Hot Films in the Making
Hot Films in the Making are films that we highly support. They have excellent concepts and brilliant filmmakers, they should be in our finals in the future.
We give each filmmaker chosen for our Hot Films in the Making the opportunity to add their projects to this list. It is their choice.
Please check out the films that interest you and give them your support!
Summer Grant 2021 Hot Films in the Making
Woman in the Mirror
It is a story of a prima ballerina defecting from the Soviet Union, her tenuous climb to personal and artistic freedom, leading a culturally and religiously diverse group of students to compete in a most prestigious competition as she navigates the challenges of running her elite school, Koltun Ballet Boston. The documentary takes an insightful look into the lives of the students as they struggle with the challenges such as physical and emotional stress of intense ballet training, anxiety and clinical depression, family breakup. The teacher Alexandra Koltun, tries to instill in them that same strength that served her well throughout her life.
I'm So OCD
"I’m So OCD” is a documentary feature that follows three people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder as they undergo Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), an intensive treatment which demands that they confront their debilitating obsessions head on. Directed by Charles Frank, a filmmaker who also lives with OCD, this film will reveal the unseen and misunderstood horrors of the condition while raising awareness about this astonishingly effective, evidence-based treatment.
The New York Love Songs
Told through the lens of music and the spirit of jazz, The New York Love Songs is a sweeping tale of artists searching for identity and fulfillment as they come into adulthood during the dawn of the digital revolution. Through the stories of three music students who were college classmates of filmmaker Darah Golub in 2007 at The New School for Jazz, the film explores notions of success, the meaning of life and art, and implications of an era defined by innovation and upheaval.
WHY ARE YOU YOU?
WHY ARE YOU YOU? is a feature documentary that explores the history of the YRUU community where adolescents discovered their true selves and were empowered to incite positive change in the world. Decades after the program's inception, those former members reflect on how being a part of the program shaped them and informed their lives. YRUU, established in 1983, grew out of the Unitarian Universalists’ rich tradition of religious youth education. It was disbanded in 2008.
A documentary featuring three underprivileged, unfound and talented American descendants of slavery engage in an opportunity to freely express themselves in their choice of art. What catalyzes their art-making process is not only a sponsorship opportunity to further build their body of work on-camera but a nostalgic artifact presented by longtime Black memorabilia collector and alternative educator Gail Deculus-Johnson. These striking nostalgic artifacts will seed inspiration and call on popular longstanding societal calamities around Black Americans today, specifically mental health, racism, and disparate generational wealth.
Lupe Faalele: Soaring Doves
THE DOVE FOUNDATION: In Lupe Faalele: Soaring Doves, director Daniel Pouesi sees a disparaging problem. In short, the film’s focal point is on the dissonance between the church system in Samoa and its people, how funding these [churches] has created a class system; its citizens are barely scraping through to support it, let alone their families. Another way to put it, as mentioned in the film, is how the people’s focus is shifting from God to money...One of the film’s most beautiful, humanistic portraits is how we see community support woven throughout the people interviewed in the film. Dove is proud to award the film its Approval for Ages 12+.
Spring Grant 2021 Hot Films in the Making
#Likes4Lucas: A pilot episode for a TV series. One year after the death of YouTube star Lucas Skyler, fans worship his online persona at an over-the-top memorial service. Held in an art gallery with social media artifacts displayed like museum treasures, it’s a hot social ticket—but two of his ex-girlfriends find the whole thing irreverent. Where is the real Lucas? Worlds apart on the surface, they team up to reclaim his identity … but when the late YouTube Star livestreams the party, then returns to New York in the flesh, wine glasses shatter. Is this a stunt? Is he dead or alive? Lucas is uncertain himself.
All We Got
Fleeing from the religious persecution of a tyrannical Russian czar to the desolate fields of a new world, forty-three refugee families traveled across the ocean in 1882 and founded the first successful Jewish farming community in America.
Over the next few decades, more than 300 other immigrant families would join them.
This is… ALLIANCE.
Anticipated at 55 minutes in length, ALLIANCE will bear witness to a unique true story of family, immigration, connection, and growth. This film will examine the foundational history of the Alliance Colony, the first successful Jewish farming community in the United States.
