Last night here in New York, the 2009 Adrienne Shelley Director's Grant was bestowed on writer / director / actor, Christina Beck for her feature début, Perfection. Christina and I became friends at the IFP week back in 2007. She was at the market with the project for which she just received this honor and I, personally, am very, very proud of her. (That's her looking sassy for her step-and-repeat moment.)
The grant is given in memory of actor and filmmaker, Adrienne Shelly and is a competitive award that provides $5,000 from the Adrienne Shelly Foundation to a female director alum of IFP's Independent Filmmaker Labs. I got to take Christina out for a celebratory lunch yesterday before the ceremony where she told me that she will use this prize, in part, to release some developed film footage (donated by Kodak) that's been held in captivity at FotoKem in Los Angeles, where she resides.
She was presented with the grant at the US premiere of Serious Moonlight, starring Meg Ryan and Timothy Hutton, the feature directorial début of actor Cheryl Hines with a script written by Shelly.
This is the third year this award has provided support to a first-time female director. Previous grantees were Dia Sokol whose Sorry, Thanks world-premiered at SXSW in 2008, and Eunhee Cho whose Inner Circle Line world premiered at Rotterdam in 2006. This year's jury members were Andy Ostroy of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, executive producer, Adam Brightman, director, Annie Sundberg, actor Jeremy Sisto and actor Kevin Corrigan. Applications for this year's IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs will be available January 4, 2010.
Congratulations, Christina--all right, girl!