Meet the five visionary directors selected in the first year of this program.
Lorena Durán is an award-winning filmmaker born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic. She received an MFA from the NYU Graduate Film Program and was selected for the 2019 Film Independent Project Involve Fellowship for emerging filmmakers. Her latest short film as writer/director, The Fisherwoman, featured at multiple film festivals, including Palm Springs ShortFest and Atlanta Film Festival. Her work as a cinematographer has been screened in many international events and platforms, from Tribeca Film Festival to Vimeo Staff Pick, and has received the 2019 ARRI Volker Bahnemann Award for Outstanding Cinematography.
Justin Floyd is an Afro-Latin writer & director from Compton, CA. The Inner-City Filmmakers’ alumnus landed on stage at the Academy Awards in 2015 as part of “Team Oscar” for his short, THE CENTER. Floyd is a 2016 Sundance Ignite Fellow and was named a Warner Bros. 2017 Emerging Film Director. His short, RESURRECT, was acquired by HBO. Floyd’s most recent short, FOTOS DE BLANCAS, was filmed in Valle De Chalco, Mexico, and is expected to premiere in 2021.
Kase is an award-winning New York City born filmmaker. She’s a trans woman of color, the offspring of working class parents from the Dominican Republic. Kase is currently developing a project with legendary trans icon Carmen Carrera and Stephanie Beatriz of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “In The Heights” fame. Her feature screenplay I Love Hate, the recipient of The Sundance Institute Launch Grant, is being produced by Angel Lopez. HBO has picked up distribution rights for two of Kase’s short films: “Full Beat” and “Trabajo”.
Tamara Shogaolu is the founder and creative director of Ado Ato Pictures. With a track record in featuring her work at film festivals, galleries, and museums worldwide, such as the Tribeca Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Indonesia, her innovative approach to storytelling has led to sources like The Guardian, Forbes Magazine and Vogue naming her as a leader in the field of new and immersive media. She was a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow, a 2019 Gouden Kalf Nominee, a 2020 Creative Capital Award Recipient, and a 2020 Sundance New Frontier John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Grantee and much more.
Monica Suriyage is a biracial, blasian, first generation, afro latina whose directing work features bold color, strong women, and sometimes blood. Her first short film “Black In Red Out” screened at over twenty film festivals across the US, and she was featured in the documentary “Horror Noire” about the history of black horror alongside icons like Jordan Peele, Tony Todd and Rachel True. She is a founding member of the all female filmmaking collective Body Checker Productions. Her digital short form shows, music videos and branded beauty campaigns have millions of views online across Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. Monica’s work is greatly inspired by questions of personal identity and trying to find one’s place is this big world.