Traven Rice is a New York City-based filmmaker devoted to telling stories about the magical moments in our everyday lives. She is currently completing the pilot for DIVISION STREET, a web series focused on a withdrawn six-year-old girl sent to live with her cranky grandmother in the culturally diverse Lower East Side neighborhood. Rice has written and directed many film projects, including the award-winning short, SIDE EFFECTS (starring Carla Quevedo - Show Me a Hero, The Secret in Their Eyes and Robert Beitzel - Turn, True Detective) about a young woman in a risky and mind-altering drug trial.
Rice is equally passionate about writing her own scripts and in adapting screenplays. She has a special talent for working collaboratively on set with a wide variety of actors. Rice is a strong leader and motivator, skilled at inspiring and directing dynamic television and film production teams.
She studied at the FAMU Film Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, through an exchange program at American University, and at the Vancouver Film School in Vancouver, BC. She is currently co-leader of the film collective, FilmShop, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Lower East Side Film Festival.
Rice’s first short film, THE NIGHT TRAM, set on a midnight train to Prague hijacked by a gypsy band, was nominated for a Student Academy Award and screened at the LA Film Festival, among other festivals. SIDE EFFECTS won an Audience Award at the Boston Sci Fi Fest and the Best Actress Award at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Los Angeles. Rice has a foundation in theater, having directed many live productions, including a multi-media Jean Anouilh's Antigone at her alma mater, Stephens College.
Rice is co-founder of The Lo-Down, a widely respected community news and arts publication on the Lower East Side, one of New York City’s last remaining authentic neighborhoods. She served as publisher of The Lo-Down’s groundbreaking print magazine and oversees Lo-Down Productions. The community-based production company produces a wide variety of video and multimedia content for nonprofit and for profit-clients. Rice previously served as a board member of Local Independent Online News Publishers.