Sunday, May 19, 2024

LGBTQ+ filmmakers awarded Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grant

Colin Higgins Foundation and Outfest have announced the three recipients of the Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grant, including Eliana Pipes, Alexis Zall and Jacob Roberts.

The winners’ short films were showcased during the Outfest film festival.

As part of a ceremony before the Outfest sneak preview screening of the new documentary Celebrating Laughter: The Life and Films of Colin Higgins, each recipient was awarded a $15,000 grant to continue their work.

Winners of the Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grant: Alexis Zall, James Rogers, Eliana Pipes, Jacob Roberts |
Photos Courtesy of the Colin Higgins Foundation 

The Winners:

  • Eliana Pipes is a queer, Black/white/Puerto Rican artist based in her hometown of Los Angeles.  She is a playwright, filmmaker and performer who wrote and directed the animated short film ¡Nails! which was originally a live action project that she reimagined after COVID halted production. She has been awarded the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and her play DREAM HOU$E had a world premiere triple co-production with the Alliance Theater, Long Wharf Theater, and Baltimore Center Stage.
  • Alexis G. Zall is 24 years old, self identifies as queer and resides in Los Angeles. She is a young & cutting-edge creator who wrote and directed the short film the beginning & the middle. Her work explores the central question of: what now? with characters who have experienced life-changing situations, such as coming out or preceding trauma.  She began posting YouTube videos when she was 13 years old and cultivated an audience over a decade that has grown to more than one million subscribers and over 81 million total views on her self-titled channel. She directed and starred in a branded commercial for Google, developed a half-hour comedy for FX and an original pilot with Kay Cannon producing. In front of the camera, Zall had a memorable guest star on RAMY’s first season, heavily recurred on THE GOLDBERGS and was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Digital Series for her work on ZAC & MIA.
  • Jacob Roberts is 25 years old, self identifies as a bisexual man and lives in Los Angeles. Jacob’s films tell off-beat stories about sex and sexuality. Jacob wrote, directed, and performed in Half because he was upset that pop culture “sucks at showing what it’s like to be bisexual.” He wanted to see a story that went beyond stereotypes of bi people as confused or promiscuous and portrayed the reality of being bisexual. So, he decided to write that story himself.

“We’re proud to celebrate Colin’s legacy by honoring LGBTQ+ youth filmmakers,” said James Rogers, board president of the Colin Higgins Foundation. “Our hope is that the documentary Celebrating Laughter offers a glimpse into Colin’s life and inspires our LGBTQ+ youth to have the courage to continue telling their stories using their authentic, unique and powerful voices.”

About Colin Higgins Foundation

The Colin Higgins Foundation is dedicated to supporting LQBTQ youth in underserved communities and the programs and organizations that foster and build their leadership and empowerment.  In addition to recognizing the exemplary achievements of individual youth through the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards, the Foundation has also supported the work of numerous organizations such as The Trevor Project, the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, the Japanese-American Citizens League, the Audre Lorde Project, FAMILIA: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and more. For more information on the Colin Higgins Foundation, visit

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