|Me with Adam Leon, winner of the 2013 Independent Spirit "Someone to Watch" Award |
& fellow Hunter College High School alumnus!
So, I won the Independent Spirit Awards' Piaget Producers Award yesterday (see photos here!). I'm absolutely honored, incredulous, elated! There is a slew of people I want to thank, and since this is a blog and not a stage at an awards show, here they all are (apologies if I have missed anyone!):
Film Independent - For having supported me for years, by accepting my projects into Fast Track (twice!), giving me an equipment grant from Hollywood Rentals, a free DCP from IndieDCP, and booze for the premiere party for "California Solo" (thanks Jameson!). And now, for giving me this award! I'd especially like to thank Josh Welsh for allowing me to bend his ear & making intros to industry folks over the years.
Piaget - For your generous support of independent film. Oh, and for the 25 Gs! It will allow me the time, resources, and freedom to focus on getting my new projects off the ground. You are not just supporting me with this grant, you are also supporting my directors and all of the cast, crew and vendors I will eventually hire once these films get off the ground!
Sundance Institute - For accepting me as a 2009 Creative Producing Lab Fellow--that $5K personal grant + $5K project grant gave me the cushion I needed to keep producing just as I was ready to call it quits. Thanks Anne Lai, Michelle Satter, Ilyse McKimmie & Rebecca Green for always being there to bounce ideas off of (and for your moral support!). And thanks for creating and continuing to foster a community of independent producers who can lean on each other.
Sundance Film Festival - For premiering Tze Chun's "Children of Invention" in 2009 and Marshall Lewy's "California Solo" in 2012, and for opening so many doors. (And for the parties!) Thanks Caroline Libresco, Trevor Groth, John Cooper & the whole lot of you!
Rotterdam Lab - For being the very first film program to accept me in 2008, when I had only produced 4 shorts and co-produced one feature. It was a fantastic education in filmmaking around the world, and I met many producers whom I'm still friends with (like my fave, Anish Savjani, winner of the 2011 Piaget Producers Award). Thanks Jacobine van der Vloed and Marit Van Den Elshout!
IFP - For accepting 3 of my projects into the IFP Emerging Narrative & No Borders Project Market, and for nurturing a vibrant, collaborative and supportive film community in my native New York.
Tribeca Film Institute & Film Festival - For inviting me to participate in the All-Access Key Ingredients program and for premiering P. Benoit's "Stones in the Sun" in 2012.
Berlin Talent Campus - For accepting me to the 2010 Talent Campus, where I met so many amazing talents from around the world and furthered my knowledge of international filmmaking.
All The Other Festivals That Have Screened My Films - Too many to name, but here are some great ones: Woodstock, Hawaii International, Edinburgh, Sarasota, IFF Boston, Nashville, BAMcinemaFEST, Sidewalk, and Denver.
Hawaii Film Office - For allowing me the opportunity to author the 15-20% refundable film tax credit (and thereby learn about state tax credits and the legislative process inside out!). And thanks Donne Dawson for being an amazing boss & friend.
Time Magazine, SportsIllustrated.com & Jupiter Research - For giving me a solid background in business that has made me a more effective producer.
My Professors & Teachers - For teaching me just about everything I know, not least how to read and analyze creative texts. Thanks especially to Leo Ou-fan Lee (I'm still sorry I ditched writing a thesis on 6th generation Chinese film; I hope you've forgiven me!), Emma Teng, Andrew Jones, Judith Ryan, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Robert Coles, and William Handley.
Asian American Community - For supporting my work! Thanks especially to Angry Asian Man, Visual Communications, San Diego Asian Film Festival, and Center for Asian American Media.
NYU Tisch - For indirectly offering me a free education in film producing. Thanks to Wendy Pan (wherever you may be) for hiring me as a volunteer PA for 3 days on Godofredo Astudillo's "Brighter Days" after I answered a random ad in the MOFTB job list (because that's what 28-year olds who want to change careers & don't know anyone in the film industry do!). On this graduate thesis film, I met Sen-I Yu, Wei-chen Chang, and Michelle Chai, and ended up producing their NYU thesis films. I also met Eric Lin (who has shot 2 of my films and whose own feature I'm producing) and Mark Duplass on this film. (And through Mark, I met his brother Jay, whose apartment I scouted with Andrew Bujalski for "Mutual Appreciation." The apartment wasn't right, but Buj and the Duplasses ended up reconnecting at SXSW 2005, and the rest is Mumblecore history.)
Producer Mentors & Friends - For being a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to freak out to. There are so many in this category, but here are a few: the aforementioned Anish Savjani, Anne Carey, Ron Yerxa, Darren Goldberg, Lynette Howell, Mary Jane Skalski, Paul Mezey, Jay Van Hoy & Lars Knudsen, Ted Hope, Scott Macaulay, Mike S. Ryan, Gill Holland, Cara Marcous, Jess Levin, Jennifer Lee, Thomas Woodrow, Jeremy Kipp Walker, Sophia Lin, Noah Harlan, Chip Hourihan, Carly Hugo, Cora Olson & Jen Dubin, and my co-nominee Alicia Van Couvering.
Cast, Crew, Vendors, Agents, Distributors, Publicists & Supporters of Every Film I've Ever Worked On - For Example
My Attorneys - Andre Des Rochers & Anita Surendran of Gray Krauss Stratford Des Rochers. Generous, smart, sensible, comforting...amazing!
My Executive Producers - Rick Rosenthal & Nick Morton of Whitewater Films, Joan Huang & Jimmy Tsai of Cherry Sky Films, Dan Cogan of Impact Partners, Three Point Capital, Ron Simons of SimonSays, Joey Carey & Stefan Nowicki of Sundial Pictures, & so many more! Thank you for your faith in me and my projects.
My Co-Producers - You guys are my rock in some very stormy seas! Ross Girard, Matthew Medlin, Trevor Sagan, Dave Saltzman, Terry Leonard, Ben Howe, Karin Chien, Louise Lovegrove, Emily Ting, Julien Favre, Aimee Karr, Roy Gokay Wol, Flavio Alves, Dia Sokol, and Ethan Vogt.
My (Writers &) Directors - You are the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly. You are my reason for being. Thank you Tze Chun, Marshall Lewy, Andrew Bujalski, Olivia Silver, P. Benoit, Doug Karr, Ishai Setton, Bill Guttentag, Eric Lin, Aaron Katz, Rory Kelly, Cherien Dabis, J.P. Chan, Michelle Chai, Sen-I Yu, Wei-chen Chang, Brett Wagner, and Karen Lin.
Finally, thank you to my parents, sisters, friends & especially my husband for all of your support and love.
It takes a village to raise a producer!