As part of WrapWomen’s three-day 2020 Power Women Summit, WrapWomen, Starz, a Lionsgate company, and Women In Film (WIF) announced the winner of this year’s “Telling Our Stories” short film competition, an initiative which highlights films by women and gender non-conforming filmmakers of color, that showcase themes of womanhood, community, and representation. Set on the eve of a game-changing campaign event, the winning film, “Team Marilyn,” by LaToya Morgan (director and executive producer) and Sue-Ellen Chitunya (producer), follows a politician who must decide what to do when a secret scandal erupts a few days out from a historic presidential election.
Chosen from more than 1,100 narrative or documentary short films, Morgan and Chitunya will share a winning prize of $10,000.
Executives from TheWrap, Starz and Women In Film, as well as other industry professionals, held a jury deliberation to select the six finalists and films, a terrific slate of wildly original pieces displaying impressive performances and strong individual visions. The finalists were recognized during the Telling Our Stories Filmmaker Showcase + Panel at the Power Women Summit and their films will be distributed on STARZ. The other five finalists included:
- Yoko Okumura for “Lexical Gap”: “Lexical Gap” is a wild lady-punk musical short film about redefining virginity. Through her music, lead singer Lex looks back at the painful mistakes she made as a teenage girl.
- Jazmin Johnson for “Sounds of War”: “Sounds of War” is a juxtaposition piece that explores J’s personal, blissful world of whimsical fantasy and the anxiety that her and other Black people adopted from age-old wounds of injustice.
- Katherine Chou for “A Cure for All Things”: Jiawei finds a mysterious vial in her late mother’s fridge, transforming her into their ancestors and descendants. “A Cure for All Things” is a story of what we leave out and what we leave behind.
- Shanrica Evans for “Clarissa”: In this meditative character piece a young woman living in a defensive state of anxiety because of a past assault, recognizes parts of her pain when she encounters a homeless woman who’s haunted by her own traumatic experiences.
- Gabriela Garcia Medina for “Little Con Lili”: Lili, is a 10-year-old Cuban-American girl who should be doing her homework, but instead, decides to enjoy a leisurely afternoon, home alone, eating all her favorite foods, and listening to her favorite band, Air Supply. All’s well, until her mother, Norma, is fired from work for stealing toilet paper and selling Pop-Tarts to guests. When Norma comes home unexpectedly early from work, Lili must hustle to con her mother into believing she’d been doing her homework the entire time.
“We are grateful to have been able to partner once again with Starz and WIF to highlight the impactful work of these incredibly talented filmmakers,” said Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of TheWrap. “The passion for filmmaking that LaToya Morgan and Sue-Ellen Chitunya, as well as the other finalists, demonstrate with these pieces, truly encapsulates the essence of this competition and we are honored to be able to put a spotlight on them.”
“Starz has always been a champion of emerging talent and diverse voices,” said Karen Bailey, Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Starz. “We are thrilled to be a part of offering these deserving new filmmakers a premium platform to exhibit their work.”
You can learn more about the finalists and their films here.
WrapWomen is a power base of influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands committed to changing the face of their industries. Through media and live events, we provide a platform to accelerate the vision of women who are building towards a more equitable world. Our events attract a broad network and community of professional women who are decision-makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists. Past speakers include: Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Emmy-winner Elisabeth Moss, Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cynthia Nixon, author Margaret Atwood, Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Beach Volleyball, Kerri Walsh Jennings, NASA Astrophysicist Andrea Razzaghi and LinkedIn CMO Shannon Stubo.
Starz (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is the global media company taking the lead in streaming premium content that spotlights a spectrum of women both in front and behind the camera for audiences worldwide. Starz is home to the flagship domestic STARZ® service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels and the associated on-demand and online services, as well as the proprietary and highly-rated STARZ app. In 2018, Starz launched its Starzplay international premium streaming platform and, coupled with its Starz Play Arabia venture, has since expanded its global footprint into 50 countries throughout Europe, Latin America, Canada, Japan and India. The essential complement to any subscription platform, STARZ and Starzplay are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. Starz offers subscribers more than 7,500 distinct premium television episodes and feature films, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular programming.
About Women In Film
Founded in 1973 as Women In Film Los Angeles, WIF advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries–in front of and behind the camera, across all levels of experience–to achieve parity and transform culture. We work to change culture through our distinguished programs, including mentoring, speaker and screening series, a production training program, writing labs, film finishing funds, legal aid, and an annual financing intensive. WIF advocates for gender parity through research, education, and media campaigns. And, we build a community centered around these goals, anchored by our signature events, including the WIF Annual Gala and Female Oscar Nominees Party, along with programs honoring the achievements of women in Hollywood, like the Legacy Series. Membership is open to all screen industry professionals.