On December 4th, a full house packed the main theater at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village to celebrate Los Angeles-based painter and filmmaker Fair Brane who was announced by New York City-based non-profit Queer|Art as the winner of the first annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant. The award was announced during a special edition of the acclaimed screening series Queer|Art|Film, organized by Hammer and Vanessa Haroutunian, Queer|Art Program Coordinator to recognize the visionary women filmmakers who have influenced Hammer’s prolific career.
The evening began with a special tribute to Hammer by Queer|Art Founder/Executive Director Ira Sachs and Haroutunian. Hammer then took the stage and invited the judges for the first year of the grant—Cheryl Dunye, Su Friedrich, and Dani Restack (previously Leventhal)—to announce the winner. Fair Brane, attending all the way from Los Angeles, accepted the award, which was accompanied by a $5,000 cash grant.
Brane was one of 76 applicants who applied for the Hammer grant in its first year, with a project entitled “Drink More Water.” Brane’s short essay film will bring together her interest in the intersection of race, power, and social relations.
“I use film as a social practice,” Brane says. “Through my work, I aim to draw attention to hidden oppressive constructs rigorously at work in our society. In the near future, I see myself merging this ambition with other modes of creativity, specifically multimedia performance work and other forms of social sculpture. I am fascinated by the nexus that experimental and immersive film can provide. Foremost, however, I hope to continue the tradition of avant-garde and experimental social practice cinema.”