We are proud to announce this year‘s winner of the Robert Giard Fellowship for the period 2011-2012. The award goes to Yoruba Richen, chosen this year as one of The Advocate magazine‘s 40 notable LGBT people under age 40 (”Forty under 40“), for her 30-minute documentary short, The New Black, about American black Christian churches and the gay rights movement.
The American-Australian team of Landreth and Tovey won for their project Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America, a photographic and video-based survey of the American GLBTQ community.
Embodiment profiles individuals from urban and rural areas across America. Its stories are told though large-format color portraits and engaging 8-minute “video portraits” comprised of interviews, performance, and story telling by each participant, culminating in a multi-media, multi-platform interactive website, an Internet archive of queer life today with a glimpse of what may be in store tomorrow.
Sonali Gulati was awarded a fellowship to complete a short personal and revealing documentary film, I am, a portrait of four different families in South Asia dealing with having a gay or lesbian child. Ms. Gulati writes:
In India, the second most populated country in the world with over one billion people, the subject of homosexuality remains ignored, silenced, and even invisible ... a “homosexual relationship” is considered a criminal offence, [legally] punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment ... As a filmmaker, my personal narrative of leading a closeted life while growing up in India and my inability to come out to my mother serves as the primary structural framework to weave together stories of four individual families. With courage, determination, and humor, these families share untold stories ... As one parent says in the film, “If parents stand up and support and accept their gay children, then no one can say anything, no one.”
You can learn more about the film here.
Angela Jimenez, for her photography project, womyn’s land, that grows out of six years of photojournalism on the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Zanele Muholi, for her photographic memory art project, Ukukhumbula (a Zulu word meaning “to remember”), which aims to commemorate and preserve the life and histories of black lesbians in South Africa and beyond. Madeline Olnek, for her short film, Neurosis is a Pre-Emptive Behavior, part of an ongoing project of shorts that look at lesbians and gays in therapy.