Left to right: Maya Korn '19 and Nicholas Payne Santos '19

Two Columbia Filmmakers Selected for Frontière's 2021 Genre Market

BY Angeline Dimambro, July 6, 2021

Alumni Nicholas Payne Santos ’19  and Maya Korn ’19 were both selected to participate in the 2021 Frontières co-production genre market.


The Frontières co-production market is the leading international industry initiative for genre film professionals. Organized by the Fantasia International Film Festival in collaboration with Marché du Film of the Festival de Cannes, Frontières connects genre filmmakers with industry professionals in an aim to promote co-production and collaboration. Frontières success stories include notable films such as Raw (Julia Ducournau, 2016), The Void, (Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie, 2016), Are We Not Cats (Xander Robin, 2016), and many more.


The international co-production market, which will take place virtually from August 3 - August 6, 2021, will feature 20 genre projects in advanced development and early financing stages. 


Among the projects selected is Santos’ feature project, Strange Creatures. Written and directed by Santos, Strange Creatures tells the story of a young woman who receives a call from her missing brother and travels to the site of his disappearance, only to find herself face to face with unspeakable evil. 


Nicholas Payne Santos is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY.  He was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and is bi-racial (Black/white). Before receiving his Film MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2019, he attended Ithaca College, where he graduated in 2010 with a BS in Cinema & Photography. Santos’ feature directorial debut, It Cuts Deep, was released by Dark Sky Films in limited theatrical and VOD on Friday the 13th, November 2020, and is now streaming on Showtime and Shudder. His screenplay You Kill Me was selected for Columbia Film’s 2021 Blue List, which represents the most esteemed, unproduced screenplays and television pilots written by Film and Playwriting graduates of Columbia University’s School of the Arts. He also produced Uncle Peckerhead (Matthew John Lawrence, 2020), which was released on VOD and Blu-ray in August 2020 by Epic Pictures / Dread Presents and is now streaming on Amazon Prime.


Also chosen for the prestigious co-production market is Lucky Strikes, written and directed by Vivienne Vaughn. The film is a queer coming-of-age horror film, produced by Korn and her Amerian production company, MHK Productions. The story is inspired by the traumatic experiences that make up female adolescence. Set in a desert town ravaged by unexplained suicides, Lucky Strikes centers on a young girl struggling with her sexuality who realizes that her adolescent transformation may be otherworldly.


Maya Korn is an LA-based film producer. Her US company MHK Productions is dedicated to uncovering stories in the genre space that highlight political issues, giving a voice to minority cultures. To date, she has produced films in Beijing, New York, Mexico City, Los Angeles and London. Her most recent credits include Deathcember's: A Christmas Miracle (Vivienne Vaughn, 2019) and Tribeca Untold Stories Grant winner Lucky Grandma. Before turning her attention to producing, Korn worked in marketing and distribution at The Weinstein Company on The Master (2012); at BBC America on the release of Orphan Black Season 2 (2014); and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on the 52nd New York Film Festival. More recently, she has moonlighted in companies dedicated to female driven content/ film makers, Refinery 29 and Maven Pictures. She is a finalist of the Marcie Bloom/Sony Fellowship '17, The Sarah Jones Film Foundation Grant Winner '18 and a proud member of NYWIFT, WIFT, BAFTA and PGA.