Categories: AwardsFilm Festivals

Frameline and The Colin Higgins Foundation Announce 2024 Grant Recipients

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Today, Frameline, the arts nonprofit that hosts the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, joined the Colin Higgins Foundation in announcing the recipients of the 2024 Colin Higgins Youth Foundation Grant, New York-based filmmakers Farah Jabir (Kasbi) and Leaf Lieber (Burrow).

This year, the two LGBTQ+ youth filmmakers that have been selected as the recipients of the Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grant will each receive $15,000 to support their future film projects. In addition to awarding a total of $30,000 to these emerging filmmakers, Frameline will screen the grant recipients’ films at the 48th San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival (Frameline48), which takes place June 19–29. This year’s fest will kick off with a Juneteenth celebration on June 19 featuring Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero and Alex Schatteman’s Young Hearts as the opening night film. The full lineup will be revealed on May 21.

The partnership, which began in 2023, centers on providing young LGBTQ+ filmmakers with financial support to continue their work. Eligible applicants must self-identify as LGBTQ+ filmmakers, be under the age of 25, and currently reside in the U.S.

“We are deeply honored to continue our partnership with the Colin Higgins Foundation and honor Colin’s enduring legacy by empowering LGBTQ+ youth filmmakers,” said Allegra Madsen, Executive Director of Frameline. “This year’s Festival is centered on the power film has to create change and shape our cultural moment. Youth filmmakers, like Farah Jabir and Leaf Lieber, are not only vital members of the queer film community, but their work speaks volumes about the importance of championing emerging voices in an ever-shifting political and artistic landscape.”

Farah Jabir (she/her) is Southeast Asian, South Asian and Arab independent and commercial filmmaker based in New York. She is a fellow at Film Independent’s Producing Lab, and alum at Mentorship Matters (Amazon/Sony), The Thousand Miles Project (UCP), and the Asian-American Stories of Resilience programme (PBS/A-Docs). Her credits include premieres at SXSW, Chicago, and Raindance. She is most called to humanistic stories, centring people on the fringes of society and communal filmmaking outside of linguistic, genre and geographic limitations. Her most recent short film, Kasbi, will have its world premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival, has been shortlisted for a Sony Future Filmmaker Award, and will screen at Frameline48. When she isn’t working, you can find her between London and Kuala Lumpur, the latter of which she misses just a tad more because it’s where her pet rooster Hector resides.

Leaf Lieber is New York based writer/director originally from Kauai, Hawaii. Lieber’s visceral worlds often exist at the intersection of surreal fantasy and stark reality, often tackling themes of grief, transformation, and queer identity. Leaf’s narrative, commercial, and music video works have been showcased globally with Tribeca Film Festival, BFI, Vogue, NOWNESS, Provincetown Film Festival, OUTFEST, NEWFEST, and more. He is currently developing his debut feature film script. Lieber’s Burrow will screen at Frameline48.

The Colin Higgins Youth Filmmaker Grant is named after the late Colin Higgins, an acclaimed screenwriter and director responsible for such classic films as Harold and Maude9 to 5, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, among others. After being diagnosed with HIV in 1985, he founded the Colin Higgins Foundation as a means of supporting LGBTQ+ youth in underserved communities by helping to fund programs and organizations that foster and build their leadership skills and empowerment. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded over 660 grants totaling over $5.8 million to further the humanitarian vision of its founder.

“I am honored, shocked, and endlessly grateful. It’s beyond me to have my work recognized in this way,” said Lieber. “It’s especially meaningful to receive the Colin Higgins Youth Grant because my late mother’s favorite film was Harold and Maude. I can’t help but think of her during this time.”

Erik Anderson

Erik Anderson is the founder/owner and Editor-in-Chief of AwardsWatch and has always loved all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards since he was in single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself in film school and the film forums of GoldDerby, and then migrated over to the former Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), before breaking off to create AwardsWatch in 2013. He is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, accredited by the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and more, is a member of the International Cinephile Society (ICS), The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA), Hollywood Critics Association (HCA) and the International Press Academy. Among his many achieved goals with AwardsWatch, he has given a platform to underrepresented writers and critics and supplied them with access to film festivals and the industry and calls the Bay Area his home where he lives with his husband and son.

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