2022 Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant Awarded to Izabel Acevedo!

October 21, 2022

Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is proud to announce Izabel Acevedo as the 2022 recipient of the Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant. Izabel will receive an unrestricted cash award of $20,000 to support her first narrative feature film.

“Today is such a joyful day!” Acevedo said. “I feel seen as a filmmaker, and I’m thrilled and thankful to see now that this project has suddenly taken over my schedule.”

Co-founded by Duplass Brothers Productions and NWFF, and with ongoing support from a number of community members, the Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant is now in its third year. It champions a U.S.-based female, non-binary, intersex, and/or transgender filmmaker – age 39 or older – in the process of developing and directing their first narrative feature.

“Us women filmmakers, mother filmmakers, non-binary and transgender directors, have lots to share with the world,” Acevedo said. “I believe that grants such as [Of A Certain Age Grant] can truly close the gap between genders in the filmmaking industry and allow diverse and creatively unique voices to emerge. Thank you to everyone who made this possible! ¡Gracias!”

This year’s cross-country Award Selection Committee was comprised of SJ Chiro, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Lauren McBride, and Bethany Martin-Breen.

In addition to Acevedo, filmmakers Tannaz Hazemi and Lucretia Stinnette also received special honorable mentions from the Award Selection Committee.


Including Acevedo, ten filmmakers made it into the finalist round of the grant process.

Those with an asterisk (*) received an Honorable Mention from the Award Selection Committee.

  • Izabel Acevedo
  • Elaine Del Valle
  • Charlotte Glynn
  • Pamela Green
  • Alice Gu
  • Tannaz Hazemi*
  • Kate Marks
  • Lucretia Stinnette*
  • Tracy Tragos
  • Elia Urquiza

Read more about all ten finalists in REDEFINE magazine!

The 2021 grant recipient was Erica Tremblay, an award-winning writer and director from the Seneca-Cayuga Nation. Last year’s grant process evaluated 205 eligible candidates from throughout the country during the open call process. The high caliber of applications showed a vast array of storytelling styles and filmmaker voices.

Northwest Film Forum is excited to sustain and steward the Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant in perpetuity. For those looking to give in her honor, donations to the Shelton/Seal Family Fund for the Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children, or Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum are encouraged.


My name is Izabel Acevedo, I was born and raised in Guatemala. I studied cinema in Mexico (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica). There I had the opportunity to write and direct two narrative short films and one documentary short film. My thesis degree To Put Together a Helicopter won two awards that were very important to me: El Ojo de Morelia, and the Grand Prix of the Clermont Ferrand short film festival in France. After that, I obtained the CCC documentary debut fund to make my documentary The Good Christian. This was a documentary that I made with urgency and passion, since it was a great opportunity to talk about the Guatemalan genocide, a topic that deeply concerns me. The Good Christian is a source of constant consultation and a trigger for conversations until today in Guatemala. I moved to New York in 2014 to work as a writer and editor. In 2018, I started writing and developing The Middleman, which I consider my best work as a screenwriter.


SJ Chiro

SJ Chiro

SJ Chiro is a Seattle director. Her latest feature film, East of the Mountains (2021) stars Tom Skerritt, Mira Sorvino and Annie Gonzalez. East of the Mountains was nominated for two Satellite Awards: Best Picture, Drama and Best Actor in a Leading Role, Drama. The film maintains 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Her first feature film, LANE 1974, starring Sophia Mitri Schloss and Katherine Moennig, premiered at SXSW in 2017. LANE 1974 went on to win the prestigious FIPRESCI award for New American Cinema. Chiro is also known for her many award-winning short films. She is the former Artistic Director of Annex Theatre and is a current member of The Director’s Guild of America.

Bethany Martin-Breen

Bethany Martin-Breen

As a member of the Innovation team and Program Lead, Convenings & Networks, Bethany Martin-Breen works with grantees and international partners to develop and curate an annual calendar of programming and events that serve to foster innovation, build new networks, and advance the Foundation’s mission and goals. Before joining the Innovation team, Ms. Martin-Breen was in charge of building and implementing new strategic partnerships to enhance the international reach of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center and attract leading artists, practitioners and scholars to its programs. Prior to that, while on the Strategic Insights and Research team at the Foundation, she oversaw international research projects to identify and scope new opportunities for the Foundation including major initiatives to reduce food losses and food waste in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Martin-Breen holds a master’s degree in Art History and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a second master’s degree in Information Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University.

