The 2018 Richard Vague Film Production Fund Recipients
Cuttlefish, Narrative Feature, Grad Film, $100,000Watch trailer
Jean Pesce worked in film production in New York City before receiving her MFA in Writing and Directing from NYU. Her screenplay, "Cuttlefish" was a Finalist in the Austin Film Festival as well as an official selection for the Black List Screenwriter's Lab. Her thesis film, "So You Like the Neighborhood," premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was Shortlisted for a BAFTA, and was a recipient of the National Board of Review student grant program. Jean currently lives in Los Angeles with her rescue dog, a Brussels Griffon named Henry.
Frontera, Narrative Feature, Undergraduate Film & TV, $50,000Watch trailer
Colombian-born Director-Producer Juan Felipe is based in New York and travels around the US, to direct / produce short films, music videos, and narrative commercials for global corporations. As part of his work with Vayner Productions (of Gary Vaynerchuk), he has created content for Shell, Miracle Whip, Clean & Clear, Listerine, GE, Johnny Walker, Samsung, Dentyne, Stella Artois, Budweiser and more. Juan Felipe also co-founded First Threshold, creating video campaigns for startups, making passion projects come to life, and developing both short and feature film scripts (like Frontera).
Dean's Award Recipient
A Night at Switch 'N Play, Documentary, Undergraduate Film & TV, $35,000Watch trailer
Born in the sandhills of West Texas, Cody enjoys adding a fashionably rustic flare to their work. As a non-binary artist, Cody strives to depict original characters and stories that represent the myriad forms of love and relationships between queer people. They currently live in Brooklyn with their cat, Benny.
GRADUATE FILM DEPARTMENT FINALISTS
Lydia Chammas – Hey, Cowboy – Narrative Feature: Luke, a wannabe cowboy, is stuck in NYC taking care of his wayward old man. As tensions rise between them and financial burdens increase, Luke's pull to be out West becomes impossible to ignore.
Mamadou Dia – Nafi’s Father – Narrative Feature: In Northern Senegal, a local imam fights against a fundamentalist group led by his older brother. The love story between the brothers’ two children make things harder to deal with.
Mauricio Osaki – The Paths of My Father – Narrative Feature: When 11-year Vy’s grandma is hospitalized, she is forced to join her absent father–a truck driver–on a journey around Vietnam. Vy wants to escape to her hometown and reconnect with her roots, while the father sees it as a chance to give her away.
Jean Pesce – Cuttlefish – Narrative Feature: A broke, bumbling dog-groomer realizes her beautiful, mysterious neighbor is involved in a money laundering scheme. When they wind up on the run, together this odd-couple must try to survive and forge an unlikely friendship along the way.
UNDERGRADUATE FILM & TV DEPARTMENT FINALISTS
Jacob Bittens – Toll Booth – Narrative Feature: A depressed toll booth operator has her life turned upside down when she meets a mysterious stranger on her last day of work.
Robert Lemieux – The Woods – Narrative Feature: While vacationing at an isolated cabin retreat, a divorced couple struggles to save their families from an unknown fate after an inexplicable evil lures their children into the woods.
Caitlin Stickels – A Night at Switch ‘n Play – Documentary Feature: This film profiles the award winning Brooklyn performance collective Switch n' Play, a group that redefines gender performance by blurring the line between drag and burlesque to create a subversive, reflective, and strikingly queer show.
Juan Zuleta – Frontera – Narrative Feature: Two siblings isolated in the furthest reaches of rural Colombia find themselves trapped between the very real threat of guerrilla warfare and the nightmarish possibilities of their imagination.