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! 
 

 

Fall Grant 2020 Hot Films in the Making

Grounded: The Roots of Revolution

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As our current approach to farming ravages our land, depletes our oceans, and leaves hundreds of millions of people hungry, Grounded tells the story of the people fighting to create a resilient food system that can feed a growing population and withstand the extremes of the climate crisis.

Credible Fear

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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

The Stockbroker and the Goddess

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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/
Or
https://www.facebook.com/MythicTalesForPsyche

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“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.

Invisible Witness

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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.

CHILDREN OF CHAMPIONS

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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.

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A dark comedy about the funeral of a self-serving billionaire, where the mystery of his death is revealed by the flashbacks of key attendees.

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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.

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“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.

We Will Survive

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'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.

Agnihotra Documentary

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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.

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RULES OF THE GAME is a short film that explores themes of belonging, family, and tradition, and reflects so desperately what we need right now. All cards are on the table when a queer, Muslim, South Asian-American woman introduces her partner for the first time at a family game night.

Workhorse Queen

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After an unlikely casting onto a reality television show, 47-year old suburban telemarketer Ed Popil leaves his job to pursue a full-time entertainment industry career as his drag queen alter ego, 1960’s era housewife Mrs. Kasha Davis.

DOG WALK HOME

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As three veteran families wrestle with post-traumatic stress, uniquely trained service dogs help them heal, reunite, and imagine the possible. With an average of 22 veterans dying by suicide every day, DOG WALK HOME examines the intrinsic value of service dogs as a treatment option for PTSD.

The Great Now What

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A young actress contemplates suicide and self-worth when a debilitating and devastating stroke leaves her permanently disabled. With personal grit, the fellowship of other badass disabled women, and the healing power of art, she gets back on stage and finds freedom in having nothing left to lose.

The Women Who Dare To Sing

Documentary

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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.

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Eccentric World War II veterans Mr. Pottle and Mr. Leer decide to finally enter the 21st Century. And not a moment too soon.

After the Vote

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The overlooked impact women had on American politics, reform movements and political corruption in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s

6 Step Story

Documentary

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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.

No Soy Óscar

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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.

My Little Renaissance Girl

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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.

Nobody Too

Feature

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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.

Let There Be Light

Short

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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!

Crackin Out'

Short

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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.

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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 misselizabethconway@yahoo.com for interest, inquiries, and partnerships.

Singing for Justice (working title)

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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.

Return of the Black Madonna

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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.

Psychic School

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When a chronically indecisive young woman learns she has strong psychic abilities, she must choose between maintaining a "normal" life, or joining a secret community of oddball psychics in training.

 

 

 

 

Summer Grant 2020 Hot Films in the Making

Albina Vision Series

Web/TV Series

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A four part series that explores the history of Portland’s Albina neighborhood, the historic cultural hub of the city’s African American community, and the site of multiple waves of urban renewal and displacement. Using history as a guide, each episode tackles an important lesson from Albina’s past and juxtaposes it with the present-day work of the Albina Vision Trust and its grassroots community to use a new development plan to redesign, reimagine, and reconnect the community to the neighborhood.

Each episode will have a unique visual style, content, and storytelling approach reflecting the work of a local Black director. The series is not presenting one historical truth or perspective.

Allan Schiller: A Concert Pianist

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Log-line: A forgotten world-class concert pianist finds out there is more to life than music.

This short documentary is the re-discovery and biography of one of Britain’s greatest concert pianists; Allan Schiller. Through the duality of animation (from acclaimed animator Majid Adin) and live-action, we will tell Allan’s story from a child prodigy and the cost at which the title comes in early and later life. ‘Allan Schiller: A Concert Pianist’ is the cautionary story that explores the dangers of putting titles, pressures and expectations on talented children and how the search to fulfill the unattainable status ultimately strays them from real success; family.

ANOMALY

Short

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Anomaly is a fantastical narrative short film about, MAVERICK a mid-twenties, African American, convenience store clerk who dreams of escaping the ruined world that he was born into. He hopes to find his place in a society where he doesn’t have to constantly fear for his life. This film speaks on social issues within our society ranging from systemic racism as well as social issues within the African American community. I intend for the film to hold a mirror to society to encourage self reflection that will lead to a progressive change within our world.

