Congratulations to Our Microgrants & Color Grading Grant Winners!

PANO is happy to announce the 16 winners of our third round of Microgrants! 15x $500 cash grants were awarded, and 1 Color Grading Grant, sponsored by NICE SHOES. The jury included Joanna Naugle (The Bear, Big Mouth), Chelsea Lupkin (Senior Programmer of Short of the Week), Julie La’Bassiere (BAFTA, Tribeca), Brittany Franklin (Sundance, RespectAbility), and NICE SHOES. We’d like to give a special shout-out to hair & makeup artist Camille "Mack" Harris, who won our first-ever Below The Line grant.

On behalf of the PANO Board, we thank every filmmaker who submitted. We congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing your creative projects come to life! Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know about upcoming programs and when the next round of Microgrants will open for submission.

The Sixteen Selected Filmmakers for Round 3 (Spring 2023) are:

Pre-Production for baby, baby, baby

An 8-year-old girl helps host the baby shower of her teenage sister.

LaChelle Chrysanne is a multi-talented artist who has created work in film, music, and various other forms of media and is known for her unique storytelling approach and dedication to addressing social issues through their work. With a keen focus on shedding light on the nuances of the Black female experience, LaChelle aims to inspire meaningful conversations and foster positive change.

Production for Canary Trap

Canary delivers packages for secret organization HQ. After accepting her new mission, Canary is connected with a dispatcher who pushes her boundaries. Forced to go against HQ’s directives, Canary finds herself questioning everything and everyone around her.

The daughter of Trinidadian immigrants and longtime Brooklyn resident, Shana Darabie concentrates on telling stories featuring female and BIPOC characters and working with diverse crews. She has long been passionate about storytelling, especially using genre fiction to tackle modern everyday issues, big and small. Darabie is the winner of the 2021 Devery Freeman ’35 Memorial Award in Screenwriting for her scifi/horror feature Devotion. Her horror/fantasy pilot Wolf & Root was a 2020 Finalist and scifi pilot Clones was a 2022 Semifinalist both for Almanack Screenwriters Episodic Lab. In 2022, Darabie was co-writer with Kim Marcelino for the Weekend Women’s Film Challenge short, Trouble Connecting, directed by Lee Milby. And this year, her action feature Supervillainous was a WGAe and FilmNation NY Screenwriting Fellowship Finalist and Clones was also a Finalist for the Circle of Confusion Writer Discovery Fellowship. Currently, Darabie works as a Development Associate at Department of Motion Pictures.

Production for Sorority Court

Sorority Court is a comedic courtroom drama that takes place within a sorority exec board. Think Legally Blonde meets Twelve Angry Men.

Emily Draper is an NYC-based writer and director. She gravitates toward comedies about girl world. She got her start writing TV commercials, while moonlighting in sketch comedy writers rooms across NYC. Now she directs commercials for brands like Naadam, Mizuho, and the National Abortion Federation. In her spare time, she focuses on personal work like her most recent microshort, “Muffy”, which was an award-winning collaboration with her 85-year-old grandmother. 

Festival Fees for M∀GICKY: The National Collegiate Witchcraft Competition

‘M∀GICKY’ is a mockumentary following two covens competing in the National Collegiate Witchcraft Competition. Stressed out film student Alicia just wants to make a documentary about these weirdos for her thesis, but lies, theft, and betrayal turn this day—and the climactic ceremonial competition—into a debacle that nobody came ready for.

Mary Glen Fredrick (she/they) is a New York-based actor, writer, and video editor, hailing mostly from Kansas. You can catch her in indie films including ‘Stag,’ ‘Inheritance,’ ‘Been So Good,’ and more. As a writer, she creates kinetic, femme-centric stories that dance with the absurd, the imaginative, and the dystopian. Recently: her first short film ‘Been So Good’ (writer/actor) premiered on the festival circuit in 2022, her play ‘Edit Annie’ will receive its West Coast Premiere at Crowded Fire Theatre in Fall 2023, and she’s currently submitting her short film directorial debut ‘M∀GICKY’ to film festivals. Mary Glen received her BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University, and her MFA in Acting from UC San Diego. You can check out more of her work and self at

Post-Production for Sundays

Sundays is a short animated memoir about a father and daughter’s relationship in its many stages.

Ashley Gerst is a 2D, 3D and motion graphics animator living in New York’s Hudson Valley Region. She is a professor, freelance animator, and independent film director. She has created work for clients like Ford Foundation, American Express, Nissan, JBL and more. Her last animated film, the Spirit Seam, was accepted into over 100 film festivals and received 26 awards. Lastly, Ashley is a co-lead for Women in Animation’s New York City Chapter.

