- Nov. 16, 2020

A great win for female filmmakers! Award season has officially begun with the 30th annual IFP Gotham Awards announcing its nominations and making history. All of the five nominees in the Best Feature category were directed by women, a first for the Gothams. Join us in celebrating some of our nominated FF members:

Channing Godfrey Peoples is a filmmaker from Fort Worth, Texas, who spent her childhood in community theater and fell in love with storytelling. She is an MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and one of Filmmaker magazine's 2018 "25 new faces of independent film." She wrote two episodes for season 3 of Queen Sugar. MISS JUNETEENTH is her feature film debut. Her short film, "Red", was also filmed in Ft. Worth, featuring Irma P. Hall (Collateral, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Soulfood), and is a Jury Award Winner at the Director's Guild of America Student Film Awards and a Panavision New Filmmakers Grant Recipient. It has screened in film festivals both domestically and internationally. Her short screenplay "Doretha's Blues" was awarded First Prize for Best Short Screenplay in the 2015 Rhode Island Film Festival Screenplay Competition. The script for "Miss Juneteenth" was named a Semi-Finalist in the Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship and she is a 2015 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive Fellow. Channing has served as a Time Warner Artist in Residence at Howard University, lecturing on screenwriting and directing. She received her Master of Fine Arts from University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts.

Eliza Hittman is an award-winning filmmaker, born and based in Brooklyn, NY. Her latest film, the critically acclaimed Never Rarely Sometimes Always, was released by Focus Features this spring following its international premiere in competition in the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Award. The film had its US premiere in competition at Sundance where it won a special jury prize. Beach Rats, her previous film, premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where she won the Directing Award. It premiered internationally at Locarno in the Golden Leopard Competition and was the Centerpiece Film at New Directors / New Films. Beach Rats was released domestically by NEON Rated, and was a New York Times Critics' Pick. It was the winner of the Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting, Outstanding Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature at Outfest, and the London Critics' Circle Film Award for Young British/Irish Performer of the Year. In 2018, it was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit awards and a Breakthrough Actor Award for the Gothams Awards. Her micro-budget feature film It Felt Like Love premiered at Sundance in 2013 in NEXT and was a New York Times Critic's Pick. She earned an MFA from Cal Arts and is currently an Assistant Professor of Film/Video at Pratt Institute. She is the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center, and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

Radha Blank is a proud Native New Yorker, Performer, and Writer for TV, stage, and film. Her plays include HappyFlowerNail, Casket Sharp, Nannyland and the critically acclaimed SEED which The Huffington Post called "fresh, lively...and poetic". She's a Helen Merrill Playwriting Award recipient, an NEA New Play Development Award recipient (for SEED) and a NYFA Fellow. Radha's TV writing work includes The Get Down (Netflix), Empire (FOX) and She's Gotta Have It (Netflix), where she's worked as Producer/Writer for two seasons. She co-wrote the screen adaptation of Walter Dean Myers best-selling novel Monster. Radha was a fellow for both the 2017 Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs with her original screenplay The 40-Year-Old Version (FYOV), which won The 2017 Adrienne Shelly Women's Filmmaker Award and The 2018 Maryland Film Festival Producers Club Award. When not writing for the stage or screen, Radha performs as emcee RadhaMUSprime, whose brand of Hip Hop Comedy, has sold out shows from NY to Norway. She is currently writing the feature film script for Malcolm Lee's latest Universal Pictures comedy "Real Talk". Radha wrote, directed and starred in her first feature film, The 40-Year-Old Version which premiered at Sundance 2020.

Ramona S. Diaz is an award-winning Asian American filmmaker whose films have screened at Sundance, the Berlinale, Tribeca, the Viennale, IDFA, SXSW, Hot Docs, and many other top- tier film festivals. All of Ramona's feature-length films— Imelda (2004), The Learning (2011), Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey (2012), and Motherland (2017)—have been broadcast on PBS, on either the POV or Independent Lens series. Three of her films have premiered and won awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Motherland had its international premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, a Peabody Award, and a Gaward Urian Award from the Filipino Film Critics. Her latest film, A Thousand Cuts, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and had a theatrical release in August. It will be broadcast on Frontline in January 2021. Ramona was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) in 2016, and in 2017 received a Women at Sundance Fellowship and a Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Award. She is a recipient of both a United States Artist and a Creative Capital Fellowship. Ramona's first film Imelda has been acquired by Kyra Sedgewick's Big Swing Productions with Ramona attached to direct and write the scripted adaptation; Don't Stop Believin' was acquired by Warner Brothers with Ramona attached to produce.