Birds, Bees and Threes (Written By Paige Hullett and Gunnar Anderson)
After a member of Julia's triplet support group is unexpectedly forced to explain sex to her kids, the trusted group leader expresses the importance of teaching children about sex by age eight. BIRDS, BEES, AND THREES comically follows JULIA and ANDY HUDSON and their triplet daughters as they have vastly different reactions to the news and attempt to process the information.
Children of Champions
Children of Champions is a new, feature-length documentary that examines the relationship between elite athletic performance and parenting success. The deeply personal, cinematically rich, previously unheard, high-profile story is told by a diverse group of Olympians, their children, and a filmmaker who herself was parented by an Olympian mother.
I'm young, single, and in a wheelchair. In most people's minds, my wheelchair seems to define me; people are either scared of it or think it's a bigger deal than it is. But I'm just a normal girl. I'm a young, single woman who happens to be sitting down.
Date Me tells the stories of my crazy family; the unique and often lousy ways people interact with me because of my disability; and my attempts, often failed, at dating in a wheelchair with a strained, but ongoing determination not to give up.
Fire Department, Inc.
An aging veteran returns to Vietnam to search for his old girlfriend and discovers he may have fathered her child... Ghost Money is a feature-length personal documentary, telling the story of my relationship with Candy through hand-drawn animation inspired by the drawings I made during the war. The animation is interwoven with contemporary video of my return trip to Vietnam to search for Candy and out child. Ghost Money will reveal a side of the war rarely seen on film: the bars, massage parlors, and the social world of an American soldier loose in the fleshpots of Saigon where an private’s paycheck could get you about anything you wanted.
Hear, Eat, Home
One day, Soledad, a lonely woman whose only passion in life is metal detecting, unearths a wounded whale heart at the beach and discovers that it is still alive. She decides to take it home and nurse it back to health. As the whale heart heals, her own heart begins to open. But a whale heart can only survive so long out of the sea. Blending magical realism with environmental awareness and a dash of quirky fun, HEARTSONG tells the story of what it takes to let love in and let love go.
How Jellyfish Make Love
How Jellyfish Make Love is a whimsical and heartfelt animated short about a lonely jellyfish seeking connection. In a cold world that tends to be cynical and distant, Jake the Jellyfish longs to truly connect with someone and possibly fall in love. With his home being a fish tank in a Las Vegas sushi restaurant, Jake is surrounded by fake plastic things, reminding him of how shallow the world can be. But when Josie the Jellyfish enters his life, he finally sees a chance for something real. As long as he can get past interfering angelfish, nosy diners, and his own neurotic tendencies, Jake has a possibility of maybe, hopefully, getting to really know someone and to truly be known in return.
LIFE of CY
Desiring to attend senior prom, a teen born with a genetic syndrome encounters difficulty securing a date further impeding his prom attendance, until a teacher he is smitten with intervenes and sacrifices her job for him.
Progeria Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects about 1 in 20 million people worldwide. The average lifespan for people with Progeria is 13 years.
"LIFE of CY" simply showcases one day in the life of a teenager eagerly anticipating and preparing for two social milestones: his 18th birthday and his senior prom.
A unique protagonist whose impact on others is explored as his perspective focuses on and affirms love, joy and life fulfillment.
My Vacation Destination
Like a ﬁne wine, Merlot has aged beautifully but at sixty-ﬁve she ﬁnds herself alone and wanting a partner. She tries speed dating. As she scrolls through endless photos of men online, she draws the analogy between all the men she might meet and a vacation destination. To Merlot, looking at men on dating sites is like determining what type of vacation she wants. However, once the speed dating event begins, her experience becomes frustrating and she thinks she isn’t going anywhere and may never ﬁnd her "vacation destination."
One Breath At A Time
In a country drowning in a never ending debate about gun control, one woman arms children not with guns but with emotional tools to deal with life.
"If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation." Dalai Lama.
The film follows the journey of Connie Clotworthy, a meditation teacher who focuses on teaching kids meditation in order to prevent violence in American schools. It is an overview of the gun violence problem and a conversation about possible solutions that doesn't involve the arguments about gun laws but emphasizes the importance of spiritual education and mental health of our youth.