Inaugural Below the Line Grant

Camille “Mack” Harris is a queer, non-binary NYC-based Makeup Artist specializing in applications for film and TV with a professional focus in medically accurate Makeup FX and prosthetics. They hail from Wilmington, Delaware and have been living in NYC for six and a half years and working as a professional HMU and FX Makeup Artist for four and half years. Their current goal is to finish collecting their call sheet days in order to join the IATSE Local 798 union so that they may work on higher profile productions and help better represent Black artists, especially in the realm of FX. They hope one day to follow in Lois Burwell’s footsteps and be elected Governor for the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Production for Slip

A married couple’s intimate celebratory date night is derailed when the wife lets the wrong name slip out during sex – her husband’s deadname.

Lara Hill is a transgender writer, director, and assistant director based in New Orleans, Louisiana. A native to northern Louisiana, she graduated cum laude from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in chemical engineering. While working as an engineer in southern Arkansas, she began producing, directing, and writing short films for the Louisiana Film Prize in Shreveport, Louisiana, including Invitation, which premiered as a Top 20 official selection at the festival. She has since begun working as a production assistant and assistant director in the Louisiana entertainment industry. Her work has been showcased and awarded at festivals across the United States, including Omaha Film Festival, Deep in the Heart Film Festival, and Arkansas Cinema Society’s FILMLAND.

Pre-Production for Artificial Womb Baby (A.W. Baby)

In 2038, when a young child born of a high-risk pregnancy asks where they come from, Mom and Dad’s preparation for this moment is put to the test. In a decade where artificial wombs are a common option in prenatal healthcare, follow the ups and downs of pregnancy

Titania Galliher is a classically-trained biracial actor and multi-hyphenate artist. Most frequently found on her bicycle or a climbing wall in Brooklyn, on her laptop writing with her cat, or traveling between her New York City work-home and the mountains of her Vermont heart-home. Titania brings curiosity and wild magic to all of her projects, as a stage and screen actor, novel and screenplay writer, art director and nature enthusiast.

Festival Fees for Sunflower Girl

When a 13-year-old Chinese-American girl has the opportunity to go skateboarding with her crush, it comes at the cost of abandoning her little sister.

Holly M. Kaplan is a Chinese-American filmmaker born and raised in New York City. In 2022, Holly was chosen for NALIP & NETFLIX’s “Latino Lens: Narrative Short Film Incubator for Women of Color” to write, direct, and produce SUNFLOWER GIRL. Inspired and driven by ties to her mixed Cantonese heritage, Holly is invested in bringing narratives about diversity and the Asian diaspora to the forefront. She received her BA in Film & Media Arts at American University and completed a filmmaking program at FAMU International Prague. Holly has served as an apprentice to the late Independent Director/Producer Ben Barenholtz and assisted Executive Producer/Director Lisa Soper and Director Alex Pillai on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: ORIGINAL SIN (HBO Max).

Post-Production for Friends of Sophia

Forbidden love between an awkward late bloomer and his robot is threatened by vice agents in a not-to-distant sci-fi future inspired by queer history.

Yuki M Ledbetter is an award winning independent film producer based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Sapporo, Japan. She is committed to make a safe and inclusive environment for collaborators both on and off camera, and she enjoys seeing their wildest dreams come to life.

Post Production for DelMar

A renowned surfer at the cusp of adulthood navigates life between two worlds, her coastal beach town of El Zonte, and the state of Maryland where she moves to in order to reunite with her mother.

Lucy Morales Carlisle is a Salvadoran Filmmaker. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and a MFA in Media Arts from The City College of New York. As an immigrant displaced by the Salvadoran Civil War, her work deals with themes of identity and isolation, alternate universes and the manipulation of time and space. She wishes to tell stories concurrent with the Latinx diaspora, focusing on women and culture. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Production for Sweet Boys

Sweet Boys is love letter to East Harlem, to youth and to all the sweet boys society helped turn into hard men.

Natasha Rivera is a NYC native Writer, Director and Producer with over a decade of industry experience. She got her start as an Assistant Director for TV shows and films such as: THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, THE GODFATHER OF HARLEM, THE POLITICIAN, OTHER PEOPLE, PATTI CAKES and AMAZON’S FALLOUT. She’s been nominated for three DGA Directing Awards. Recently, Natasha was awarded NALIP’s Emerging Content Creator Fellowship along with producing grants from INWOOD ART WORKS and BRONX COUNCIL OF THE ARTS. She co-runs BOILING RIVER PRODUCTIONS with her husband, Seamus. The currently have several projects in development including an original superhero origin story and a docu-series about the Afro-Puerto Rican diaspora.

