New York-based filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist Miatta Kawinzi, who was announced by New York City-based non-profit Queer|Art as the winner of the second annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant. Kawinzi will receive a $5,000 cash grant to support the making of a new film installation: “SHE GATHER ME”.
The grant award was announced during a special edition of the acclaimed screening series Queer|Art|Film, organized by Hammer Grant Manager, Vanessa Haroutunian, to recognize some of the many women experimental filmmakers who have been influenced and inspired by Hammer’s prolific career. The evening began with a special tribute to Hammer by Haroutunian and Hammer's longtime partner, Florrie Burke. They then invited the judges for this year’s grant—Carmel Curtis, Cecilia Dougherty, and Ayanna U’Dongo—to announce the winner.
Five other women were acknowledged as finalists for this year—Kim Anno, Erica Cho, Kimberlee Veneble, and collaborators Anna Burholt & Tandis Shoushtray. After the awarding of the grant, Haroutunian presented a selection of short experimental films made by women who have been inspired by Hammer and career. The screening, entitled “The Hammer Mix: Generations,” included works by some of the avant-garde’s most dynamic filmmakers—Peggy Ahwesh, A.K. Burns, Cheryl Dunye, Dani Leventhal ReStack, Lynne Sachs, and Cauleen Smith—and their work was paired with Hammer’s selected film entitled Still Point. Haroutunian and special guests Peggy Ahwesh and Lynne Sachs took the stage after the screening to engage in a conversation about the films and the artists’ influence from Hammer. Hammer wrote about the program, “I am honored to have inspired these genius filmmakers. It truly amazes me for when you are young and working hard you just think about getting the work out. Then to find years later that your films meant a whole lot to certain artists, these and others, just takes your breath away. I am delighted to have their selected works gathered together for tonight's program.”