THE HORIZON AWARD WINNERS
Wondering what our past winners have been up to? Check out their progress below!
Brittany "B.Monét" Fennel - Horizon Award Winner 2017
"Being selected as one of the Horizon Award winners has changed my life forever. I love that Cassian, Christine, and Lynette are dedicated to championing the voices of young women. I believe in my heart that this initiative will help to revolutionize the film industry by helping more women make their work. Because of this opportunity, I have met with game changers who want to help me make my first feature film. I am extremely grateful to everyone at Horizon for believing in me and for forging opportunities for women to create, share, and make their work with the world".
Brittany "B.Monét" Fennell is a writer/director who graduated from Spelman College with a B.A.in English. She hails from Silver Spring, Maryland and holds an MFA from New York Universityin Film and Television with a concentration of writing and directing. She was granted the Graduate Film Department Fellowship (2014-2015) and "Strings Attached" a short film she associate produced has been accepted to Cannes Court Metrage, LA Shorts Film Festival, and Urban World presented by BET. Her short film Q.U.E.E.N. has screened at Cannes FilmFestival and premiered on Magic Johnson's channel ASPiRE.
B.Monét worked at Beyoncé's production company Parkwood Entertainment in the production department and finished a short documentary about the #BlackLivesMatter movement with Dr. Cornel West. Additionally, she will be shooting her first feature film Q.U.E.E.N. soon and a short film for the Bureau of Creative Works which will be released on VHX's platform.
This year she was recently named a directing fellow for Film Independent's residency program Project Involve and named the Horizon Award winner through Cassian Elwes, Christine Vachon and Lynette Howell - Taylor at the Sundance Film Festival and a recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation grant.
Juliette Gosselin - Horizon Award Winner 2016
"Receiving this award has truly been a gift and honour. Not only did I have the chance to travel and experience the Sundance Film Festival, I most importantly had the privilege to meet some of the most inspiring and influential people in the film industry - all of whom have a strong belief that women need to be heard more often in film. Ever since, I’ve been more confident in my work and eager to make movies that will one day inspire other aspiring female directors".
At twenty-six years old, Juliette has quickly established herself as one of Quebec's up-and-coming actresses. Her first major role was that of France Carignan in the feature film Battle of the Brave opposite heavyweights Gérard Depardieu, David Lahaye and Noémie Godin-Vigneau, for which she got a Genie Award nomination for best performance by an actress in a supporting role. Quickly moving on to her next project, Juliette starred as Gabrielle in Louise Archambault's critically acclaimed feature film Familia, which was honored as one of the 10 best Canadian movies of 2005 at TIFF.Juliette starred opposite Céline Bonnier and Geneviève Bujold as Sophie in Délivrez-moi, a dark tale of redemption directed by Denis Chouinard for which she won best actress at the 26th Atlantic Film Festival.Most recently, she was given the part of Berthe in André Forcier’s latest movie, Embrasse-moi comme tu m’aimes, as well as landing a part on Bravo’s hit drama, 19-2. This summer, she’s shooting in Italy for Ricardo Trogi’s latest movie,1991. Her flourishing acting career hasn’t stopped her from studying screenwriting and filmmaking at the University of Quebec in Montreal. In the past four years, Juliette has written and directed five shorts. In 2015, her short Pute no.2 was selected in Telefilm Canada’s NOT SHORT ON TALENT program in Cannes. Juliette also co-wrote and co-directed the three seasons of the trendy webseries Switch & Bitch. Since May 2016, Juliette has had the opportunity to work her directing skills on multiple TV commercial sets, as she is now represented by ALT, a Montreal production company. She is also developing multiple projects for television and film. With the support of producer Nicole Robert (Go Films), she is currently writing her first feature film. The aspiring filmmaker is undoubtedly and passionately making her way in the film world.
Florence Pelletier - Horizon Award Winner 2016
"The Horizon Award has opened up lots of opportunities for me. Mostly, it has gave me the drive to keep doing filmmaking and trust myself as a director. I am not afraid to go and pitch my ideas to producers, as I know they are worthwhile and that I can have a successful career as a woman director".
Since receiving the Horizon Award in January 2016, Florence has worked as a director on two fiction short films. The first one, FOX LAKE, has been selected at the Goa short film festival in India and is premiering in October 2017 at the Carrousel de Rimouski film festival in Quebec, Canada. Her second short film, ESQUIVA, is her first thriller and was shot in Mexico with a canadian and mexican cast and crew. It is still in postproduction and will be released in November 2017. Florence also discovered a new passion in documentary filmmaking, co-directing the short documentary REACHING THE CREST, telling the story of a female canadian alpinist heading back to the mountains after the lost of her good friend during a storm on the peak of Mount Rainier. Right after completing this short documentary, she embarked on another documentary shooting, this time as a co-director and a videographer. Filmed in Nunavik, Canada, QAMANIQ will be a short documentary about 4 women, including the inuit throat singer Charlotte Qamaniq, who run 100k across the wild Kuururjuaq national park and share about their culture, their fears and their ambitions.
