2022 Fall Grant Finalists
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15
Jack and Nikita -- My Adversary My Partner
Written, directed and edited by Emmy winning and five-time Oscar nominated Michael Chandler, Jack and Nikita – My Adversary My Partner, uncovers the story of two unlikely characters divided by class, age, and ideology – one the son of a miner, the other the son of a millionaire – who led their countries out of the straitjacket of Cold War thinking towards a new way of living in peace. Yet at every turn they undermined their own sincere efforts through self-made crises, miscalculations, and outright blunders, avoiding nuclear war only after taking every step to unleash it.
Caught up in an attention-driven media landscape, idealistic journalists struggle to overcome public distrust, re-shaping the future of news publishing.
"Only 26% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the news media." "Forty-five percent of Americans who name a cable news outlet (CNN, Fox News or MSNBC) as their top news source exhibit low emotional trust in national news organizations overall." This according to the latest Knight/Gallup "American Views" report. Why do we have such low trust in news, and is it justified? Are there any trustworthy news outlets out there, and how can you find them? These are just some of the questions answered in "Trusted Sources."
Escape From Death Valley
An American art form known as beatboxing has swept across six continents, but millions of fans don't know it's true history. They've never heard of Kid Lucky or the generation of beatboxers he taught to make symphonies with their mouths. Commonly known as the Professor X of beatbox, Kid once saved the dying US beatbox scene by tracking down hundreds of vocal X-Men and bringing them together. Now, a deadly cancer diagnosis threatens to tear his life apart. With limited time and a mountain of healthcare costs, Kid must harness his ability to inspire a movement. Despite the dire failures of a discriminatory healthcare system, Kid must mobilize an army to save his life and legacy.
THE RWENZORI RAINMAKERS
In the face of yearly floods, landslides and drought, an inspiring biodiversity and art project is transforming lives in Uganda’s Rwenzori foothills. Creative rewilders encourage their community to reforest, protect wildlife and bring back biodiversity. Our passionate characters share their stories as they find positive solutions for wildlife and people.
Spearheaded by violinist Lara St. John, Dear Lara opens with her own experience of being raped at age of 14 at the prestigious Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, which she made public in 2019; it goes on to present the parallel stories of many others, as Lara speaks with other survivors from around the world. By shedding light on horrific occurrences at elite music institutions, as well as stories from female musicians at major orchestras, the project unearths a pattern of severe misogyny and male entitlement afflicting children and women at every stage of their musical and personal lives. In each case, the men have benefited from the complicity of the institutions they work for.
Salsa un tumbao' caribeño
Salsa un tumbao' caribeño explores salsa’s cultural legacy and its everyday realities from the heart of the Caribbean to New York City. Marquez, an Afro-Venezuelan filmmaker and immigrant, hails from San Agustin, Caracas where salseros like Ismael Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, and Cheo Feliciano among other great musicians performed and shared with community artists. Interviews with celebrated percussionists and singers, cultural stewards, community activists, and everyday people narrate the film along with the director’s voiceover – addressing issues such as race, gender, and immigration. This film concludes that salsa has transformed from a musical genre into a global socio-cultural movement.
Against the Tide (working title)
Andrew King has set himself a huge challenge – to climb the seven highest mountains and volcanoes on every continent. If he succeeds, he could be the first African American to do so. But for him, it’s less about being the first and more about not being the last. He is determined to open the way for more people of diverse backgrounds to access the outdoors and adventure sports. Growing up in Detroit the youngest of three kids to a single mother working three jobs to make ends meet, Andrew’s lottery ticket of birth didn’t set him on the path to becoming a mountaineer. Neither did it point him towards surfing – his other great passion – and taking on some of the world's biggest waves.
“Daly City” is an autobiographical story that examines themes of exoticism, assimilation and the model minority myth, through a clever and playful tale about an Indonesian boy and his mother who pretend that Chinese takeout is actually a traditional family dish at a potluck in order to impress the largely white church community. The boy’s mother teaches him how to "play the game" - how to maneuver, perform and captivate in order to gain acceptance. But later that night, after witnessing his father getting ridiculed and bullied by his co-workers, the boy learns that this behavior can come at a cost; you can end up losing your culture, your sense of worth and even your very name.
MIXED LEGACY - OPERATION KATIMA MULILO
Mtolankhani, The Investigative Bureau's chief reporter, has just published a story, leading Zambia's President Chinyama into sacking 3 Permanent Secretaries and demoting ministers linked to a K560billion corruption scandal that has claimed the life of Silvia, the whistleblower. Just a day after these dramatic developments, Mtolankhani is confronted with yet another mega story, with potential to shake the presidency, lay bare the shenanigans of the powerful mining industry. It also threatens to send stock markets into a tailspin, ruin reporter’s own livelihood and claim the careers of several politicians, and corporate executives across Southern Africa. How does Mtolankhani pursue this story?
Piece of Mind
There are 8.8 million adults living with severe mental illness in the U.S. today. Family members are their primary caregivers. The documentary-in-progress PIECE OF MIND amplifies the voices of families advocating for loved ones with untreated neurological brain diseases interweaving a mother, two Japanese American sisters and a man living with bipolar disorder, who expose complicated family dynamics, encounters with law enforcement and a failed health care system. This timely film combines intimate interviews, archival footage and animation to highlight the urgent need for treatment over trauma.
Minnie Evans: Visionary Artist
Why did we plant roses?
Why Did We Plant Roses? is a feature-length documentary, offering a journey through the life and experience of Iraqi filmmaker, Kassem Hawal. Kassem left his country for fear of dictatorship and love for cinema. He became one of the most active and prominent founders of what has been called, in retrospect, the Cinema of the Palestinian Revolution.
Through the cinematic life and destiny of one of the most influential Arab filmmakers we are guided to answer essential questions regarding the act and meaning of filmmaking for our collective memory and the importance of doing what we love and believe in no matter the obstacles.
Red Bus In Baghdad
After Muthanna, a bus driver, takes on a five-hour journey on the night of Saddam’s execution to rescue his brothers, he crosses into a perilous red zone finding himself caught in the sectarian conflicts between Sunni and Shiite militia leaders who force him to choose between the lives of his kidnapped brothers and his father.