Desireena Almoradie and Barbara Malaran win Fifth Annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant

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Queer|Art is excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, collaborative duo, Desireena Almoradie and Barbara Malaran. The New York-based filmmakers will receive a $7,000 cash grant, as well as studio visits with members of the judging 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.

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.”


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