Monday, March 4, 2024
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Queer|Art announces winner of Barbara Hammer lesbian filmmaking grant

Queer|Art, New York City’s home for the creative and professional development of LGBTQ+ artists, is excited to announce the winner of the 2021 Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, collaborative duo, Desireena Almoradie and Barbara Malaran.

The New York City-based duo will receive a $7,000 cash grant, as well as studio visits with members of the judges panel in support of their creative and professional development.

Almoradie and Malaran were selected among 108 applicants who applied for the Hammer Grant in its fifth year, winning for a project currently titled Untitled Kilawin Documentary. Set in the 1990s, against the backdrop of fierce patriarchy, racism, and lesbophobia, the film documents the revolutionary convergence of lesbian Filipinas who gathered for the first time in New York City to establish a loving, safe, and affirming community. 

The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is an annual grant awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. The grant is supported directly by funds provided by the estate of legendary lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer (1939-2019), and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. This year’s judges included Amber Bemak, Suzy Halajian, and Aily Tanaka Nash.

About Desireena Almoradie and Barbara Malaran, Winners

Desireena Almoradie (she/they) emigrated from Manila, Philippines at the age of eleven, settling in the borough of Queens, New York with her family. Her works explore collective history with a focus on queer and/or POC lives. She was nominated for an Emmy and has won a GLAAD Media Award for her work on In the Life, the seminal LGBT newsmagazine that aired on PBS for two decades. She co-founded the Diverse Filmmaker’s Alliance (DFA), a collective of filmmakers from all backgrounds working to diversify the filmmaking landscape. Most recently Desireena was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant for her experimental documentary Untitled Kilawin Doc, a collaboration with Barbara Malaran. 

Barbara Malaran (they/them) is a media maker and musician who traverses between past and present in order to locate personal ties. They re-imagine homelands and gender identities in an effort to reconfigure time and prevent memory decay. They were a member of the core group of Kilawin Kolektibo, a Pinay lesbian collective, and spent their formative years in NYC learning the craft of filmmaking by documenting Kilawin Kolektibo’s many actions at marches, protests, and celebrations. Barbara currently lives in Portland, OR. 

Almoradie and Malaran were awarded the Hammer Grant for their forthcoming film, Untitled Kilawin Doc. This film will trace the history of Kilawin Kolektibo, a pioneering collective of lesbian and queer brown women who came together in NYC in the mid-nineties. Culling from a treasure trove of over 25 years worth of historic documentation, the film will tell the story of queer Filipinxs who were searching for a community–a place where they could not only be open about their sexuality but also about their Filipinx culture. 

The collaborative duo notes that as filmmaking members of Kilawin Kolektibo back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, they drew inspiration from Barbara Hammer’s playful and irreverent films and were encouraged by her warm and open personality. Malaran was Hammer’s student at the Media Studies Program of the New School, and now many years later, the duo states, “it feels so appropriate and we are so very grateful to be receiving the Barbara Hammer Grant for Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking. The grant will allow us to devote much needed time to concentrate on bringing our experimental documentary to a fine cut.”

“I am so excited to see this film,” remarks 2021 Hammer Grant judge Amber Bemak. Bemak noted that the duo was the clear winner of the Barbara Hammer grant: “the project is an important part of queer history which will be executed in a aesthetically and formally innovative way.” “We were all very impressed with Desireena and Barbara’s critical, research-based project,” exclaims 2021 Hammer Grant judge, Suzy Halajian. “We look forward to seeing the collective history on Kilawin Kolektibo developed and put out in the world!”

Photo: Eric McNatt
About Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer (1939-2019) began making films in the 1970s. She is most well-known for making the first explicit lesbian film in 1974, Dyketactics, and for her trilogy of documentary film essays on queer history: Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), and History Lessons (2000). Her cinema is multi-leveled and engages audiences viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change, often through an exploration of the materiality of the filmmaking process and its relationship to the body’s potential as subject, form, author, and screen. She has been honored with seven retrospectives, including a 2019 exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. Previous retrospectives took place at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Tate Modern in London, Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Toronto International Film Festival, Kunsthalle Oslo in Norway, and The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. Her book, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life was published in 2010 by The Feminist Press at The City University of New York.

About Queer|Art

Queer|Art was born out of the recognition of a generation of artists and audiences lost to the ongoing AIDS Crisis, and in a profound understanding that one of the many repercussions of that loss has been a lack of mentors and role models for a new generation of LGBTQ+ artists. Founded in 2009 by filmmaker Ira Sachs, Queer|Art serves as a ballast against this loss and seeks to highlight and address a continuing fundamental lack of both economic and institutional support for LGBTQ+ artists. Our mission is to provide individuals within our community with the tools, resources, and guidance they need to achieve success and visibility for their work at the highest levels of their field. 

The current programs of Queer|Art include: the year-long Queer|Art|Mentorship program; the long-running Queer|Art|Film series, held monthly at the IFC Center in lower Manhattan; and Queer|Art|Awards, an initiative of grants, prizes, and awards that provides various kinds of direct support—monetary and otherwise—to LGBTQ+ artists.

A list of the intergenerational community of artists supported and brought together by Queer|Art includes: Silas Howard, Jennie Livingston, Matt Wolf, Hilton Als, Sarah Schulman, Pamela Sneed, Justin Vivian Bond, Jibz Cameron, Trajal Harrell, John Kelly, Geoffrey Chadsey, Everett Quinton, Geo Wyeth, Angela Dufresne, Nicole Eisenman, Avram Finkelstein, Chitra Ganesh, Pati Hertling, Jonathan Katz, Tourmaline & Sasha Wortzel, Jess Barbagallo, Morgan Bassichis, Monstah Black, Yve Laris Cohen, Troy Michie, Tommy Pico, Justin Sayre, Colin Self, Jacolby Satterwhite, Rick Herron, and Hugh Ryan, among many others.

Website: www.queer-art.org | Twitter: @queerartnyc | Instagram: @queerart | Facebook: @queerartnyc

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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