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Babygirl is based on a true story of an audacious, Italian-American, young mother from Long Island who has settled into the life of a mobster's wife. But, when Adele is forced to go from changing diapers and picking up after her kids, to taking matters into her own hands by running a “job” in place of her sick husband, she finds herself stepping into the role in ways she didn’t expect.

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A Los Angeles-based filmmaker discovers on his 30th birthday that his great-grandfather was one of the most influential director-producers during the Golden Age of Korean Cinema. Upon further investigation, the filmmaker unravels the great-grandfather's shocking relationships with South Korea's first President, international co-producers, and the mafia.

Bella, Citizen Artist

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Described as "...one of the greatest American dancers of our age," Bella Lewitzky was a talented, strong, out-spoken artist, who dedicated her creative life to protect the rights of every American citizen. Designated one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition and awarded the National Medal of Arts, Lewitzky’s life demonstrates how a “uniquely Californian” artist with vision and tenacity can change the lives of her fellow citizens.

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Broken “Untold Story” is a film about a native Texan girl , suffering from the trauma of her past. Her story and trauma begin with sexual abuse at the hands of a close friend of her family. As Kim continues to fall victim to her past traumas, she is met with a moment of truth, a moment between life and death, which forces her to begin to revisit her past as it relates to her present life of now self-inflicted pain and suffering. An unstable life in the streets of Houston has led Kim down what seems to be a one-way road.

Chaperone

Feature

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Disconnected from her career-focused and family-driven peers, an emotionally isolated 29-year-old woman pursues a relationship with a 17-year-old boy after he mistakes her for a fellow high school student.

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COLORS is a 25 minute shortfilm in which the whole world is united and dances as one in order to create an energetic shield around the globe that will protect our planet and everyone on it from a gigantic destructive energy wave coming from outer space. Everyone needs to join in for this to work, and it has to be voluntarily. These are the two main themes of this shortfilm: Uniting the people in the world and free will. Of course there are some obstacles to overcome before we can succes in this.

CUBANISM: The Revolution Was Not Televised

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A hurricane is heading towards Cuba: where “invention” is a way of life and solidarity is a part of survival. Four distinct Cubans reveal their society, realities and ingenuity; in an effort to learn from this Socialist revolution’s successes and failures.

Meet LEONARDO, a socially conscious urban gardener; MISLEIDIES, an unendingly positive weightlifter training for the Paralympics; ASDRUBAL, an ex-lawyer turned poet, hustler and toy boy; and CANDELARIA, an ex-revolutionary, now an 86-year-old singer; as they share their unique critiques. 60 years after the revolution and climate change on the increase, together they must face both the political and literal hurricanes heading their way..

Dear Tilly

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"Dear Tilly" is a short animal advocacy documentary framed as a letter to Carrie and Ron Shogan's adopted daughter, Tilly, a pig with a tragically short life that inspired the two to open a sanctuary where 70+ animals now reside. While Tilly may not be here to witness the lives saved by her legacy, others can. "Dear Tilly" blurs the lines between human and animal in a time where our definition of family needs to stretch far beyond our own reflection.

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DR. PENELOPE is a short movie about a graduate student struggling to finish her psychology dissertation who finds life disrupted by her mother’s feisty, psychic puppet, Dr. Penelope!

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Dreaming in Somali follows the lives of four Somali Americans in the Twin Cities – a police officer during a controversy, an imam and teacher trying to improve educational opportunities for youth, a union leader fighting for better wages and working conditions, and a women’s health organizer promoting self-care and prevention in the Somali community. By depicting Somali Americans’ challenges and triumphs, the film brings to light the complex issues New Americans across the US are facing where changing demographics often engender fear and foster misconceptions about refugees, immigrants and Muslims.

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A short dark dramedy about Amira, a closeted Arab-American Muslim woman, who brings her girlfriend home for her sister’s wedding weekend. Over the course of an evening, Amira grapples between happiness for her sister and the fear she will never live up to her family’s ideals. The act of performance - of dressing up, of hiding under a facade - in front of family is a main theme, one the audience will realize Amira never grew out of in relation to her straight, more traditional sister. Though there may be an intergenerational disconnect between Amira and her immigrant parents regarding her queer sexuality, Layla offers the open mind of a younger generation.

Fudge Queen

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A feature film about a 76 year-old retired dancer's choices after making a botched batch of holiday fudge. Fudge Queen combines documentary and narrative storytelling to take a closer look at aging, memories, and the importance of finding joy in small moments.

