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NYU Fusion Film Festival Names Oscar Nominee Lucy Alibar “Woman of The Year”

February 22, 2013
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The Fusion Film Festival, NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ premiere student film festival showcasing the work of emerging female filmmakers, marks its 10th Anniversary by naming Academy Award Nominee, Lucy Alibar, the festival’s inaugural Woman of the Year. An NYU Tisch alumna, Alibar will be honored at a special evening featuring a reading of her play, Juicy & Delicious, upon which her screenplay for Beasts of the Southern Wild was based.

The award presentation and reading will be held at the Cantor Film Center, 36 East 8th Street, New York on Thursday, March 7 at 6:30PM. Directed by Morgan Gould, Juicy & Delicious will feature Steven Rishard (HBO’s Treme), Donetta Lavinia Grays (Law and Order) and April Matthis (Breakdown). The reading will be followed by a Q&A session with Alibar, exploring the process of developing the screenplay from the play and her collaboration with Beasts director Benh Zeitlin.

“Lucy Alibar’s work is a fantastic representation of the emerging voice of women in narrative film, so we’re especially proud to have her as the first Fusion Film Festival Woman of the Year,” said Tessa Spycher, Fusion Co-Director.

Fellow Festival Co-Director Lucy Ross said, “Supporting and honoring female filmmakers – both in the educational realm and beyond – is why our student-run festival was started in 2003. Every year, we see the circle of participating filmmakers, mentors, and supporters grow stronger and stronger as we celebrate the art and business of great storytelling.”

Alibar emerged from her Southern roots in the Florida panhandle onto the New York theatre scene after graduating from Tisch in 2005. While supporting herself selling t-shirts on Manhattan street corners, she wrote her premiere play Juicy & Delicious. The play focuses on a complex relationship between a father and young daughter in the South, for which Alibar drew inspiration from her own relationship with her sick father.

In 2009 she teamed up with her childhood friend Benh Zeitlin and their script Beasts of the Southern Wild was selected for the Sundance Institute's Screenwriting Lab. It took the festival scene by storm in the summer of 2012 winning the Narrative Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature), Prix Regards Jeunes, FIPRESCI Un Certain Regard (International Critics), and a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes. Fox Searchlight released the film in the summer of 2012, and it has since gone on to be nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Next up, Alibar will be writing an adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden for producers Guillermo del Toro and Mark Johnson at Universal Studios.

Running March 6 to March 9, all Fusion Film Festival screenings and events are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first come basis. The program includes:

Fusion’s Woman of the Year: Lucy Alibar and Staged Reading of “Juicy & Delicious”
7 p.m., Thursday, March 7 @ Cantor Film Center
Join us for a live staged reading of Lucy Alibar’s brilliant one act play “Juicy & Delicious” that evolved into the Academy Award-nominated screenplay and film Beasts of the Southern Wild, featuring Steven Rishard (HBO’s Treme), Donetta Lavinia Grays (Law and Order) and April Matthis (Breakdown). A conversation with Lucy Alibar follows the reading and award ceremony.

Docs-in-the-Works, Fusion's Annual Pitching Contest
3 p.m., Friday, March 8 @ NYU Tisch Theatre 006
At 'Docs-in-the-Works' watch finalists pitch their projects to a panel of industry professionals at the top of their field. Filmmaker Nilita Vachani (When Mother Comes Home for Christmas) works closely with five finalists drawn from departments across NYU to finesse their pitches and trailers and present their work to commissioning editors and producers drawn from the contemporary documentary world. Festival audiences have the rare and valuable opportunity to hear direct feedback from industry judges as they evaluate and select the winning pitch.

Fusion Film Festival Competition Screenings & Award Ceremony
6:30 p.m., Friday, March 8 @ Cantor Film Center
The festival’s centerpiece event showcases the work of women directors and cinematographers from our graduate and undergraduate film programs. The award ceremony highlights Best Grad and Undergrad films, Best Cinematographer, as well as Best Feature and Short Screenplays, with prizes from Fusion’s sponsors including Final Draft and Media Services.

Panel: In the Writers’ Room
11 a.m., Saturday, March 9 @ Tisch School of the Arts Theatre 006
Insiders’ advice on the working writer’s life in television today from staff writers for major network shows to young writers who are making their own opportunities creating web series. Guests include the writers of the new FX hit The Americans.

Panel: The Festival Experience
1 p.m., Saturday, March 9 @ Tisch School of the Arts Theatre 006
Fusion brings together film festival programmers and filmmakers, including NYU alumni, to explore the process and potential of submitting and being selected by film festivals, and how to navigate the festival circuit.

Roundtable: Independent Women
3 p.m., Saturday, March 9 @ Tisch School of the Arts Theater 006
In a landmark year for women at Sundance, accomplished filmmakers talk about life outside of the studio system, making opportunities for themselves, and how the the entertainment industry has changed for women in the director’s chair over the last decade. Panelists include: Sophia Takal (Green); Mynette Louie (California Solo); Sundance Channel’s Nicole DeFusco, VP Original Programming and Development; Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan); and Ry Russo-Young (Nobody Walks).

Screening: WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
5 p.m., Saturday, March 9 @ Tisch School of the Arts Theatre 006
A film directed by Kirsty-Guevara Flanagan and produced by Kelcey Edwards
Tracing the fascinating birth, evolution, and legacy of Wonder Woman, this film introduces a dynamic group of fictional and real-life superheroines fighting for positive role models for girls, both onscreen and off. Producer Kelcey Edwards and activist-interviewee Shelby Knox will be in attendance for the Q&A.


About Fusion Film Festival
The Fusion Film Festival is NYU Tisch’s premiere festival dedicated to celebrating the work of women in film, television and new media, from student to icon. In the 10 years since its launch, the student-run festival has ben proud to attract accomplished artists such as Julie Taymor, Linda Obst, Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Penny Marshall, Amy Heckerling, Barbara Kopple, Lauren Zalaznick, and Jane Campion. Beyond the multi-day annual showcase of work, Fusion also serves as a vital artistic community that explores ways to break down barriers that separate men and women in film and television, while creating valuable opportunities for collaboration, cross-promotion and mentorship. For more information, visit www.FusionFilmFestival.com or contact Grace Whitney at (435) 640-8425 or gcw224@nyu.edu.

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Press Contact: Shonna Keogan | (212) 998-6796

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