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After An 11 Year Absence, Gay Filmmakers Make Triumphant Return At Tribeca Film Festival


Filmmaking and producing duo Deondray and Quincy Gossfield have been back at their East Point home for over a week since their successful debut at The Tribeca Film Festival, but the energy of New York City and the industry buzz generated from their short film FLAMES is showing no sign of being extinguished anytime soon.


Emmy-Award-winning lesbian filmmaker Lena Waithe is responsible for the Gossfield’s return to the director’s chair after spending the last 11 years as reality television producers.

The Gossfield’s were one of ten directors selected in Waithe’s Rising Voices initiative presented in collaboration with Indeed that aims to discover, invest in and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers & storytellers around the meaning of work and the idea that jobs have the power to change us all. The selected filmmakers were given access to a $100,000 production budget, an additional $25,000 COVID-19 safety budget, along with mentorship and support from industry professionals from Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions and Ventureland.


Having first rose to prominence in the early aughts with the release of The DL Chronicles, the Gossfields have been in the entertainment industry for over two decades with credits far exceeding that of an emerging artist, a fact that kept the pair from applying for Waithe’s initiative until hours before the deadline.


“I was like, why are we submitting to this contest? They're not going to select us for some contest for up-and-coming directors,” says Quincy. “We've been in this game for 20 years. They're not going to even consider us.”


Equally skeptical, Deondray considered their competition.


“It was like 850 submissions. So I had no hope whatsoever,” he says.

With only two spots left and three filmmakers still in the running, the pair endured several rounds of intense interviews, which increased Deondray’s anxiety and simultaneously bruised his ego.


“I felt some kind of way because we've been doing this for so long and here we are, they've given basically eight spots away and we’re the directors that's on the fence,” says Deondray.


“And I'm just trying to get out of my head. I'm trying not to let my ego get to me. This is the process—you haven't been doing it. Put on your coat of armor and kill this interview.”


The gag was, he didn’t have to kill the interview. The Gossfields had already been selected.


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