen and heard. We congratulate the class of 2023 and can’t wait to share the voices & work of Drew, Emily, LaQuan, and Terrance within the industry and throughout the world—and, above all, see what authentic and unapologetically queer work they create next.”
In addition to the $25,000 grant, the four recipients will have the opportunity to connect with an industry mentor relevant to their work and engage with partner organizations, industry markets, consultants and leaders in the field. The grant recipients will also participate and have their work showcased in events at NewFest’s New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival, one of the largest queer film festivals in the world.
The New Voices Filmmaker Grant was eligible to LGBTQ+ filmmakers in America who have not previously made a feature-length film, or have never had a film (short, episodic, or feature length) publicly distributed with an exclusive and compensated agreement. The grantees’ applications and short-form work samples were reviewed by grant evaluators made up of LGBTQ+ programmers, critics, agents, community leaders, NewFest staff, established filmmakers and industry professionals, and supported by NewFest’s New Voices Filmmaker Grant Coordinator Arno Mokros.
The final selections were decided by an external jury of film and industry experts that consisted of Mara Fortes (Senior Curator; Telluride Film Festival), Chase Joynt (award-winning filmmaker; No Ordinary Man, Framing Agnes), and Mark R. Wright (Vice President, Film; Higher Ground).
This partnership between NewFest and Netflix was formed in 2021 and is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.
Last year’s inaugural recipients were Blanche Akonchong, Livia Huang, Rodney Llaverías, and Nyala Moon. Nyala Moon’s new 2023 short Dilating for Maximum Results, which was completed with support from the grant, recently won the Grand Jury Award at Seattle’s TRANSlations Film Festival in May 2023.
2023 New Voices Filmmaker Grant Recipients
TERRANCE DAYE (he/him/his)
Terrance Daye is an award winning poet and filmmaker from Long Island, New York. His creative work elevates black queer slice-of-life and coming-of-age dramas in nuanced ways that are fresh, poetic and accessible. Daye received his Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and his Master’s in Fine Arts in filmmaking at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Terrance is a two-time Spike Lee Production Fund recipient, a 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow, the recipient of the 2020 NewFest Film Festival Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award and the 2020 Outfest Film Festival Programming Award for Emerging Talent. His film -Ship: A Visual Poem was awarded a Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and the Industry Jury Award at TheWrap’s 2020 ShortList Film Festival. Terrance is a 2020 Sundance Episodic Labs alum and a 2023 Project Involve fellow. Terrance has assisted director Kyle Patrick Alvarez and written for showrunner Mara Brock Akil on respective new projects. His own highly anticipated animated short film, Pritty, is currently in development with Powerhouse Animation Studios.
DREW de PINTO (they/them/theirs)
Drew de Pinto is a director and editor based in Queens. Their short film Compton’s ‘22, currently in post-production, has been featured by Film Independent and nominated for an IDA award. As a teenager, Drew was drawn to film as a way to process feelings of gender dysphoria. Their work explores how documentary and experimental modes of filmmaking can build alternative frameworks for gender and other social structures that allow us to imagine better worlds. Drew is a graduate of Stanford’s Documentary Film MFA program and a member of the Alliance of Documentary Editors. They have worked on projects with The New Yorker, the Democratic Socialists of America, Kartemquin Films, Truth & Documentary, Group Nine Media, and more.
EMILY MAY JAMPEL (she/her/hers)
Emily May Jampel is a filmmaker from Oʻahu based in New York City. Her short film Lucky Fish has played at festivals including Palm Springs International Film Festival (Winner, Young Cineastes Award, Special Mention, Best LGBTQ+ Short), Champs-Élysées (Winner, Audience Award), NewFest, Outfest L.A., Frameline, Inside Out and Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. Emily has curated short film programs for Metrograph and Allies in Arts. She previously worked as a development executive at the Academy Award-Nominated and Peabody Award-Winning production company The Department of Motion Pictures (Beasts of The Southern Wild, Patti Cake$, Monsters & Men, Philly D.A.) and was an Associate Producer on the podcast series OPERATOR, produced in partnership with Topic and Wondery.
