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The Makers

Work by these filmmakers will be screened at this year's Yoni Fest. 

Mathilde Suissa

still from Petra

still from Petra

 An independent filmmaker born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Mathilde Suissa grew up under the influence of her father, commercial director and VFX editor Michel Suissa. After attending the “Fame” school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, as a technical theater major, Mathilde attended and received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from the Hunter College Film department. At Hunter College, Mathilde was nominated for the BAFTA Student award by faculty and received a scholarship and sponsorship from Judy Zabar of the Zabar Family for her academic and student filmmaking achievements. She gained experience in the industry as a Production Assistant and later Traffic and Library Coordinator at Technicolor-PostWorks, working side by side with the leading editors and colorists of studio feature films and television series. Mathilde’s first short film Pauline (2014) was an official selection in the Salonukah Art and Video Festival and the Emerge Film Festival, which grabbed her a nomination for the Emerging Filmmaker award. Her sophomore short film, The Blue Room (2015)won the first prize at the FMC Film Festival and was an official selection in 7 film festivals around the U.S., including the Los Angeles Cinefest, Miami Independent Film Festival, and the Fort Meyers Film Festival. Her latest short film Petra is an official selection in the CUNY Film Festival and was nominated for the Best LGBTQ Film award. In addition to exhibiting Petra at festivals and working freelance in New York, Mathilde will be directing a music video for an up and coming indie band who is releasing their first album and is working on her next short film. 

Nominated for Best LGBTQ Film and an Official Selection at the 2017 official CUNY Film Festival, Petra tells the story of a transgender woman’s morning ritual, with no spoken dialogue. A message for freedom of expression and shot in 16mm film, Petra is influenced by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, and Fassbinder’s own strive for self expression and freedom. 


McKenna Stephens