The Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award


The Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award celebrates a feature filmmaker who has made a unique contribution to the world of cinema with their directorial vision, passion for filmmaking, and generosity of spirit. The recipient will be awarded an unrestricted $5,000 prize in honor of Nick Louvel, a multi-talented artist; beloved son and brother; and loyal friend, whose creativity and curiosity were quickened at an early age by the big screen. As an undergraduate at Harvard College, Nick directed the micro-budget feature film Domino One starring Natalie Portman, Steve Guttenberg, and Tatyana Ali. Later he edited Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?, winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award, and co-directed The Uncondemned, an award-winning documentary about the history of rape as a war crime. Nick’s love of film was unmatched, and his humor, heart, and passion remain an inspiration to all who knew him.

The 2018 Recipient of the Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award is: Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs)

The Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award was created in partnership with The IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film which recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. The recipient of the award will be invited by the Film Society of Lincoln Center to present their work and address the Marcie Bloom Fellows.  

Variety recently wrote an article describing the fellowship and the award. 




ThiS Year's Winner

The Louvel family congratulates Cathy Yan, the first recipient of the Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker award, for her film

Dead Pigs

Cathy Yan received a dual MFA in filmmaking and an MBA at New York University and a BA at Princeton. Her feature film debut, Dead Pigs premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition and won the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting. It has gone on to win awards at festivals around the world. She is next set to direct Margot Robbie in a girl gang movie with the character Harley Quinn based on the Birds of Prey comic books for DC / Warner Brothers. Previously, she was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and was one of the youngest in the paper’s history to pen multiple front-page stories.


Dead Pigs

Set in contemporary China, a mysterious epidemic wipes out the entire pig population in a developing but still rural area, impacting the livelihood of a number of pig farmers. Dead Pigs is told through multiple intersecting stories each revolving around a modernizing China transforming a traditional society. 
Dead Pigs debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and won the special jury award for ensemble acting. Cathy Yan was recently selected by Warner Bros and DC Entertainment to direct the next Harley Quinn film starring Margot Robbie.


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