Mentor and ProtégéMentors and Protégés for 2020-2021 Arts Initiative
Artistic masters Spike Lee, Phyllida Lloyd, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Carrie Mae Weems will pass on their creative legacy to rising talents in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
Four of the most groundbreaking and influential artists in their respective disciplines – Spike Lee (Film), Phyllida Lloyd (Theatre), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Open Category) and Carrie Mae Weems (Visual Arts) – have been named today as mentors in the 2020−2021 Rolex Arts Initiative. These world-renowned innovators will each spend the next two years in close collaboration with an outstanding young artist with whom they will exchange ideas and ensure that artistry at the highest level is transmitted across generations and geographic boundaries.
American filmmaker Spike Lee has chosen to work with Kyle Bell, 33, United States; British director Phyllida Lloyd with Whitney White, 33, United States; and American artist Carrie Mae Weems with Camila Rodríguez Triana, 34, Colombia. American composer, lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda chose Agustina San Martín, 28, Argentina.
SPIKE LEE & KYLE BELL
The Mentor, Spike Lee: One of the most influential and socially conscious filmmakers of his generation, American Spike Lee has produced a prodigious body of artistically daring work across a range of genres, including more than 35 feature films and documentaries. Among the culturally, historically and aesthetically significant films that he creates, directs and sometimes acts in is the recent award-winning BlacKkKlansman (2018). Lee, a tenured Professor and Artistic Director at the New York University (NYU) Graduate Film Program, has been named the President of the Jury at the 73rd Festival de Cannes.
The Protégé, Kyle Bell: Over the past five years, Native American filmmaker Kyle Bell has strived to tell the stories of his people, “stories that don’t get told or whose voices are not heard”. His work as director, director of photography and film editor has included the Heartland Emmy-winning documentary show Osiyo: Voices of the Cherokee People, as well as short documentaries such as Dig It If You Can, Defend the Sacred and The Third, which have been screened at film festivals worldwide. He was named a 2019 Sundance Indigenous Program Fellow.
PHYLLIDA LLOYD & WHITNEY WHITE
The Mentor, Phyllida Lloyd: Widely recognized for her broad range of bold and innovative theatre, opera, musical and film productions, British director Phyllida Lloyd has spent most of her career promoting gender equality both on and off stage. Among the highlights of her award-winning productions, she directed both the smash-hit musical and film of Mamma Mia!, as well as the Margaret Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady (2011).
The Protégée, Whitney White: An accomplished director, musician/composer and actress, Whitney White is making her name as one of the most sought after, young theatre-makers in the United States. Artistic Associate at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, she has directed a variety of theatrical genres from the classics such as Othello to What to Send Up When it Goes Down, a play about racialized violence that was hailed by The New York Times.
CARRIE MAE WEEMS & CAMILA RODRÍGUEZ TRIANA
The Mentor, Carrie Mae Weems: Carrie Mae Weems’s prolific output through image and text, film, video, performance and her many lectures, presentations and interactions with individuals across a multitude of disciplines delves into complex human experiences including sexism, racism and class. Through her career-defining The Kitchen Table Series (1989-1990), she examines various stereotypes of womanhood. Her highly acclaimed works are exhibited at major institutions throughout the world.
The Protégée, Camila Rodríguez Triana: Colombian filmmaker and visual artist, Camila Rodríguez Triana creates works with great emotional power that question the viewer and, like her mentor’s themes, portray intimate relationships in everyday spaces. Her art has been exhibited in solo and group shows in South America and Europe. As founder of Heka Films SAS, Triana has been responsible for several acclaimed documentary features that explore the limits between documentary and fiction.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA & AGUSTINA SAN MARTÍN
The Mentor, Lin-Manuel Miranda: Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning composer, lyricist and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. A recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award and the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, his TV and film credits include Fosse/ Verdon, His Dark Materials, Saturday Night Live, Moana and Mary Poppins Returns.
The Protégée, Agustina San Martín: Known for her bold vision as a storyteller, Argentinean director, screenwriter, cinematographer, colourist and film editor Agustina San Martín is looking to her mentor to “nurture and broaden her creative universes”. Having recently completed the feature film To kill the beast (Matar a la bestia, 2020), San Martín has gained recognition for her multifaceted work, including winning a Special Mention Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the 72nd Cannes Festival for Monster God (2019).