Time Warner Foundation Celebrates Filmmakers

8 May 2014 - By TW Staff

Last week, the Time Warner Foundation hosted its first ever New Works New Voices Film Festival especially for Time Warner employees. The Film Festival featured three films from filmmakers who participated in programs at institutions supported by the Time Warner Foundation.

The Time Warner Foundation builds and supports partnerships with organizations that champion the work of up-and-coming and underrepresented storytellers in film, theater and television, such as the Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, the Independent Filmmaker project, and more. The Foundation funds nonprofits like Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute and The Public Theater to develop emerging talent in all forms of media.

Opening night featured the film Time is Illmatic, a documentary film told through the lens of rapper Nas and his bluesman father, Olu Dara. The film, which deconstructs Nas' indelible rap album Illmatic and the socioeconomic and cultural conditions that inspired it, opened the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Time Warner Inc. and President of the Time Warner Foundation gave the opening remarks. She spoke about programs the foundation supports and how they cultivate aspiring artists in film, theater and television.

“In fact, this past year, for the third year in a row, the Pulitzer Prize winner for drama was an artist who is someone that has been through several of the Time Warner Foundation (supported) programs,” said Quiroz.

Director and producer One9 and producer Erik Parker sat down for a Q&A before the film, where they talked about their participation in the Tribeca All Access program and the filmmaking process. Tamir Muhammad from the Tribeca Film Institute also joined the discussion.

The second day of the film festival featured Obvious Child, a subversive romantic comedy about 27-year-old emerging comic Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) who gets dumped, fired, pregnant, and has the best worst Valentine’s Day of her life. Obvious Child premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January. Filmmaker Gillian Robespierre was a participant in the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program.

Drunktown’s Finest, which debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is executive produced by Robert Redford, closed the film festival. Drunktown’s Finest is filmmaker Sydney Freeland’s response to a news story that characterized her hometown of Gallup, New Mexico, as “Drunktown, USA.”  The film observes the Navajo Nation from the inside out through the eyes of three unlikely characters.

Sydney received support for her film through the Sundance Institute, and attended the Institute’s Native & Indigenous Lab, which supports emerging filmmakers in the U.S. of Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native heritage.

See photos from the New Works New Voices Film Festival below.