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20 Nonfiction Projects Receive Grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program

27/10/2021

-- No Other Land: Two young men stand facing each other in conversation within a vast, hilly landscape.

Los Angeles, CA - The nonprofit Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program (DFP) announced today its latest cohort of 20 nonfiction films receiving Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grants. The fund offers non-recoupable support for nonfiction projects that continue to elevate and advance cultural dialogue and break new ground in creativity and innovation from filmmakers with a distinct voice and vision, and a meaningful connection to the work they create.

The Documentary Fund supports the work of nonfiction filmmakers from around the globe. In a changing media landscape, the fund has been a critical force in supporting work that has expressed the world in creative, complex, and provocative ways, and has created real cultural and social impact around some of the most pressing issues of our time.

A total of $600,000 in unrestricted grant support has been provided to the projects in various stages of production and distribution, including eight in development, eight in production, three in post-production, and one in post-production and impact. The projects' subject matter take on topics of disability, feminist history, globalization, grief and loss, and housing inequality, among other areas. Grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Kendeda Fund.

This cycle, eight out of the ten U.S. films granted are helmed by at least one BIPOC director. This statistic reflects the fund's commitment to emerging artists whose voices have been historically marginalized in hegemonic Western societies. Globally, half of the projects supported have international roots in regions that the DFP prioritizes because freedom of expression is at risk, or due to local infrastructures that lack adequate support mechanisms for independent film.

With this expansive cohort, the Documentary Film Fund is holding true to its commitment to independent storytelling. As we celebrate 20 years of funding hundreds of films, these films are a tangible representation of all that we stand for and value, said Carrie Lozano, Sundance Institute, Director of Documentary Film Program and Artist Programs.

We are thrilled to welcome this latest cohort of exceptional nonfiction artists to the Sundance family. The projects selected embrace an incredibly eclectic range of cinematic languages that expands the vocabulary of documentary film. But they also share a common denominator, which expresses the spirit of Sundance. These stories get us out of our comfort zone and challenge our received world-views and assumptions by constantly pushing us to do better as a society and as people, said Paola Mottura, Documentary Film Fund Director.

The Documentary Fund supports the work of nonfiction filmmakers from around the globe. In a changing media landscape, the fund has been a critical force in supporting work that has expressed the world in creative, complex, and provocative ways, and has created real cultural and social impact around some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Recent projects supported include: Ascension, Collective, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, Faya Dayi, The Edge of Democracy, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Landfall, Minding the Gap, The Mole Agent, North By Current, One Child Nation, Strong Island, Time, Welcome to Chechnya, and Writing With Fire.

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program is made possible by founding support from The Open Society Foundations. Generous additional support is provided by Ford Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Luminate; Sandbox Films; Skoll Foundation; The Kendeda Fund; The Charles Engelhard Foundation; Gucci; CNN Films; Compton Foundation; Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman; Violet Spitzer-Lucas and the Spitzer Family Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Code Blue Foundation; EarthSense Foundation; Harbour; Adobe; Genuine Article Pictures; and two anonymous donors.

The latest grantees, presented by production stage, are:

DEVELOPMENTAnna Borges do Sacramento (Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Spain)

Director: A da Bueno Sarduy

Producers: Paula Zyngierman, Leandro Listorti

On March 3rd 1734, Anna Borges do Sacramento, an Afro-descendant Brazilian slave, brought a civil action against her first owner, to maintain her free status, acquired 16 years earlier. Her history, archived and practically unknown, reveals the iniquity of the legal devices that for centuries sustained the legality of the slave system.

The Broken R (Ecuador, Italy)

Director: Ricardo Ruales

Producers: Soledad Santelices / Matteo Pecorara

From the speech therapy process that I took, many questions about the voice arose, about my own voice and how it sounded. An intimate and family portrait that tries to face the search about questioning oneself, and above all questioning one's own voice, and understanding it as identity.

Chain of Rocks (U.S.A.)

Director: Damon Davis

Producers: Chris Renteria, Damon Davis

A death row inmate confesses to a crime after 30 years of maintaining his innocence. Now, an activist who once fought for his exoneration is faced with the moral dilemma of whether the fight was in vain. Chain of Rocks is an animated feature-length documentary that explores the complexities of race and masculinity and how they skew our worldview and play a role in oppressive systems.

Colors of White Rock (France, Mongolia)

Director: Khoroldorj Choijoovanchig

Producers: Tessa Louise Salom , Chantal Perrin

Maikhuu is one of thousands of coal truck drivers fighting for survival along Mongolia's hazardous mining roads. Her story encapsulates the dilemma the country is experiencing as its decade-long mining boom continues to shake the society.

The Pas
LINK: https://www.sundance.org/blogs/20-nonfiction-projects-receive-grants-f...
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