Matilda Gala - Horizon Award Winner 2016
"I will forever be appreciative and entranced by the magic that was Sundance and the generosity of Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell, Christine Vachon, Evan Arnold, Susan Hall, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, the Horizon Award Team and it's wonderful donors. It was an experience that fuels me constantly and gave me the courage to believe in myself despite the odds of me being a latina female filmmaker. Like Katherine Bigelow though, I also choose to identify myself as just a storyteller despite gender and nationality, however now more than ever there are so many stories that need to be told and contrary to popular belief- there is no shortage of female filmmakers, just opportunities for them! The Horizon Award is only the beginning for me and for the future of other young storytellers. Thank you, thank you!!"
Matilda Gala believes in appreciating beauty, collecting light, embracing darkness, becoming closer to you, pursuing loneliness, being vulnerable, building shields, nature as a companion, being honest and making things from one heart to another.
She graduated from the Tisch school of the Arts at New York University in May 2016 and since then has continued to viscously pursue her passion for storytelling and image making. She is currently in post production in completing stop-motion animated sequences for her short film titled "Dear Stranger,". "Dear Stranger,'" focuses on the feelings and imagination of a fiery young girl growing up in a plastic pastel-colored dream in the 1960's and explores the meaning behind her correspondence with a life-sentenced prisoner who becomes more of a genuine father figure despite his mysterious past and her superficial parents.
Since graduating and the Horizon Award, she has also embraced her fine arts background and has been working in the art department for numerous commercials, short films, feature films, music videos, television series and fashion films. She has also joined the collective "Oneonefive" as a director and is also currently writing her first feature film.
Since developing her career and becoming a multi-disciplinary artist she has come to appreciate and utilize the power of filmmaking, and has dedicated herself to archiving and protecting the voices of those who feel they do not have one.
Visit : matildagala.com to view more of her work.
MALAKAI- Horizon Award Winner 2016
"The Horizon Award empowered me with a voice. Before the Horizon Award, I didn't think I'd be able to ever see myself moving forward with a feature. Now, one year later - I've not only been able to connect with amazing mentors and partners, I am in the development for one and I've countless mentorship opportunities from many of the fore-runners within this industry. My life has been for-ever change. Thank you for helping me to believe in myself".
Based out of Los Angeles & Phoenix, Shanice Malakai other wise known as MALAKAI is a director & creative vested in visual storytelling that empowers those with a voice. The goal for Malakai is to be all things fearless. As a black woman, she knows that the current industry is sparse with a lack of representation and diversity. Because of this, she forges forward by creating narratives for the bold and the brave. Her short documentary film Black Girls Code has been showcased within the Cannes Film Festival:SFC, Langston Hughes AA Fest, Miami SciFi Fest, Chelsea Fest, Focus Forward and other additional festival platforms. As well as this, the film had special screenings at some of the top tech companies: Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Salesforce.
In 2014 Malakai was awarded and honored as an “Extraordinary Woman of Color”, live on (ABC 15). In 2015 she was tapped as the “filmmakers voice” to speak on a panel for SXSW Interactive on Instant Gratification, Media and technology. Her short documentary on instant gratification also screened with this panel experience.
In January 2016, Malakai was awarded at Sundance through the Horizon Award. There she was mentored by Cassian Elwes , Christine Vachon and Lynette Howell. Her work as a director on the short film “END TO THE SUFFERING’ premiered at Sundance via the Horizon Award and it was a life changing experience.
The Horizon Award empowered Malakai so much that after leaving that she experience, she immediately started to work on the development of her first episodic and feature length projects. Currently, Malakai is now in development & pre-production for a feature length film and looks forward towards the future. She has produced and directed countless commercials, documentaries and promotional content. Malakai’s goal is to create, to inspire and to develop revolutionary media and to change the way women of color are scene behind the scenes within film and media.
Veronica Ortiz - Horizon Award Winner 2015
"The Horizon Award gives voice to those that have been silenced for too long. It is so refreshing to feel like, after years of internally screaming a truth that seemed unknown to so many, someone taps you on the shoulder and says “I can hear you and I care.” Just that simple act has allowed me to believe there might be a place for me here. I still don’t fully believe it—I still have to convince myself every morning, but the Horizon Award is a constant reminder that someone out there believes that this world can be a place where people like me can follow their bliss—and that means the world".
Verónica Ortiz-Calderón is a Puerto Rican singer, actress, writer and filmmaker. She was trained in vocal performance at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and studied acting at The Puerto Rican Athenaeum. She completed her communications degree at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, New York where she was named Newhouse Scholar and Syracuse University Scholar, the highest undergraduate achievement bestowed by the university.
Veronica now lives back home with her dog in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she works as an operations manager for an international moving company and as producer and production assistant for various film productions around the island. She is also currently headlining the musical Boriken: The Show and acts for local commercials and movies. Although it is slowly growing, the film community in Puerto Rico is fragmented and struggles to find footing with local audiences and investors to support local projects. Because of this, Veronica’s next goal is to create a heavy-hitting multifaceted production company in Puerto Rico based around ethical business practices. Creating a community where filmmakers can grow as cinematic artists of character is a dream that was cemented as part of Veronica’s time with the national cinematic fraternity, Delta Kappa Alpha.