FilmNorth is pleased to announce the four Minnesota artists selected to receive the 2018 McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists. This year’s fellows are E.G. Bailey of Minneapolis, Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr., of Garrison, Kiera Faber of St. Joseph, and Wenonah Wilms of Minneapolis.
Out of a field of 73 applicants, the four fellows were chosen by a national panel of media artists and curators: Clint Bowie, the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Film Society; John Mhiripiri, Director of Anthology Film Archives in New York; Mary Jane Skalski, a New York based producer; and Amy Shatsky, the series producer for Independent Lens, in San Francisco.
“While the quality of applicants is always high, this year was exceptionally so, underscoring the depth, talent and diversity of Minnesota’s film/media community,” said FilmNorth Executive Director Andrew Peterson. “It was clear that this year’s panel had a strong emotional connection to the work of this year’s fellows. Like the panel, we’re excited to see the work that will be created as a result of this life-changing fellowship.”
One change this year was that screenwriters were judged separately from all other media artists: a modification welcomed by both panelists and applicants. “We are pleased that a screenwriter is ensured to be awarded a fellowship moving forward,” said FilmNorth’s McKnight Program Administrator, Eric Mueller. “This change was made in recognition of Minnesota’s many fine screenwriters who are creating the blueprints for future films and television.”
The McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists support mid-career artists residing in Minnesota whose work is of exceptional artistic merit. The $25,000 fellowships will enable these four artists to study, reflect, experiment, and explore over a twelve month period with support and assistance from FilmNorth and the McKnight Foundation.
In addition to the cash award, the program supports its fellows by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a year-end McKnight Retrospective featuring the fellows, by providing assistance to attend the annual Film Independent Forum in Los Angeles, and by offering special class and workshop opportunities through FilmNorth.
The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from The McKnight Foundation and administered by FilmNorth.
2018 McKnight Media Artist Fellowship Recipients
E.G. Bailey recently named one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film; is an Ivey award-winning artist, filmmaker, director and producer. He is the recipient of a regional Emmy, LIN travel grant, and the Hughes, Diop, Knight Poetry Award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference. His work is featured in the Target Art Connects commercial, now archived at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). His latest work includes the co-curation of America Now!, a special film project which has taken place at the Tampere Film Festival in Finland, Latvia and others; and his film, NEW NEIGHBORS, premiered at the 2017 Sundance film festival and has been shown at over 100 festivals world-wide.
Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr. is a filmmaker whose most recent short film, SHINAAB, played at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and 2017 AFI Fest. He was supported at the 2017 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, 2018 Sundance Institute Directors Lab, and has been a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships from the Sundance Institute, Time Warner Foundation, Cinereach, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. His first feature, WILD INDIAN, is currently in development.
Kiera Faber’s award winning experimental films and stop motion animations are crafted by hand and influenced by her background in studio arts, photography, and psychology. Her work explores the repercussions of loss and trauma through enigmatic abstract narratives. The transitory intermingling of image, sound, memory, and meaning are why she makes films: the power of ephemerality to resonate in ways that are not fully understood. Faber received her MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop after completing a BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Her work has been nationally and internationally screened and exhibited, most notably in Armenia, Brazil, New Zealand, throughout the EU, and the United States. She has received numerous grants for her films and recently completed OBSCURER, supported in part by a grant from the Jerome Foundation.
Wenonah Wilms has been screenwriting since 2001 and has written over twenty feature-length screenplays. She’s had six short films produced and three features sold. She has won competitions and placed highly in many others as well as participating in screenwriting workshops, programs and panels. Highlights include the Tribeca Connects Program (2006), McKnight Fellowship (2007), IFP Film Market (2008) Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition winner (2008) PAGE Script Competition fist place, Comedy category (2011), Sundance Screenwriters Lab (Finalist 2011), Nicholls Fellowship Competition (semifinalist, 2015 & 2017) Sundance Episodic Lab finalist (2017) and the Minnesota Screenwriting Residency (Finalist, 2016 & 2018). Wenonah’s short film WAABOOZ has won multiple festival awards including Best Short Film, Best Animation, Best Native American film and Audience choice in 2017. She will be the resident screenwriter at the Augsburg summer MFA program in July 2018.
2018 McKnight Fellowships for Media Artists Selection Panel
There were four professionals who served as panelists, selecting four fellows from 73 total applications. Juror Skalski reviewed the 24 screenwriting applications, and jurors Bowie, Mhiripiri, and Shatsky reviewed the 49 applications from non-screenwriters.
Clint Bowie is the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Film Society, where he has worked since 2010. He also works with the organization’s filmmaker development programs, including the Southern Producers Lab and the Emerging Voices Mentorship Program. He has spoken on panels at the 2018 Center for Asian American Media Artists Convening; 2017 Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris; the 2016 Palm Springs International ShortFest; the 2015 ArtHouse Convergence conference; and has served on juries at the Atlanta, River Run, Cleveland, Florida, Dallas, and Denver Film Festivals, among others. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Film Festival Alliance, a professional organization of film festival organizers.
As Director of Anthology Film Archives, John Mhiripiri is responsible for the overall operations and development of this non-profit film archive, cinema, and research library. In addition, he serves as Secretary on AFA’s board, previously served on the Board of Directors of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and was a long-time assistant to two independent artist archives. He has served on numerous film/media and visual arts grant panels for cultural councils and foundations; juried a wide variety of film festivals and film school showcases; and presented public programs at film festivals and other venues throughout the U.S.
Mary Jane Skalski began her career at Good Machine where she worked on the early films of Ang Lee, Ed Burns and Nicole Holofcener. As a producer, her credits include the feature films AMERICAN ANIMALS, THE COBBLER, DARE, THE HAWK IS DYING, HELLO I MUST BE GOING, MYSTERIOUS SKIN, THE STATION AGENT, THE VISITOR, WILSON, WIN WIN, and VERY GOOD GIRLS, among others. In addition to producing, Mary Jane is also the Senior Advisor to Game Changer, a financing entity focused exclusively on films directed by women and regularly serves as an advisor at the Sundance Creative Producing Lab.
Emmy Award-Winning producer, Amy Shatsky is the Series Producer of INDEPENDENT LENS, PBS’s primetime documentary series. Independent Lens films have garnered numerous accolades including Emmy Awards, Academy Award Nominations, DuPont Awards and Peabody Awards and was honored as Best Series by the International Documentary Association (IDA) four out of the last five years. In addition, Amy manages a portfolio of ITVS-funded films, and provides content development feedback to filmmakers. Amy joined INDEPENDENT LENS and ITVS after more than 15 years producing documentaries and narrative feature films in New York. Her credits include award-winning films and television programs for HBO, PBS, Disney Channel, Starz Encore, and Comedy Central, which have premiered at such venues as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and the Toronto Film Festival. Amy is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and holds an MFA in film production from New York University and a BA from Cornell University.
About The McKnight Artist Fellowships
Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive, The McKnight Foundation’s arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1981. The McKnight Artist Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 10 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently the foundation contributes about $1.7 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit mcknight.org/artistfellowships.
About The McKnight Foundation
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform, we attend, unite, and empower those we serve. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the foundation had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016, of which about 11% was directed to support working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. Learn more at mcknight.org, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.