Out of the Picture
To stay independently thriving during the start of an economic downturn during the late 1950s, a 25 year old Arts Teacher & Socialite is given the opportunity to elevate her lifestyle and secure her family’s future.
Lola Parker is facing eviction from her home. Desperate to keep her independence and status, she is introduced to a lucrative performing opportunity. While attempting to keep this new venture a secret, she simultaneously gains popularity, risking being exposed to and disowned by her mother. After being offered a promotion, she is left with two choices, become the headliner or allow her family to lose everything.
When the enemy isn’t each other but the war itself…
After her unit is destroyed, an injured soldier has to strike out on her own. While traveling through an unknown wilderness she finds herself in the company of an enemy combatant with intel that can end the war. Their only chance for peace lies in their willingness to discard their prejudice & realize each other’s humanity. This short begs us to reexamine the notion of honor vs treachery all the while taking us on suspenseful ride set against a backdrop of intense natural landscapes.
High School football, a pandemic, and the future NFL Safety champion with over 23 offers from Division 1 colleges, Malik Spencer. When the coronavirus came to America, it endangered high school football, Malik’s teammates’ families, challenged his coach’s dreams, and caused a challenging impact on Malik’s season. A story of triumph in America.
The Edge of the Light
Days before a razor-thin Senate election in Atlanta, Georgia, budding Black journalist and father-to-be Carlyle Walker is being celebrated for his front-page profile on rising political star, Dash Clemenson. But when Carlyle receives a phone call accusing the progressive white candidate of rape, he is forced to investigate his responsibility as a journalist, father, and member of the Black community. The Lie sits at the intersection of race, politics, and sexual assault and challenges viewers to acknowledge the lies we tell ourselves and others in the name of progress. In a time when so much is at stake, how much is the truth really worth?
The Lonely Doryman
Hundreds of miles off the coast of Portugal, a novice fisherman finds himself lost on a mysterious island and tormented by fantasies that make him question his sexuality.
The events of this film take place in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores Islands. Summer 1968. In the crux of Salazar's fascist regime, these rural islands are modernizing. Folktales and myths are being forgotten.
This modern take on the familiar tropes of folktales explores themes of queer identity, loneliness and masculinity; set against the backdrop of Portugal’s complex traditional values at the time.
The Loom is a documentary feature that explores the Battle of Berlin from the perspective of a forgotten woman. It tells the the story of the filmmaker's cousin, Hanni, who shot and killed her four daughters, believing she was saving them from a fate worse than death. After decades of collective forgetting, the discovery of a miniature loom leads the filmmaker to discover the truth behind the tragic decision of a desperate mother, one of thousands driven to suicide by German propaganda, the mass rapes of invading soldiers and the incomprehensibility of life after the war.
The Man Who Desalinated The Sea
Due to his unique claimed ability to see in the dark (yet not proofed), a coast guard from Lithuania accidentally encounters a savage “Robinson” in the dunes on neutral strip of the Curonian Spit – right between Russian and Lithuanian borders.
Though heavily covered with overgrown pelage, the man looks no older than 40 years old. His name is Timur Tshadadze. The man states that he is a Georgian started living as a hermit back in the middle of the 20th century after setting at the boundary line between Kaliningrad region and Lithuania. Timur reveals that he was born in 1928 and runs from his wife for the Spit right after the end of the WWII.
Fall Grant 2020 Hot Films in the Making
Singing for Justice (working title)
SINGING FOR JUSTICE reveals the story of Faith Craig Petric (1915-2013) - a little-known but highly influential folk music icon. A charismatic and complex folk music collector, performer, and organizer, Petric’s sustained political activism earned her not only harassment from the FBI but also a devoted following over several generations of folk musicians. More than a biography, the documentary artfully weaves Petric's captivating musical and political journeys within the histories of the labor, peace, racial justice, and women’s movements she championed and the still-thriving musical communities she nurtured.
Cry with Me
“Cry with Me” is an autobiographical film that chronicles the director’s alter-ego, Griselda, and her experiences as a queer Latina performance artist dating in NYC. The audience is invited to witness Griselda’s whirlwind of a dating experience with 30 eccentric people, played by hired actors. In the process of filming these performances, the normally guarded and indignant Griselda confesses a traumatic event from her past, ultimately exposing the non-linear process of self-discovery.