Festival Fees for Gaps

A pubescent girl from a close-knit family finds herself at a crossroads between keeping her gapped front teeth or risking it all for the seemingly “perfect” smile.

Jenn Shaw is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in sports, comedy and coming-of-age films. She has directed over 50 commercials, documentary films and over eight narrative shorts premiering at Hollyshorts, Pan African, Cannes Short Film Corner and Tribeca Film festivals. Her past Executive producers include Spike Lee and Queen Latifah. Her ESPN film $15 Kicks was executive produced by Spike Lee and earned a Black Reel Award. Her feature film The Pill is in development with tinygiant and in 2022 Break Through the Lens. Recently, she directed two shorts, I Won The Lottery… and Charlie and the Hunt starring Lauren Ridloff (Eternals, Walking Dead). Recently, she was the executive producer/director of Running While Black with Vice, and Adidas. Currently, she is a director in the 2022-23 Tribeca Studio Queen Collective with her short titled Gaps. She’s repped by Sola Fasehun (DCP) and managed by Anonymous Content.

Education Fees for Recording Arts and Technology Certificate Program

Graduating from the Recording Arts and Technology Certificate Program at the Globe Institute of Recording and Production where classes are instructed by renown sound engineer David Gibson, author of “The Art of Mixing,” the number one book in the industry.

María del Sol is a film composer and classically trained pianist originally from Chile. She has had the honor of scoring films for multiple artists, including Oscar nominated screenwriter José Rivera and award-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Teitler. She is also a 2023 Regional Emmy Award nominee for her work on the short documentary, “Gun Shot Women.” Her compositions, ranging from electronic to orchestral, are strongly driven by the emotional power of story — creating dramatic soundtracks that capture both the intimate and the epic.  María del Sol  received her master’s degree from the Screen Scoring Graduate Program at NYU where she studied under John Kaefer (composer of “A Score to Settle” starring Nicolas Cage), Chris Hajian (composer of “City of Lies” starring Johnny Depp), and five time Emmy Award winner Jamie Lawrence. This year she will receive her Recording Arts & Technology Certificate from the Globe Institute of Recording and Production where she studies under renowned sound engineer David Gibson. In addition to PANO Network, she is a member of several professional industry organizations, including National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – (Boston/ New England), SCL (Society of Composers and Lyricists), and AWFC (Alliance for Women Film Composers).

NICE SHOES Color Grading Grant for Đừng giỡn mặt với Bà. (Vietnamese) / Don’t f*ck with Ba. (English)

An action fantasy short film following a ragtag group of fems in the streets of Chinatown who band together to fight off a rival gang and protect their community.

Sally Tran is a filmmaker based in NYC, whose unique perspective is shaped by her Vietnamese and New Zealand heritage. Supported by prestigious institutions including the New Zealand Film Commission, Creative New Zealand, and Asian New Zealand, as well as PANO, NYFA, and MOME. Tran’s films often tackle social issues with a film style that blends the nostalgia of Asian Cinema and contemporary mixed media techniques.

Pre-Production / Development for Live Long

Magical realism marries true life in this short film about loss, grief and moving on when a young woman, desperate to connect with her widowed father, boldly goes where she has never gone before.

Noelle P. Wilson (she/her/hers) is an award-winning writer-actor-director born in Brooklyn and based in Queens. She has a masters in TV writing from Stony Brook University – a program created in collaboration with Christine Vachon of Killer Films. Recent directing projects include the short films Choices, The Hopeful Yard and Tillie. As an actor, Noelle can be seen on such TV shows as Law & Order: SVU (NBC), The Knick (Cinemax), Ray Donovan (Showtime), Chicago Med (NBC) and FBI: Most Wanted (CBS). Scripts written and co-written by Noelle have won multiple awards, including Best Original TV Pilot at the North Fork TV Festival, Best Pilot at the NYCTV Fest and the Tangerine Fellow at Stowe Story Labs.

