Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have announced Cherien Dabis, director of May in the Summer, as winner of the 2011 Sundance / NHK International Filmmaker Award.
Originally created to celebrate 100 years of Cinema, the annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film. Sundance Institute staff works closely with the winner throughout the year, providing creative and strategic support through the development, financing and production of their films.
Named one of Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” in 2009, Cherien Dabis made her feature writing and directorial debut with Amreeka, which premiered to both audience and critical acclaim in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
A graduate of Columbia University’s Masters of Fine Arts film program, she has written, directed and produced several short films, which have screened at some of the world’s top film festivals. Make A Wish (2006) premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival where it won the Prix de la Presse and Mention Spéciale du Jury. The film went on to win top awards in Dubai, Rotterdam, Cairo, Chicago and Aspen.
Also a television writer and co-producer, Dabis worked on Showtime Network’s ground-breaking, original hit series The L Word for three seasons. The first of her family born in the U.S., Dabis was raised in Ohio and Jordan and currently resides in New York City.