Rules of the Game
6 Step Story
Social partner dance is a practice that stands the test of time, evolving into new expressions within each generation. Following the Civil rights, feminist, and gay rights movements, Hustle emerged embodying the social, political, and economic circumstances of the Disco era. Come do the Hustle as we take you through its rise and fall in mainstream popularity and its current global resurgence.
My Little Renaissance Girl
In this dark comedy, a body dysmorphic woman has to make a difficult decision all while her life is taken over by absurd Renaissance fanfare.
My Little Renaissance Girl asks what it means to be a woman, a friend, a mother, and a human trying to reconcile her body and her mind. It explores the humor in our darkest thoughts, the pain underlying the jokes we tell the world, and the power of owning the stories we tell ourselves.
Two introspective and altruistic investigators, with their devoted and equally inquisitive and compassionate team and crew, travel the globe to test and validate the science of Agnihotra, an ancient healing technology that has the potential to mend the earth and its inhabitants. Agnihotra Documentary is a culmination of heartfelt passion, a sense of adventure and transparent objectivity. Rather than simply highlighting a series of insurmountable problems, this film investigates and analyzes a potentially powerful solution that could change our world. Our documentary brings Agnihotra, a once lost ancient healing fire, from deep underground into the light of global awareness.
Let There Be Light
An animated short, Let There Be Light is just a slice of the amazing life of Lewis H. Latimer, an African-American inventor who made significant and unheralded advancements in the field of electrical engineering during the late 19th century. Set in 1879, our film portrays Lewis' pioneering modification to the carbon filament and highlights his wife's, Mary, struggle to support Lewis in his work and express her feeling of neglect to him. By the film's climax, Lewis changes history and the Latimers find the spark that strengthens their marriage. This special mix of romance and science is what we hope to see more often in cinema!
The Women Who Dare To Sing
When audacious young Chinese feminist activists take to the streets, they propel gender discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual harassment to the national stage. The movement - unexpectedly colorful, creative, and at times, humorous - sways policymakers to implement new laws. The first anti-domestic violence law was passed in 2015. Sexual harassment was added to the Civil Code in 2020. As the state cracks down on NGOs, it's up to the activists to turn the new laws into action. The Women Who Dare to Sing follows four feminist leaders as they fall in love, face eviction and imprisonment, and ultimately usher in a MeToo movement as China's first sexual harassment plaintiff goes to court.
After discovering the body of his father and his father's dog; an apparent suicide, a man leaves his soul crushing job at People Magazine and goes on a pilgrimage to Northport Long Island to meet the lead singer of his favorite band. When he arrives to find that the band has broken up and the lead singer is no longer making music, in order to process his father's death and avoid his deepest fear of truly becoming his father's son, the man takes it upon himself, with the help of a lonely cast of characters, to get the band back together; and in so doing discovers a true sense of service, community and connection to others. Nobody Too is a comedic drama in the tone of Little Miss Sunshine.
Different people unearth the realities of Ronnie Tessler’s photographs in Crackin’ Out! Subjectivity on subjectivity rearranging what reality is. What do you see?
Crackin’ Out! is a documentary about the photographs taken by prominent Jewish photographer, Ronnie Tessler. Traveling across Canada shooting rodeos from 1976-1979, Tessler captured the exhilarating and mundane moments of rodeo life.
Crackin’ Out! explores what a photograph means to a multitude of subjective viewers — curators, photographers, cowboys, friends and family. The photograph itself takes centre stage in this film, acting as our main character and helping weave together and bind different narratives being told.
The Great Now What
They’re trying to solve the crime of the 20th century—in the 21st century. Now, as conspiracy theories abound in our current political landscape, the JFK research community attempts to pass on "the cause" to the younger generation. But their legacy is called into question in the face of more stigmatization than ever. What will happen to this community? Why is the JFK assassination still relevant? And what role do conspiracy theories like the JFK assassination play in America today? INVISIBLE WITNESS will shed light on a small but mighty community and explore how our interpretation of history often reflects who we are as a country.
On the eve of the biggest deal of her career, an unplanned pregnancy throws a woman's carefully planned life into chaos.
