The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) announces the debut of the NYC Women’s Fund Showcase, on the NYC Life Channel on Friday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m., with new episodes airing weekly. A mix of documentary and comedy shorts, feature and series length work, this inaugural four-part showcase chronicles the mosaic of artist, immigrant and LGBTQ+ life in New York City created by past recipients of the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre.
The fund, which is currently accepting applications for its third round at www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund, was established by the NYC’s Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in 2019 to advance equal representation for films made by, for, or about those who identify as women. It is administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The projects featured in this showcase reflect the voices and perspectives of eight 2019 NYC Women’s Fund recipients of finishing grants:
- Episode 1, premiering Friday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m., features two NYC Women’s Fund awarded projects; “Sanctuary” and “Folx: a queer documentary series.”
- “Sanctuary,” the debut film by New York-based Mexican filmmaker Andrea Cordoba, follows main character Amanda Morales on her family’s journey to claim sanctuary in New York, publicly resisting her deportation within a NYC church that ICE recognizes as protected. The film was the top winner at the 2019 Brooklyn Film Festival, winning the Grand Chameleon Award for Best film, as well as the Best Documentary Award.
- Directed by Krystalline Armendariz, “Folx: a queer documentary series” explores the strength, diversity and often overlooked experiences of queer lives through intimate 60-second portraits.
- Episode 2, premiering Friday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m., highlights the documentary web series “AIDS Burials on Hart Island,” directed by Melinda Hunt and produced by the Hart Island Project.
- “AIDS Burials on Hart Island” unearths the stories of five New Yorkers who died of AIDS and disappeared onto Hart Island, which serves as the burial site for anyone who dies in New York City whose body is not collected by a licensed funeral director.
- Episode 3, premiering Friday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m., showcase the Documentary short, “Narmin’s Birthday,” the documentary web series, “L’Unicorns,” and the Fiction Short, “Shield.”
- From directors Lydia Cornett and Jenny Groza, “Narmin’s Birthday” tells the story of 15-year-old Narmin and her 84-year-old grandmother Ismat, who share a bedroom in their family’s tiny Sheepshead Bay apartment. Though their nights are spent no more than four feet away from each other on parallel beds, the cultural identities they’ve each chosen are worlds apart.
- L’Unicorns is the first Latinx LGBTQ community in Staten Island under the umbrella of La Colmena Community Job Center. It is a group that aims to create a safe space for the LGBTQ Latinx community centered in the voices of transgender women. This short tells their life stories of immigration and asylum while collaborating in a socially engaged art project with artist Sol Aramendi.
- From director Danielle Eliska Lyle comes “Shield,” the story of Zoe, who was put in foster care after the death of her brother. Trauma made it difficult to place her in a permanent home until a new friend embraces the challenge.
- Episode 4, premiering on Friday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m., features the fiction web series “Stupid Cupid,” and the documentary short “Lorrie Goulet: Spirit into Stone.”
- Directed by Sarah Randall Hunt, “Stupid Cupid” is a relatable and entertaining new web series about four best friends who attempt to fix modern love by creating a dating app — too bad they’re the worst people for the job. When the app takes on a mind of its own, they’re forced back into the dating scene to figure out what went wrong, only to discover their own shortcomings in love.
- Directed by Lucy Adams, the award-winning documentary “Lorrie Goulet: Spirit into Stone” takes a look at 94-year-old master sculptor Lorrie Goulet — her life and work, and her mentoring relationship with the filmmaker.
Visual assets for NYC Women’s Fund can be found here.