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Every summer, hard-working families escape their ordinary routines to live like kings in a scrappy seasonal trailer park. As market forces threaten to turn their shabby Shangri-La into a playground for the beautiful people, the denizens of Inlet View reveal the secrets to a rich life.

Home is a Hotel

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In a city with more billionaires per capita than any other in the country, five families find hope and solace in the 8x10 ft hotel rooms they call home.

Home is a Hotel

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In a city with more billionaires per capita than any other in the country, five families find hope and solace in the 8x10 ft hotel rooms they call home.

In The Dark Of The Valley

Documentary

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A Southern California mother discovers that an abandoned rocket testing facility called the Santa Susana Field Lab was the site of one of the largest nuclear accidents in United States history, and is located only 7 miles from her home. Concealed from the public eye for 20 years and never cleaned up; she grapples with the idea that the site may be responsible for exposing her daughter and the surrounding communities to cancer-causing radioactive waste. This once-timid mother puts a movement and community on her shoulders, standing up to the major corporations and government agencies responsible for the toxic site.

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JOAN is a feature length dark coming-of-age drama about Joan, a 16 year old girl living in Los Angeles. She plays piano for a music academy that serves as a front for a brothel. Her father is abusive and a drunk, and her mother, Anna, is absent from the family home, but returns throughout the film in disturbing flashbacks and hallucinations of horrific, fractured memories. 

JOAN is currently in pre-production with a goal to begin principal photography in late 2021, pending the outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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When asked to sing her favorite song, 30 year old Maya has a serious decision to make— reveal her profound love for the classic-rock band Journey or continue to deny her authentic voice just to fit in.

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Mnemosyn is a 10-minute short film about a husband desperately trying to find a cure for his wife’s locked-in syndrome while keeping her trapped in a virtual reality built from her memories.

Molka

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The online space is being used now more than ever to perpetrate sexual violence. 'MOLKA' is a crime documentary that seeks to expose how the intersection of unchecked rape culture (a culture that normalises and trivialises sexual violence) and social media technology is creating a silent epidemic in South Korea. Through the journeys of survivors and the culture-shifting work of activists in their ongoing fight for justice we seek answers to two centralised questions: how has this happened? And what will it take to bring about change?

One Last Rose

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One Last Rose is a documentary that exposes the underlying problems of nursing homes across the United States that rarely ever make it to public knowledge. Families across the nation are impacted daily by having their loved ones mistreated by these facilities. Sadly, many of these stories never get told, leaving those currently looking into nursing facilities blind before admitting their loved one.

With these stories, more families will be aware of what they can truly expect, what to be prepared for, and how to fight back without letting a loved one suffer the consequences of abuse, neglect, and sometimes even death. One Last Rose will be the lasting impact that invokes change.

Pieces of Us

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“Pieces of Us” focuses on the intimate survival stories of four very different people from across the globe touched by LGBTQ+ hate crime, whose lives all intersect due to their brave choice to take their recovery public. A date that ends in a near death choke hold, the loss of a child to suicide after schoolyard bullying, a brutal subway platform attack on their 10th anniversary, death threats from your country while disowned by your royal parents. These stories are Pieces of Us. The film culminates at World Pride, New York City in June 2019, where all four march to commemorate the 50 years since the Stonewall uprising. Tragedy brought them together. Love healed them.

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Three interconnected human destinies intertwine in search of their identity. A young man living in France, is determined to travel to Armenia to find out all the truth about his Armenian roots and his father who was killed in the war which broke out in the 1990s. A young Frenchwoman is determined to search for her Canadian roots reuniting her with her father, a volcanologist living in Iceland, who she has not met for more than twenty years after her parents’ divorce. A well-known French middle-aged professor, a descendant of a Holocaust survivor, is determined to return to Israel, to his abandoned Jewish roots in search of the meaning of life. They have to go through numerous hardships.

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A melancholic tragedy on the near future sea.

Sealand is a haunting poetic meditation that follows a young marine scientist. Living in a house on the ocean - a re-imagining of the Principality of Sealand - she tries to stave off a dying sea as her reality gradually washes away.

Suttee- A good woman

Documentary

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Decrypting women’s status transformation from ‘Sati’ to ‘Suttee’; seeking answers to my identity conflict as a married, Marwari woman filmmaker reproaching my family’s expectation.

