In honor of Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who died in May at the age of 54, Northwest Film Forum and Duplass Brothers Productions have announced a new grant. Called the “Lynn Shelton ‘Of a Certain Age’ Grant,” the $25,000 cash prize will be awarded to a female or nonbinary filmmaker, aged 39 or older, who has not yet directed a feature film.
Shelton, who frequently spoke of being inspired by French filmmaker Claire Denis (who was in her 40s when she made her first feature), was 39 when she began to work on her first feature, “We Go Way Back.”
“This grant seeks to reinforce that great filmmakers can emerge at any age, and to elevate the voices of a segment of the filmmaking community who have precious few resources dedicated to supporting them yet plenty of stories to tell,” said Seattle filmmaker Megan Griffiths, a longtime friend and collaborator of Shelton, in a statement. Griffiths, a Northwest Film Forum board member, was involved in the establishment of the grant. Shelton, said Griffiths, “wore her ‘late bloomer’ status as a badge of honor and we know she would be thrilled that this grant exists in her name.”
Nominations for the grant will be sought from an advisory committee made of film programmers, filmmakers and arts leaders from around the country. An award selection committee will determine the recipient of the inaugural grant , which will be awarded later this year.