Richard Vague Production Fund

Please sign up for RVPF updates here. At this time, we do not have a date for the launch of the 2020 award. We will update the website and contact anyone on the email list when the application is ready to launch.

Announcing Our 2019 Richard Vague Production Fund Recipients

Sara Shaw
Sara Shaw

SARA SHAW for TOOTH & NAIL
Narrative Feature, Grad Film Alum, $100,000
Written by Sara Shaw & Amanda Verwey

Tooth & Nail: Siblings Matt and Kate struggle to connect in the wake of his terminal cancer diagnosis. Secrets emerge and chaos ensues when Matt donates his sperm to Kate, a closeted lesbian, so that she may have his child with her partner.

Bio: Sara Shaw is a Brooklyn-based director and editor whose films have premiered and won awards at the world’s top festivals. She directed and co-wrote the short film TOOTH & NAIL, which played at SXSW 2018 and won the Audience Award at Outfest.

Parker Hill
Parker Hill

PARKER HILL for CUSP
Documentary Feature, Undergraduate Film & TV Alum, $50,000
Co-directed by Isabele Bethancourt, Gallatin Alum

Cusp: In a small Texas town, four wild-spirited teenage girls navigate early adulthood as they each confront their own history of sexual assault. This raw vérité portrait dives down the rarely-seen rabbit hole of modern girlhood in the American South.

Bio: Parker is an NYC based writer/director. Her thesis film, ONE GOOD PITCH, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. She co-wrote and produced the short films, BANDITO (Tribeca 2015) and WHERE THERE’S SMOKE (Tribeca 2017). Her short film HOMING IN screened at BFI London Film Festival 2017 and at MoMA with Future of Film is Female, and was released online with Short of the Week. Her short doc starring Jason Lee SANDERSON TO BRACKETTVILLE premiered online as a Vimeo Staff pick. Parker is currently in development on a feature script, and is directing commercials. As a photographer, Parker’s work has been featured on Kodak’s podcast The Kodakery, and she published her first photo book this year, The Doctor’s House.

Kimie Tanaka
Kimie Tanaka

KIMIE TANAKA for COFFEE MEN
Dean's Award Recipient, Documentary Feature, Tisch Asia Alum, $25,000

Coffee Men: Two Colombian brothers plan to run a coffee company in Beijing, China - the heart of a rapid-growing country and the tea empire. They struggle with not only the language barrier and cultural differences but also the differences between each other.

Bio: Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan. MFA in Film from  NYU Tisch Asia. B.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo. Kimie started as a business analyst in India, moved to Chile, NYC, and Singapore. Along the way, she started to pursue a career in film directing. Now based in Paris.

Announcing Our 2019 Richard Vague Production Fund Finalists

The following filmmakers will be invited to pitch their films:

Graduate Film Department Finalists

Vika Evdokimenko – The Reunion – Narrative: Philippa’s liberal filter-bubble is set to explode when the only person she can turn to for a life-changing favor is the Russian oligarch father she proudly disowned.

Anthony Koros – Neon Tilapia – Narrative: Chaos erupts in a rural Kenyan town after a fisherman releases glowing fish into the lake.

Sara Shaw – Tooth and Nail – Narrative: Siblings Matt and Kate struggle to connect in the wake of his terminal cancer diagnosis. Secrets emerge and chaos ensues when Matt donates his sperm to Kate, a closeted lesbian, so that she may have his child with her partner.

Kimie Tanaka – Coffee Men – Documentary: Two Colombian brothers land to run a coffee company in Beijing, China - the heart of rapid-growing country, the tea empire. They struggle with not only the language barrier and the cultural differences but also the difference between each other.

Undergraduate Film & TV Department Finalists

Parker Hill – Cusp – Documentary: In a small Texas town, four wild-spirited teenage girls navigate early adulthood as they each confront their own history of sexual assault. This raw vérité portrait dives down the rarely-seen rabbit hole of modern girlhood in the American South.

Razieme Iborra – Ponygirl – Narrative: Abandoned by her cowgirl mother, Pony Vason became the epitome of urban blackness. When she unexpectedly bonds with a therapy horse, the pair rides from Brooklyn to Texas in search of a life she’s always rejected, yet secretly longs for.

Shilpa Kunnappillil – The Road to Sabarimala – Documentary: The Road to Sabarimala is feature length documentary follows three Indian women who risk their lives to enter the sacred Hindu temple of Sabarimala, where women have been banned for centuries.

Emory Parker – Whirlpool – Narrative: An overprotective mother loosens her grip when she falls for her daughter’s best friend. As feelings intensify, she must embrace this newfound identity or mend her broken home.

Applications for the 2019 award are under review. The winner(s) will be announced in December.  The 2020 Application will open in April 2020

What is the Richard Vague Production Fund?

The Richard Vague Production Fund in conjunction with the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts supports annual awards of up to $100,000 given to alumni and/or current Graduate Thesis Students* to direct their first feature film.

The 2019 Richard Vague Production Fund will be awarded in December 2019. Alumni who graduated between January 2014 and May 2019 are eligible, as well as Grad Thesis Students*. If you want to be the first to hear RVPF news, join our email list: sign up here for the emal list

*For the purposes of this award, we consider "Grad Thesis Students" to be anyone who has completed their first two years of course work by May 2019 and is working on their Thesis film. You must be in good standing with the university (matriculated). If you are currently on a leave of absence, you are not eligible.

Dean Allyson Green, Mary Beth Dickerson, Ginny Mohler, Carlos Miller, Quester Hannah and Richard Vague.
Dean Allyson Green, Mary Beth Dickerson, Ginny Mohler, Carlos Miller, Quester Hannah and Richard Vague.

Who is Richard Vague?

Richard Vague is currently one of the managing partners of Gabriel Investments, an early stage venture capital fund, and the Chairman of The Governor’s Woods Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization. He is also the author of The Next Economic Disaster, a book with a new economic theory for predicting and preventing financial crises. Previously, he was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company operating in states throughout the U.S. that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011. Vague was also co-founder and CEO of two credit card companies – First USA, which grew to be the largest Visa issuer in the industry and which was sold to Bank One in 1997, and Juniper Financial, the fastest growing credit card issuer in the industry during his tenure, which was sold to Barclays PLC in 2004.

Vague currently serves on the Penn Medicine Board and is on a number of corporate boards including Heartland Payment Systems of Princeton, New Jersey and the Franklin Square Energy and Power Fund. He is president of FringeArts Philadelphia and chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Press.  He is also on the boards of the Franklin Institute, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Visit Philadelphia. Vague is also editor of the blog and email newsletter service delanceyplace.com and of the website debt-economics.org.

If you have questions about the RVPF award, please contact emma.aarnes@nyu.edu.