Faculty and Alumni Film Projects Selected to Participate in 2021 Gotham Week Project Market

BY Nicole Saldarriaga, August 11, 2021

Six feature films and one narrative series by faculty and alumni have been selected by The Gotham Film & Media Institute for its Gotham Week Project Market, which will be held virtually from September 19–24, 2021. Now in its 43rd year, the Project Market allows artists in visual storytelling with projects in development to form relationships with distributors, financiers, production companies, festival programmers, agents, and collaborators. 

 

According to The Gotham's Executive Director, Jeffrey Sharp, "We are proud to announce the extraordinary line up of new projects at this year's Project Market—all of which feature distinctive and original voices. Our virtual format will again provide an exciting opportunity for independent artists to engage with a broad set of industry professionals and participants who can help support these new works."

 

Ale and the Boxer, produced by Associate Professor and alumnus Ramin Bahrani (CC '96), is a feature film written and directed by Alexandre Moratto which tells the story of Ale, a Brazilian-American, who struggles to support his ill mother. Ale forms a powerful bond with Samuel, a Venezuelan-American boxer, over their shared experiences—a bond which complicates personal boundaries. 

 

Ramin Bahrani is an award-winning Iranian American writer, director and producer. His films have premiered in Venice, Cannes, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. In 2010 legendary film critic Roger Ebert proclaimed Bahrani as “the director of the decade.” Bahrani has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a “Someone to Watch” Independent Spirit Award. He has been the subject of retrospectives around the world and all his cinematic work is housed in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His feature films have won numerous awards.

 

New Hampshire Boy, written and directed by Patrick Clement '20 and produced by Catherine Kosiba '18, follows two homeless punk rockers whose friendship is strained by sexual exploration and street violence. With a cross-country trip on the horizon, the two must contend with their complicated relationship. 

 

Patrick Clement is a former newspaper editor and a graduate of the University of Kansas. His short film Rabbits won Best Student Short at the New Hampshire Film Festival and Best Film at the Knoxville Film Fest. Most recently, his thesis film Three Corner House (starring Orange is the New Black’s Michael J. Burg) won Best Actor for newcomer Ty Baumann’s portrayal of a sexually adventurous teen in this subversive drama about family secrets. He is a seven time Kansas Press Association Award winner, a Catwalk Artist Residency fellow and his book of rare William S Burroughs portraits won two Humanities Grants from the KU School of the Arts.

 

Originally from Austin, Texas, Catherine Kosiba is a creative producer based out of New York City. Prior to coming to New York Kosiba worked at the Texas Film Commission where she assisted filmmakers in finding locations and resources necessary to their projects. Catherine also worked at Grant Wilfley Casting, where she was able to work on a variety of projects including The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire, and the HBO film, The Normal Heart. Fond of horror films with a twist, Kosiba was able to explore this genre in a number of short films that she produced in the past few years. 

 

Prone to Wander, written and directed by Maggie Briggs '19, is a coming-of-age story told over the course of seven summer Sundays. Main character Lua must deal with the growing pains of adolescence as she falls in love for the first time and navigates the conflicting lessons of her church and her life experience. 

 

Maggie Briggs is a screenwriter, director, and producer currently based between her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina and New York City. Her short film, To Sonny, has screened at festivals around the world including Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Champs-Élysées Film Festival, BOGOShorts, Busan International Short Film Festival, and was awarded Best International Film at the Still Voices Film Festival in Ireland. As a producer, her work has shown at festivals including TIFF, Palm Springs, and Nordisk Panorama. She is in development on her first-feature, Prone to Wander, which has been supported by Tribeca Film Institute, The Gotham, and Cine Qua Non. She is currently working as a writer on the second feature for director Samir Oliveros, in development with Fabula.

 

Salt, written and directed by Sushma Khadepaun '20, follows Anita, a woman living in small-town India who is obsessed with American sitcoms. With her hopes high for more independence and excitement, Anita orchestrates an arranged marriage that will move her to America. 

 

Born and raised in India, Sushma Khadepaun is a writer/director based in New York City. She writes stories that explore identity, freedom, and the myth of the American Dream. She is an active champion of intersectional feminist storytelling. Her short film Anita premiered In Competition at the Venice Film Festival 2020. The film won several awards including The Gotham Award/Focus Features Student Showcase, the National Board of Review Student Grant Award, and the ‘Grand Prix: New Talents’ award at PÖFF Tallinn Nights Shorts Festival.

 

Back Seat, produced by Shrihari Sathe '09, follows a mother who makes a single decision that completely upends her life, and she must fight to prove "she's a worthy mother—to the courts, her children, and herself." 

 

Sathe also produced Fight, another feature film selected for the Project Market, in which two boxers, an Arab teenager and a young Black father, are pitted against each other in their first pro boxing match. 

 

Shrihari Sathe has produced many short films, including Breaking the Chain, Golden Palm Award winner at Mexico International Film Festival (2010). Sathe co-produced First Day of Peace, Grand Jury Prize winner at Slamdance Film Festival (2010) and Off Season, a BAFTA (2010) nominee. Sathe’s films have played at festivals all over the world. Born and raised in Mumbai, Sathe received his bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he majored in Film and Video Studies (High Honors), and Global Media and Culture. He has received fellowships from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Producers Guild of America, IFP, and Film Independent, to name a few. In 2009 Sathe received the Entertainment Partners’ Best Producer Award at the Columbia University Film Festival. Sathe has an MFA Film Degree from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in New York. He is a visiting faculty member at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

 

Yasmine/Jasmine, written and directed by Yossera Bouchtia '19, is a narrative series that follows a grieving daughter after the sudden and unexpected loss of her mother. Soon, she is haunted by visits from an eerie doppelganger and must contend with a mysterious curse before she can move on. 

 

Yossera Bouchtia is a Moroccan-American screenwriter/director whose work is committed to challenging stereotypes, dispelling misconceptions, and shedding light on hidden truths while bridging the gap between the eastern and western worlds. Her past film work has explored the role of religion and culture in shaping feminine identity and has been featured in The Huffington Post, Jezebel, and Morocco World News. Most recently, she co-wrote and directed an Alfred P. Sloan funded short film on the life and work of astronomer Vera Rubin. Bouchtia received her MFA in Directing from Columbia University and earned both a BS in Psychology and a BA in Cinema from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently lives in Virginia and is an Assistant Professor of Cinema at VCUarts.