The Jaya Award

The Jaya Award is given to an indigenous filmmaker from North America whose film features a woman leader at the story’s center. The winning film screens at the Athena Film Festival, and the filmmaker receives a $10,000 grant as part of the award. 

Inaugural Jaya Award Winner
Erica Trembly, director of Fancy Dance

Erica Tremblay is a writer and director from the Seneca-Cayuga Nation. Her feature film FANCY DANCE premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and also screened at SXSW and The London Film Festival. Her short film LITTLE CHIEF premiered at Sundance in 2020. Tremblay was the executive story editor on the AMC series, DARK WINDS. She was also the executive story editor on season two of RESERVATION DOGS at FX and she co-produced season three in addition to directing. Tremblay lives on Cayuga Lake in upstate New York, where she studies her Indigenous language.

About Fancy Dance
Following her sister’s disappearance, a Native American hustler kidnaps her niece from the child’s white grandparents and sets out for the state powwow in hopes of keeping what is left of their family intact. Fancy Dance is set to make its debut in theaters and on Apple TV+ this year.

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