"90 BPM" is a short film examining the loss of control a couple experience when an unplanned pregnancy announces itself in their otherwise meticulous life. Filmed in the fall of 2019, "90 BPM" stars Jade Ziane and Elizabeth Conway, and is directed by David Elijah. We are currently raising funds for post production, and look forward to showing "90 BPM" at film festivals around the world.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for interest, inquiries, and partnerships.
After the Vote
CREDIBLE FEAR follows the incredible story of Yojana, a mother of two who flees brutal gang violence in Guatemala to find safety in the United States as an asylum seeker. After arriving to the US and being detained in Texas, she meets Amy, a volunteer attorney who takes on her case. As a fellow mother, Amy is immediately struck by Yojana’s reliance and fierce dedication to her children. As Amy learns Yojana’s story she vows to protect Yojana and win her asylum case no matter what it takes. Their friendship takes them on a journey that changes both of their lives forever.
To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit: www.documentaries.org/credible-fear
CHILDREN OF CHAMPIONS
Children of Champions is a new, high-profile, cinematically rich, international, feature-length documentary film about the impact that being an Olympian athlete has on parenting and how it shapes their children.
Given that outstanding sportsmanship requires a certain type of commitment to excellence across the board, it is not surprising that many Olympians have raised extraordinarily successful off-spring and several of them have become Olympians themselves.
Children of Champions—a fascinating, entertaining yet educational documentary—will interview star athletes and examine the unique parenting styles of Olympians who transcended greatness beyond their sport performance.
Return of the Black Madonna
RETURN OF THE BLACK MADONNA chronicles the journey of a 40-something Black woman who learns to swim, dive, and map sunken slave ships with Black marine archeologists to heal from the trauma of losing her family and the aftermath of being sexually assaulted by a white police officer when she was a teenager.
Traped in lockdown due to COVID 19, a girl faces the harsh realities of her mother' failing health and the responsibility that comes with it.
PLAGUE SEASON is a short film written by the Ecuadorian director and scriptwriter Gabriela Calvache, who’s been selected for the Universal Studios’ Talent Development and Inclusion Program. Inspired by the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PLAGUE SEASON tells the story of an abandoned corpse in the city of Guayaquil and how a 10-year-old girl is affected by it. It is a short film that appeals to a young and international audience that likes the author’s genre terror.
A story inspired by true events with a magic ending.
Grounded: The Roots of Revolution
We Will Survive
'We Will Survive' is a new feature length documentary currently in production by Roberto Duque, that looks at the legacy and history of one of the UK’s most iconic drag cabaret pubs, Camden Town’s The Black Cap.
Told through retrospective interviews with former staff members, punters and stage performers, this is a story of lost memories and iconic moments in LGBT history; while presently following a group of campaigners as they fight tirelessly to reopen the now-closed venue.
No Soy Óscar
On June 23rd, 2019, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter Angie Valeria drowned in the Rio Grande while attempting to reach the United States. Traveling the length of the border wall to the refugee camp where Óscar and Angie spent their final days, a Latinx filmmaker weaves together notes from the field addressed to his own daughter with the narratives of Indigenous communities, residents, and refugees whose lives have been irreversibly impacted by the wall.
The Stockbroker and the Goddess
This film is our sixth stop motion, made during quarantine on a micro-budget.
Logline: A high powered stockbroker is changed by an encounter with a beautiful woman. Adapted from an old folk tale.
Laura has been teaching herself stop motion in her basement in Chicago.
To read more about my filmmaking journey visit: https://mythictalesforpsyche.blogspot.com/
SURFING THE SKY
“YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS HOW HIGH OR HOW FAR YOU CAN
FLY". THEODORE VOLGOFF.
It is a film whose objective is centered on the theme of
RESILIENCE IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT THAT REQUIRES IT LIKE NEVER BEFORE. He
project name implies the concept of MODELS that invite your
monitoring, claiming values and behaviors.
"Surfing the sky" aims to support the development of the
Consciousness from shared Humanity, constituting a
invitation, an opening to our unlimited potential by taking up the
respect for the Natural and recognizing within ourselves the source of
joy as a motivator in our lives.
DOG WALK HOME