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Awardee: Ry Russo-Young

Moving Image, 2015

Ry Russo-Young is a writer-director from New York City. Her short film Marion, a three-screen deconstruction of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, was awarded Best Experimental Film at the 2006 SXSW Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival’s Silver Hugo. Her first feature, Orphans, received a Jury Prize at the 2007 SXSW Film Festival. Russo-Young’s second and third features premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. You Won't Miss Me (2009) won a Gotham Independent Film Award and was released by Factory 25 on a special-edition DVD. Nobody Walks (2012), co-written with Lena Dunham, was developed through the Sundance Screenwriters lab, and won a Sundance Special Jury Prize. Russo-Young studied acting at HB Studios and the Lee Strasberg Institute, and has appeared in films such as Hannah Takes the Stairs and The Color Wheel. She majored in film at Oberlin College and is currently working on a new film called Model Behavior.

http://ryrussoyoung.com

Project: The Family Movie

The Family Movie is a narrative feature film based on the true story of the artist’s known sperm donor suing her lesbian mothers for visitation and paternity rights when she was nine years old. One of the first legal battles of its kind, this film is relentlessly personal, universal and political. This four-year court battle involved a constant questioning: was her family a "real" family? This feature film uses documentary and fictional elements to tell this story in a nonlinear form. While personal, the film is ultimately about the creation and domestication of the gay family and its struggle to leave the counterculture and enter the mainstream.