The Women In Film Foundation’s Film Finishing Fund (WIFF FFF) announce the recipients of their 27th annual grant program, which provides cash and in-kind services to ten chosen winners, among them seven documentaries, two features and one short film. The winners and their projects are listed below. Support for the fund is provided by Netflix.
WIFF also announces the addition of thirteen new members to its Board of Trustees. They are listed below, and will serve 3-year terms effective September 1.
The 2012 WIFF Film Finishing Fund Winners – Narrative Feature Films
JOSH (AGAINST THE GRAIN) – Iram Parveen Bilal – Writer/Director, Los Angeles, CA
Fatima’s nanny is killed by a feudal Pakistani landlord when she tries to start a self-sustaining food market in her village. The townspeople urge Fatima not to get involved. But the young woman is determined to make it a reality, and in the process, she inspires the villagers to rise up and challenge the landlord’s tyranny.
YEMA – