in Collaborations | 24 JUN 21
In Collaboration with Deutsche Bank
In Collaboration with Deutsche Bank

John Rizkallah and Jane Chow Win the 2021 Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award

John Rizkallah is the winner of the second annual Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award and Jane Chow is the recipient of the Audience Award

in Collaborations | 24 JUN 21

Realized in collaboration with Endeavor Content and the acclaimed non-profit academy Ghetto Film School (GFS), the Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award provides a platform and development program for emerging Los Angeles based filmmakers.

John Rizkallah was awarded the $10,000 prize for his short film titled Dear Mama portraying a young woman from the Middle East recounting her first experience in Los Angeles to her mother back home.

John Rizkallah Portrait
John Rizkallah, winner of the 2021 Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award

Rizkallah was selected as the winner by a jury composed of leading figures in contemporary art and entertainment including Stephanie Allain (award-winning producer), Thelma Golden (Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem), Alana Mayo (President of Orion Pictures) and Naomi Scott (actor, musician, producer), alongside representatives from Deutsche Bank, Frieze and GFS: Claudio de Sanctis (Head of International Private Bank, CEO EMEA, Deutsche Bank), Amanda Sharp (Co-Founder of Frieze), Dan Guando (SVP Film Development & Production, Endeavor Content) and Sharese Bullock-Bailey (Chief Strategy & Partnership Office, Ghetto Film School). 

John Rizkallah, Dear Mama (film still)
John Rizkallah, Dear Mama, film still

I decided to make a film about my mother’s first experience in Los Angeles after leaving her home in Palestine and how the ocean was a consistent reminder that her mother was just on the other side. I am thankful to the competition for giving this film a platform at a time when the world had its eyes on Palestine. I hope the film will spread awareness and allow me to tell more Palestinian stories. – John Rizkallah

Jane Chow Portrait
Jane Chow, winner of the 2021 Audience Award, Deutsche Bank Frieze Los Angeles Film Award

Jane Chow was awarded the initiative’s first-ever Audience Award, as voted for by the public. Based in Los Angeles Chinatown, Chow’s film, Sorry for the Inconvenience, depicts a lonely teenager as she tries to help her parents keep their seafood restaurant afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between chopping green beans and packing takeout orders, she attempts to hang on to a semblance of normalcy by studying for her driver’s permit and prepping for her high school Zoom theater debut in The Tempest.

As someone who grew up in Hong Kong and moved to America without family or citizenship, I’ve always found a home in Los Angeles Chinatown, getting to know the people who came before me. With this film, I wanted to humanize the families behind Chinatown’s immigrant-owned businesses and show their fight to stay afloat during the pandemic - Jane Chow

Jane Chow, Sorry for the inconvenience, film still
Jane Chow, Sorry for the Inconvenience, film still

Frieze Los Angeles returns in 2022 with a new location at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, from February 17 – 20.


Main image: John Rizkallah, Dear Mama, film still