2016 MFDP Grant Winners

The Miami Film Development Project is proud to announce these winners of the 2016 MFDP Filmmaker Grants:

Faren Humes

Afro-Diasporic Film Fund

Faren Humes is a writer, director and film professor from Miami, Fl. Her short filmOur Rhineland has garnered broad acclaim including a Director's Guild of America Student Film Award and an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences College Television Award. Faren was selected to participate in the 2015 Sundance-Knight Foundation Screenwriter's Lab, and was chosen to represent her feature project,Macho, at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. MFDP is proud to welcome Faren as the first recipient of the Afro-Diasporic Film Fund grant. With our support, Faren will be concluding post-production on the short adaption of Macho, a narrative short film centered around the tenuous bond between a conservative uncle and his effeminate nephew, when the killing of a local transgender woman causes a rift within the small, rural town of Sanderson, Florida.


Julian Yuri Rodriguez

South Florida Film Fund

Julian Yuri Rodriguez is a filmmaker, media artist, writer, actor, and television personality born in Miami, Florida. His short films, music videos, and virtual reality projects have screened locally and internationally in art venues like the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, and film festivals like Fantasia, Slamdance, and Glasgow, winning festival jury prizes in Toulouse, France and Atlanta. In 2014, this member of the renowned Borscht Corporation was honored with a Knight Fellowship from the Sundance Institute. MFDP is proud to welcome Julian as the first recipient of the South Florida Film Fund grant. With our support, Julian will be concluding photography and post-production on his first feature length effort, Cocuyo, a narrative feature centered around Ariel, a disturbed and lonely young man who receives a video camera as a Christmas present, and continues to document his slow descent into voyeuristic hysteria.


Natalia Lassalle-Morillo

Women's Film Fund

Natalia Lassalle-Morillo is a theatre, film and interdisciplinary artist whose work integrates the mediums of performance, film and installation. An alum of the prestigious NYU Experimental Theatre program, her works have been shown in galleries and venues in Miami, Berlin, New York, Montréal, and her home country of Puerto Rico. MFDP is proud to welcome Natalia as the first recipient of the Women's Film Fund grant. With our support, Natalia will be pursuing the production of her newest cinema-based work, an experimental docu-narrative film titled Retiro, which seeks to creatively depict stories of real women over 65 years of age by way of melding autobiographical interview content with emotional, imaginary and surrealist tones.


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Rachelle Salnave

Artist-In-Residence (AIR Grant)

Rachelle Salnave is a filmmaker and a social entrepreneur who emphasizes on promoting film as a catalyst for social change. She is the creator of Ayiti Images, a traveling film series showcasing Haitian films and directors throughout South Florida. Her latest documentary film, La Belle Vie: The Good Life, has screened in cities all over the world including Paris, Toronto, Los Angeles, her hometown of Miami. MFDP is proud to welcome Rachelle to the MFDP family as the 2016 AIR Program Artist-In-Residence. As part of her residency, the Sundance Screenwriting Intensive alum will be pursuing development on her upcoming short documentary Madame Pipi, as well as mentoring upcoming South Florida talent, and hosting a collection of masterclasses, workshops and other public programs of the like.


Danniel Rodriguez

Filmmaker Fellow (Fellowship Grant)

Danniel Rodriguez is a filmmaker born in Miami, Florida. Inspired by his environment, his stories revolve around the cultural makeup of the peninsula, as well as Miami's own celebrated immigrant culture. This FIU alum has contributed to a variety of local film productions including HBO's Ballers, and Barry Jenkin's upcoming second feature film, Moonlight. MFDP is proud to welcome Danniel to the MFDP family as the first recipient of the Filmmaker Fellowship grant. With our support, Danniel will run the gamut of MFDP's extensive Fellowship program, created to challenge and support young, upcoming artists throughout the production process with the assistance of established, local artistic advisors. His project, Habana Boxing Club, is his second narrative short, centered around a relationship between a closeted, homosexual Cuban boxer and his closest friend and rival, as the two are given the opportunity to train at the most renowned gym in Cuba.