Honorable Mentions

Alexandra Kumala, 20 Years

Afia Nathaniel, Don't be late, Myra

Thank You to Our Esteemed Panel of Judges:

Brittany Franklin

Director, Photographer and Producer

Brittany Franklin is a socially driven Director, Photographer and producer based in New York, with a diverse arts background in theatre and film. She is a graduate of LaGuardia H. S. of Performing arts, and holds a certificate in Filmmaking from New York Film Academy, from which her graduating thesis “Finding God” debuted in the 2017 Cannes Short Film Corner. Brittany experienced hearing loss as a vocal major in HS and has since used filmmaking and storytelling to advocate for social equity for disabled women in film. Through her work she aims to create powerful experiences that preserve culture, and honor the people that define it.In 2019, she founded a collective for BIPOC/People with Disabilities in film that launched globally as Minorities in Film (MiFILM). With MiFILM’s innovative inclusion and cultural strategy that centers community,  Brittany has helped develop pipeline programs to address the homogenous nature of production sets.  Her work has garnered partnerships from 72&Sunny, Prettybird, The Gotham, Even/Odd, AICP, Final Draft, leading tech brands and Alma Harel’s Free the Work.Brittany is a recipient of the Sundance Uprising Grant and The Barbara and Carl Zydney Grant for Artists with Disabilities. She is also a RespectAbility x WarnerMedia Access Early Career fellow, and a Shondaland x SeriesFest Women Directors semi-finalist. Her virtual photo gallery “Still Standing” which displays captivating portraits of NYC’s resilient artisans, is currently on exhibition as part  of her 2021 Stonehenge Artist in Residence.When she’s not working (which is rare these days) you can find her geeking over anime, spending time with her brothers and figuring out how to make the perfect loaf of bread.

Julie La’Bassiere

Awards + Publicity+ Marketing Strategist

Julie La’Bassiere is an Awards + Publicity+ Marketing Strategist currently based in London where she manages Awards campaigns in the UK for Apple Worldwide Video. Prior to her move back to the UK, where she was born, she was the Head of Special Projects at Obscured Pictures where she led the charge on marketing and promotional outreach campaigns, film festival launches, strategic partnerships, awards campaigns, and special events for clients such as Bleecker Street, Amazon Studios, Focus Features, Magnolia Pictures, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Roadside Attractions. Prior to working with Obscured, she was the CEO of BAFTA New York.

La’Bassiere is a film industry expert who has been at the forefront of innovative 360° entertainment strategy for over two decades and has worked with and for companies as diverse as FilmBuff, the British Council, Tribeca Enterprises, CAA, Film Independent, the American Cinematheque, Magus Entertainment (Duran Duran), and the Writers Guild of America, west to name just a few. She has served on numerous film festival juries and is a sought-after creative strategist and lecturer with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and the strategic development of filmmaker careers. Julie is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Educational Anthropology. 

In addition to serving on various Advisory Committees such as PANO and the Northwest Film Center, Julie has served on the Board of BAFTA NY and BAFTA North America and is a Founding Board Member of The Future of Film is Female.

Chelsea Lupkin is a Senior Programmer at Short of the Week and is known for her short horror film Lucy’s Tale, which premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival in 2018 and was released online in the summer of 2019 on Gunpowder & Sky’s horror platform, ALTER, where it has been viewed over 5.9 million times. She went on to make another short horror film called Flagged in collaboration with the Sundance Institute and Hulu, where it is now streaming. Her latest short, Scooter, also premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival in 2022 and became an Official Selection of the SITGES Film Festival and Beyond Fest within its festival lineup.

Joanna Naugle is a Brooklyn-based editor who has cut various films, comedy specials, and television shows including BIG MOUTH (Netflix), 2 DOPE QUEENS (HBO), SOME GOOD NEWS (YouTube), HUMAN RESOURCES (Netflix) and all three seasons of RAMY (Hulu).

She also cut both seasons of THE BEAR (FX) and won an ACE Eddie Award and a BFE Cut Above Award for her work on the first season.

Joanna co-owns SENIOR POST, an award-winning post house located in Brooklyn, and recently edited the feature film MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE, which premiered at SXSW in March 2023.
Joanna graduated from NYU’s undergraduate film program in 2012 and her greatest professional goal is to one day work with Roderick Jaynes. She is also a huge fan of flea markets, banana bread, pictionary and warm socks.

Independent Creative Studio

NICE SHOES bring ideas to life. Shape concept into content. Create motion with emotion. As an independent creative studio of freethinkers, NICE SHOES puts passion into every step. And if you look closely, you’ll see stories that were crafted with sole. For years, they’ve innovated and evolved the industry. So when it comes to production, they know how to make things nice. No matter what, Nice Shoes just fit.

Thank you to all the applicants for sharing your work with us.

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