/Sati/- Historical custom in India where a Hindu woman sacrificed herself atop the funeral pyre of her husband, considered as a chaste wife.
/Suttee/- A good woman

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A lonely boy encounters a jackalope at his birthday party in 1952. Following this curious incident, Everett becomes obsessed with catching the uncatchable horned rabbit.

The Job of Songs

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In Doolin, an isolated village teetering on the western edge of Ireland, a community of musicians seeks refuge from a long history of loneliness by turning to the tunes of their ancestors.

 

 

 

 

Spring Grant 2020 Hot Films in the Making

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#CANCELLED: When "High School Musical" gets particularly heinous.

#CANCELLED is a new pilot where a comeback-seeking-ex-child-star-turned-rapper, her mogul mega millionaire manager, and their social media scheming assistant become the stars of a murderous scandal of their own.

#CANCELLED is adapted from the eponymous 2019 Encore Award Winning Play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Originally set to film in the spring of 2020, production for #CANCELLED will resume this fall, once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. #CANCELLED features original pop and rap tunes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsCsHTFEnLM ), fresh talent, and unfiltered fun. Inquiries: cancelledthepilot@gmail.com

Another Time, Another Place

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As he experiences inexplicable, darkly realistic dreams and visions, truths of past and present collide in the life of a young member of a fictional administration headed by a President with autocratic inclinations. “Another Time, Another Place” is a thoroughly engaging story that dares to explore parallels of the current U.S. political climate to that of pre-war Germany. The story transcends time and place and concludes with a thought-provoking and provocative twist.

Army of Love/Prophets of Change

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Can music overcome borders and walls and bring Palestinian and Israelis together? Army of Love tracks musicians both Israeli and Palestinians through their unique journeys with the intent to inspire change.

There is an astounding grassroots network of artists and musicians, Palestinians and Israelis, Jewish and Muslim, straight and gay who constantly call for change and embody a clear message: we wait for no one, we are the change we want to see, and we believe that music is the way!

Baltic Truth

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Baltic Truth is the deeply personal and intensely moving story of one man's fight to reclaim his birthright, and expose the horrific details of Latvian involvement in the murders of his family and neighbors during the Holocaust. It is a story with deep implications for the present and future, and when society allows the truth of history to be swept aside and responsibility is denied, justice must have a voice. The film will reveal the little known truth about the collaboration with the Nazi regime in the Baltic States; how neighbor turned on neighbor without hesitation, prompting a massacre of unbelievable proportions; how it has all been kept under wraps throughout the last century.

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A six-year-old indigenous girl (Amaya Juan) discovers a Hispanic migrant her age who has lost her father while traveling through the Tohono O’odham tribal lands into the United States.

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In this fable, twin siblings unlock a potent secret about Water’s mystical powers and use it to try to save their mother’s life and their kingdom.

Future Cosmos Flow is the second film in a water conscious film trilogy, Crystals of Transformation, about the power of water to transform, heal and renew our lives. These films feature Fuchsia Lin’s elaborate and sustainably built costumes worn by performers and set in motion through dance.

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From the time we are young, girls are pressured into a set belief of beauty standards. Hair is certainly high on the list and is often labeled as our "crown and glory." Where does this notion fit for females with alopecia (the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows)?

"I Am More Than My Hair", is a documentary film that includes stories of females who've experienced hair loss due to a health-related condition and how they empower themselves to see beauty beyond the media's standards.

Infamous Characters, Notorious Villains

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Log Line: One Big Happy Family, Roots and All

After her grandmother is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, historian Heather Andolina begins to uncover her unique genetic past and finds that she is the decedent of a mysterious group of people known as Melungeons, who were a mixed ethnic group of people who settled in Appalachia. Andolina travels all over the east coast in search for answers and discovers the haunting history of the Melungeon people, filled with their own folklore, heritage and heartbreaking tales of discrimination.

The Melungeon people‘s history shaped an entire culture, and showcases the disturbing account of the strange and unforgiving history of race in America.

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Trapped in a high cost, low wage nation, several Americans seek to survive—and thrive—on wheels. A 60-year-old woman desperate to escape a toxic marriage moves into a minivan, and sets out on a quest for belonging. A young girl comes of age in an RV after her parents sell their suburban home and embrace “roadschooling.” A self-made YouTube star saves others from homelessness—one van at a time. As each of these characters embarks on an unforgettable road trip across a strange new America, hopes and expectations confront hard realities. They seek true freedom, but at what cost? How will this radical experiment change them? How will their journeys change the way we see America?

