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25 NEW FACE ALUMNI WIN AT TRIBECA ALL ACCESS

As we begin putting together our annual “25 New Faces” issue of Filmmaker, in which we identify and profile the filmmakers who we believe will the independent stars of tomorrow, we also check back on the successes of our past selections. So, when a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival arrived in my in-box this morning I noticed that of the three winners of the Tribeca All Access Award, two — Dennis Lee (a member of the company Kulture Machine) and Mario de la Vega (pictured) — were directors spotlighted in last summer’s issue.

From the press release:

“The Tribeca All Access Connects (TAA) program, which fosters relationships between U.S.-based filmmakers of color and the film industry, announced today the winners of the second Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Awards. At last night’s Tribeca All Access Connects Awards and Closing Party at the Tribeca Grand, sponsored by the Playboy Foundation:

Dennis Lee won the award for the narrative section prize for his current screenplay The Life & Times of H.J. Hermin. Dennis has previously directed a short film entitled Jesus Henry Christ.

Usama Alshaibi won the award for documentary section prize for his documentary proposal Nice Bombs.

Mario de La Vega won the award for the screenplay section prize for his screenplay The Undeniable Charm of Sloppy Unruh.

The winners were selected upon the strength of their vision and filmmaking promise. The TAA Creative Promise Award offers a prize of $10,000 for narrative and documentary and $5,000 for screenplay. All of the filmmakers participating in the program have scripts or documentary proposals for which they are seeking funding.

Narrative winner Dennis Lee is set to direct The Life & Times of H.J. Hermin (which he also wrote) which tells the story of 13-year-old genius and college freshman Henry James Hermin on his quest to solve an unbreakable computer code and find his biological father. Lee previously directed the short film Jesus Henry Christ.

Screenplay winner Mario de Le Vega’s The Undeniable Charm of the Sloppy Unruh tells the dramatic tale of charismatic 1950s con artist Sloppy Unruh who returns to his hometown in Texas determined to con his way back into his family’s good graces.

Documentary winner Usama Alshaibi’s documentary will document he and his father’s journey through the terrain of war torn Iraq after a 24-year exile.”
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