Production shoots from "Special Features" by James N. Kienitz Wilkins
Production shoots from “Special Features” by James N. Kienitz Wilkins

James N. Kienitz Wilkins is the recipient of the 2016 Kazuko Trust Award given annually by the Kazuko Trust and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of the excellence and innovation of an artist’s moving-image work. Wilkins’s latest short film, Indefinite Pitch is a selection of Projections in the 54th New York Film Festival.

James N. Kienitz Wilkins (b. 1983, Boston, MA) is an artist and filmmaker living in Brooklyn. His short films, features, and multimedia projects have been presented at international film festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto (Wavelengths), Vancouver, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Migrating Forms, Edinburgh (Black Box), and beyond. Past movies includes the experimental documentary feature, Public Hearing (2012), and the short Special Features (2014), which won the Founder’s Spirit Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival 2015 and a Grand Prix at the 25 FPS Festival 2015. In 2016, he won the annual ART AWARD at the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International for his short B-ROLL with Andre (2016), and was also selected as one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

He’s received grants and support from the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Jerome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Experimental Television Center and Wave Farm, among others. Residencies include Triangle Workshops, Residency Unlimited, Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony, where he was awarded an NEA fellowship. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City.

The Kazuko Trust was established upon the death of Kazuko Oshima, a patron of the Film Society and admirer of experimental film. It was her wish to contribute to this area of the film world after her passing, awarding the Film Society with a $50,000 grant for the purpose of creating a scholarship fund for worthy experimental filmmakers featured in NYFF.

Past recipients of the Kazuko Trust Award have included Laida Lertxundi and Michael Robinson, who received $5,000 grants during the Trust’s inaugural year, as well as Dani Leventhal and Jean-Paul Kelly, who were awarded $10,000 grants in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Last year, Ana Vaz was given a $10,000 grant, and she returns to Projections with new work for the 2016 festival.

Image: Production shoots from “Special Features” by James N. Kienitz Wilkins via Flickr

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