Lauren McBride

Lauren McBride

Lauren McBride is the Executive Director of Oakland Film Center, an organization that helps filmmakers build community and sustain their creative practice in the Bay Area. Most recently, she served as the Director of Artist Development at SFFILM where she led $1M in artist granting and the FilmHouse residency program.  Lauren produced Tayarisha Poe’s feature film, Selah and the Spades, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Amazon Studios. She was a 2017 Sundance Creative Producing Lab Fellow and a 2018 Film Independent Producing Lab Fellow. Before working in film, Lauren started her career in consulting and operations management, which led to a role as a Program Manager at Google. During her career at Google, her work spanned key product areas, including YouTube Originals, where she supported the development of original content for YouTube.

Keisha Rae Witherspoon

Keisha Rae Witherspoon

Keisha Rae Witherspoon is a Jamaican-American filmmaker currently based in South Florida. Her short film T world premiered at BlackStar Film Festival where it won the audience award for favorite narrative short, then went on to screen at Sundance Film Festival and Berlinale, where it won the 2020 Golden Bear for best short film. Both T and her experimental short 1968<2018>2068 currently streams on The Criterion Channel. Keisha is one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2020”, a 2022 United States Artists fellow, and the inaugural recipient of the Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” grant. She is co-founder of Third Horizon Film Festival. Her first feature film, a black sci-fi set in Miami, has received early support from Sundance, Cinereach and SFFilm/Westridge.


Lynn Shelton emerged from her hometown of Seattle to become a major force in American independent cinema and a prolific television director. She was a vibrant, kind, creative human being. Her work drew acclaim for its compassion, humor, unique voice and wonderful performances. Shelton directed eight features including Humpday (2009), Your Sister’s Sister (2011), Outside In (2018), and Sword of Trust (2019). Shelton also worked in television, directing memorable episodes of acclaimed series, including Mad Men, GLOW, The Mindy Project, and Little Fires Everywhere.”


In 2020, The Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant was established by Northwest Film Forum alongside Duplass Brothers Productions and COLOR to honor Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton, who passed away on May 16th, 2020. Lynn Shelton often spoke of feeling inspired after seeing filmmaker Claire Denis speak at Northwest Film Forum and learning that Denis did not make her first feature until age 40. Shelton went on to make her own first feature film (We Go Way Back) at the age of 39. In the years since, she built a prolific canon of feature and television work and made an indelible mark on the landscape of American cinema.

The Lynn Shelton “Of A Certain Age” Grant was spearheaded by Duplass Brothers Productions, which includes Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass and Mel Eslyn, along with design firm COLOR, headed by Elie Goral.


Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. A nonprofit film and arts center located in Seattle, Northwest Film Forum presents hundreds of films, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, and public discussions each year. A comprehensive visual media organization, the Forum offers educational workshops and artist services for film and media makers at all stages of their development. Artist services include access to space, gear, fiscal sponsorship, and an edit lab. Northwest Film Forum is a member-based organization.


Under their banner Duplass Brothers Productions (DBP), award-winning filmmakers Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass and Mel Eslyn create original projects for film, television, and digital media.  In television, DBP is under a first-look deal with HBO which has yielded the hit series Somebody Somewhere (currently in production on Season Two), Room 104, Togetherness, and the HBO animated series Animals.

DBP is also active in the docuseries television space, best known for producing Netflix’s Wild Wild Country, winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series in 2018. They also produced the Film Independent Spirit Award nominated series The Lady and the Dale on HBO, Hulu’s Sasquatch, On Tour With Asperger’s Are Us for HBO, and Evil Genius for Netflix.

In film, Mark and Jay first gained recognition in the early 2000’s for writing, directing and producing several acclaimed independent and studio films, including The Puffy Chair, Baghead, Cyrus, and Jeff, Who Lives at Home. The team’s numerous feature film credits in the decades following have included The One I Love, Tangerine, Safety Not Guaranteed, Creep (1 & 2), The Overnight, Blue Jay, Horse Girl, Outside In, Duck Butter, Language Lessons, The Skeleton Twins, as well as the recent awards favorite 7 Days. In the documentary feature space they produced Sam Jones’ HBO documentary Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off as well as the Ady Barkan documentary Not Going Quietly. Upcoming features include Jeff Baena’s Spin Me Round, Sarah Adina Smith’s The Drop, Megan Griffiths’s I’ll Show You Mine, as well as Mel’s feature debut Biosphere, and Nnamdi Asomugha’s debut The Knife.

A modern browser is required to view this site.

Please update your browser.

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

Notify me when new films, events, and workshops are coming up!