Tribeca Film Institute and Playboy Foundation to Honor Filmmakers of Color

Originally Published: April 8, 2005

The Playboy Foundation will join the Tribeca Film Institute in paying tribute to U.S.-based directors and screenwriters of color at The Tribeca All Access Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Party during the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28.

Now in its second year, Tribeca All Access (TAA) Connects, the Tribeca Film Institute’s unique program for fostering relationships between U.S.-based filmmakers of color and the film industry, has selected 29 projects in a variety of categories.

One filmmaker in each category who shows extraordinary strength of vision and exceptional filmmaking promise will be awarded the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award which comes with a prize of $10,000 for narrative and documentary and $5,000 for screenplay only, presented at the Tribeca All Access Awards and Closing Night Party sponsored by the Playboy Foundation at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

Of the 29 selected projects, 13 are narrative (scripts with a director attached), eight are documentary proposals, five are screenplay only and three are part of the Signature Series. Of those filmmakers selected to participate, 33 percent are African American, 16 percent are Latino, 26 percent are Asian American, six percent are Native American, two percent are Pacific Islanders and 17 percent are Middle Eastern, Indian and Arab American.

“We are delighted to be participating in this noteworthy awards ceremony which creates opportunities and awareness for filmmakers of color,” said Christie Hefner, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “The Playboy Foundation has always worked to protect the individual’s right to express one’s self, which embodies the spirit of the TAA program and independent films. The Tribeca Film Institute and its founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff have had a profound effect on independent filmmakers, films and the revitalization of downtown Manhattan and we are proud to be a part of it this year.”

“The Playboy Foundation has recognized the value of developing diverse voices in the filmmaking community and we are grateful for their enormous support,” said Madelyn Wils, President & CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute.

Among this year’s jurors for the Narrative and Screenplays Category are entertainment and arts figures such as: Antoine Fuqua, director of King Arthur and Training Day; Lisa Gay Hamilton, actress and director of last year’s Beah: A Black Woman Speaks; Ruben Santiago-Hudson, screenwriter for Lackawanna Blues and actor from Their Eyes Were Watching God; Academy Award nominated actress Rosie Perez; Native-American director Chris Eyre; Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; actor B.D. Wong from Seven Years in Tibet and Law & Order SVU; and Bruce Ferguson, dean of Columbia University School of the Arts.

The Documentary jury will include: Warrington Hudlin, producer of House Party; acclaimed Native American poet and musician John Trudell; model and designer Bethann Hardison; producer and director of cultural and political films St. Clair Bourne; Thelma Golden the deputy director for Exhibitions and Programs at The Studio Museum in Harlem; and award-winning documentary producer and president of Documentary and Family for Home Box Office Sheila Nevins.

The Playboy Foundation has long recognized the power of film to advocate social change. Since 1977, the Foundation has provided support for post- production and distribution of nearly 150 documentary film and video projects, including winners of the Academy Award and the Emmy. Foundation-funded films have included: Murderball, Family Fundamentals, E Minha Cara/That’s My Face, 900 Women and Wanted: Mothers for Hire.

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