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Without a defined legal path to citizenship, many migrators live every day in fear of deportation and separation from their families. At risk to lose it all, Out of the Shadows tells the story of two undocumented immigrants whose stories, like many others, have been lost in mainstream media. A brother and sister who are undocumented immigrants from Guatemala living in the United States. Their journey is admirable and heart wrenching as Yessica and Antonio describe their month-long border crossing experience.

ROCKY FLATS

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You buy a home only to realize you are sharing your backyard with a nuclear superfund site. ROCKY FLATS is a feature documentary that tells an under-the-radar but urgent environmental story about nuclear waste left in the American landscape by the Cold War’s nuclear weapons production. Throughout the country, former nuclear weapons plants have been remediated or left to crumble, and in some cases are still in operation, posing significant threats to surrounding communities and its residents.

Roots/Raizes

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A Question of Belonging. Roots/Raízes is the story of an artist and a filmmaker, a New Zealander and a Brazilian, two people shaped by different cultural and social mores, which threaten to destabilize their capacity to live as man and wife. While Bruce documents life in Fabia’s village in northeast Brazil, Fabia, through Bruce’s photography, comes to see her own culture for the first time with fresh eyes; to see the beauty, simplicity and modesty of the people she grew up with, and their (threatened) traditions as part of an ancient and inherently sustainable way of living. The film takes place over five years as Fabia turns her camera on Bruce and they negotiate work, love and belonging.

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At the beginning of the 19th century, Germans from Europe and Germany moved to Azerbaijan. Their role in the history of Azerbaijan was outstanding. For example, while people were lighting a candle in Tsardom of Russia, Azerbaijanis were using electric lamps owing to Germans. Furthermore, they brought the first railway, asphalt, and telegraph to Azerbaijan as well. But during World War II 22841 Germans were exiled to Kazakhstan and Siberia. One of these families was the Shollers. Sholler gave his granddaughter who was 6 months old to an Azerbaijani family due to the harshness of conditions of exile. We-SSP Production has shot a feature movie about this girl’s life and German’s culture.

Tablescape!

Documentary

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At the Los Angeles County Fair, setting a table is more than a domestic affair. It’s a knife fight.

Tablescaping is defined as the “art of setting a table,” but at the L.A. County Fair, it’s much more than that. More performance art than culinary art, the tables are elaborate displays of home-ec fantasy.

Tablescape! delves into this unique world that brings together ladies from the Inland Empire and gay men from Palm Springs. It’s a colorful, visual comedy with heart.

The Battle of Henry Johnson

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In May 1918, in the Argonne forest, France, Henry Johnson, an American soldier of the 369th black infantry division, changed the outcome of the war. With the help of his fellow soldier Needham Roberts, Johnson fought and defeated a raid of thirty elite German special forces. If the 369th, also known as the Harlem Hell fighters, did not help the French fill the gaps in their line, the entire French army and maybe all of Europe could have fallen. That night has been immortalized historically as “The Battle of Henry Johnson” and the significance of this event needs to be told and be told as accurately as possible. This film will not only be action packed but do right by these brave men.

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When a Hawaiian poet living on the street to protect his addict daughter comes to the aid of a socialite overcome by loss, the course of many lives are changed as they experience newfound purpose redefining what it means to be family.

We Remember: Songs of Survivors

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"We Remember: Songs of Survivors" celebrates the lives of five Holocaust survivors as they partner with professional songwriters to craft songs to help them shed light on their experiences, turning them into uplifting songs of healing, resilience and pride. The survivors then join their songwriters as they perform their final creation in a rare and highly emotional live concert attended by family, friends and the community. Our crews document the entire process from their first meet-ups, through months of intimate and difficult soul-searching sessions, as together they create a very powerful and personal song. The process was life-changing for all involved.

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In the 1980s and ‘90s, amidst rampant fear and confusion, women took a risky stand to fight against the stigma and discrimination experienced by people caught in the AIDS epidemic while giving care and dignity to those who were dying. The pragmatic nurse, the fierce lawyer, the open-hearted therapist – these are simple words that describe the three women in this documentary short, but there is nothing simple about their stories. When the AIDS epidemic came to Boston, these women found their way to the front lines of the crisis. Through the sadness and desperation of those dark times, they found meaningful moments of resiliency and have messages for us all that flow from their experiences.