NY-based, independent film company Cinereach announced today they have selected Jessica Devaney, Alexandra Lazarowich, Kishori Rajan and Jamund Washington as the recipients of their 2019 Producer Award. The Producer Award, as part of the Cinereach Producers Initiative, entails a $50,000 award that recognizes producers who demonstrate vision and integrity, contribute to the film community as mentors and leaders, and enrich the culture through their films.
A true gamechanger in independent filmmaking, Cinereach has the distinct benefit of being a philanthropic not-for-profit, full-service production company and film financier. Supporting breakthrough films including SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and THE FLORIDA PROJECT, Cinereach empowers filmmakers facing creative, financial or systemic obstacles by offering adaptive development, financing, production and/or other support models that align with the unique vision of each supported filmmaker. In its first 14 years, Cinereach has supported over 200 films including WE THE ANIMALS, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING, and SHIRKERS, along with supporting the development of filmmakers like Young Jean Lee, Barry Jenkins, and Terence Nance. Alongside Per Capita Productions, Cinereach is currently producing A24’s AFTER YANG, adapted by acclaimed writer and director Kogonada and starring Colin Farrell.
“This year’s group of recipients is particularly exciting because Jessica, Alexandra, Kishori and Jamund have each created poignant, culturally thoughtful work that breaks down barriers on a multitude of platforms. Their commitment to this type of work is shifting our industry in meaningful ways,” said Merrill Sterritt, Head of Partnerships and Creative Initiatives at Cinereach.
“We are proud to continue to support the work of independent producers and are dedicated to finding continued ways to support this vital role in the industry,” said Caroline Kaplan, Director of Film and Creative Programs at Cinereach.
The founder of Multitude Films, Jessica Devaney is a producer dedicated to telling stories by and about underrepresented communities. Her latest film, ALWAYS IN SEASON premiered in competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award for Moral Urgency. She recently produced THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (Tribeca 2018, POV) Cinema Eye-nominated ROLL RED ROLL (Tribeca 2018, POV), and Critic’s Choice-nominated SPEED SISTERS (Netflix). Devaney is particularly devoted to producing films helmed by female directors of color and enabling these voices to bring important stories to the world, thus creating a more inclusive and diverse industry. Jessica co-founded the Queer Producers Collective, produced Doc Society’s inaugural Queer Impact Producers Lab, and was a Sundance Edit and Story Lab fellow, Women at Sundance fellow, and Sundance Creative Producing Lab advisor.
Award-winning Cree Producer, Director and Screenwriter Alexandra Lazarowich
is known for her passionate body of work around Indigenous stories. Her most recent documentary FAST HORSE premiered and won the Special Jury Award for Directing at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Her latest short film LAKE premiered at the 2019 Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival, as part of the 5 Minute Feminist Film Program. Alexandra is an outspoken advocate for Native filmmakers, working to dismantle and decolonize racist portrayals of Native people in cinema. One of her greatest achievements rests in having the Flaherty Film Seminar not only include several Native filmmakers in this years’ festival, but also to remove their logo of Nanook of the North, a particularly disheartening image for Native people in film. Additionally, Lazarowich was the Creative Director for the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Alberta, where she directed 31 unique audio and video elements for the museum’s new Human History wing illuminating the cultures and histories of the Blackfoot, Cree, Denesųłįné, Dene Tha’, Métis, Nakota and Stoney Nakoda.
Kishori Rajan is a creative producer who develops work under her newly formed banner, Reverse Osmosis Films. She’s an Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed HBO series “Random Acts of Flyness”, which received a 2019 Peabody Award and was renewed for a second season. Kishori has produced several feature films including the upcoming THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD (Tribeca Film Festival 2019), THE PRICE (Samuel Goldwyn Films), and AMERICAN FABLE (IFC Films). She’s a 2017 Cannes Producers Fellow, a 2017 Tribeca All Access grantee, and the first ever American producer to be selected for the EAVE European Producers Network.
Jamund Washington’s producing work includes the 2016 Emmy Award-nominated television film, SILENCED, SXSW Grand Jury winner and Independent Spirit Award-nominated, GIMME THE LOOT, and the Netflix original, TRAMPS, which he also co-wrote. He is an Executive Producer, Writer, and Director on the Peabody Award-winning HBO series “Random Acts of Flyness”. Washington’s particularity regarding the projects he commits to has led to an excellent and diverse storytelling background, from features to web series to public access TV.
Previous Producer Award recipients include Anish Savjani, Effie Brown, Scott Macauley, Joslyn Barnes, Karin Chien, Julie Goldman, Heather Rae, and Jay Van Hoy.
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