LaQUAN LEWIS (he/him/his)
LaQuan Lewis is a queer, Black writer/director based in Los Angeles. Having started out as an actor, LaQuan quickly developed an interest in the art of filmmaking. Although he couldn’t afford proper film school, LaQuan became determined to learn one way or another and dedicated himself to learning the fundamentals of filmmaking through books and YouTube videos. In 2019 LaQuan wrote and directed his first short film Only for The Night, about a young trans man struggling to find someone he authentically connects with. Only for The Night went on to be accepted into numerous festivals, including the 2021 edition of Outfest. The film won a total of four awards, including Best First-Time Director and Best LGBT Short at festivals in the US, UK, and beyond. Following the success of his debut, LaQuan began working on his sophomore short film, Where Do We Go From Here, which encapsulates a moment of tension between two queer women on the eve of their one year anniversary. Where Do We Go From Here was an official selection at Outfest Fusion, and won Best LGBT Short at the International Tokyo Short Film Festival in 2023. LaQuan’s next project, Come As You Are is a story about a young man living with HIV who struggles to share his status with those around him, particularly his religious and homophobic mother.
Final Jury – 2023 New Voices Filmmaker Grant
Mara Fortes is a film and media researcher and curator. Her research interests include media archaeology, installation art, the history of the avant-garde, experimental and expanded cinema, sound studies, and queer media. She has curated programs for different institutions and festivals, including the Reina Sofia Museum, La Otra Bienal, REDCAT, and the Center for Digital Culture in Mexico City, where she headed the audiovisual project Cinema Beyond. Since 2003, she has worked in film distribution and exhibition, collaborating with non-profits such as Women Make Movies, and programming for various film festivals, including the Morelia International Film Festival, the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, and CUORUM Festival of Gender and Sexual Diversity. She is currently Senior Curator at the Telluride Film Festival. Her publications include the books Chris Marker Inmemoria, El cine como arte subversivo by Amos Vogel (both edited with Lorena Gómez Mostajo), and Historias de la Noche (co-authored with Fabiola Torres-Alzaga).
Chase Joynt is a director and writer whose films have won jury and audience awards internationally. His debut documentary feature, Framing Agnes, was named a Best Movie of the Year by The New Yorker after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the NEXT Innovator Award and the NEXT Audience Award. With Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase co-directed No Ordinary Man, a feature-length documentary about jazz musician Billy Tipton, which was presented at Cannes Docs 2020 as part of the Canadian Showcase of Docs-in-Progress. Since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020, NO ORDINARY MAN has been hailed by The New Yorker as “a genre unto itself” and Indiewire as “the future of trans cinema.” The film has won 9 awards on the international festival circuit, including being named to TIFF Canada’s Top Ten. Joynt is the author of two books: the Lambda Literary Award Finalist You Only Live Twice (co-authored with Mike Hoolboom) and Boys Don’t Cry with Morgan M Page. Most recently, he directed episodes of Two Sentence Horror Stories for the CW, which are now streaming on Netflix. His episode Elliot from Season 2 won a Telly Award for directing in 2022. With Samantha Curley, Chase runs Level Ground Productions in Los Angeles.
MARK R. WRIGHT
Mark R. Wright is the Vice President of Development and Production at The Obamas’ Higher Ground, where he oversees a slate of scripted film projects for the company’s exclusive overall deal at Netflix. In this role, he champions aspirational and entertaining stories across genres as a vehicle to unite and inspire audiences. Mark is an Executive Producer on Higher Ground’s upcoming film Rustin directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Colman Domingo. His creative focus is producing unique and genre-bending narratives with people of color at the center to increase diverse images, experiences and perspectives available to audiences. For the work he’s accomplished, Mark was recently named one of 35 Rising Execs Under 35 by The Hollywood Reporter in the 2022 Next Gen issue. Prior to joining Higher Ground, Mark worked at MACRO, where he developed and executive produced Juel Taylor’s directorial debut, They Cloned Tyrone (Netflix) and Thembi Banks’ Young.Wild. Free. He also worked on the Oscar-nominated Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.), Alan Yang’s Tigertail (Netflix), and hit sci-fi family series Raising Dion (Netflix), among others. Mark is originally from Cleveland, OH and earned an MFA from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program and a BS in Communication from Ohio University.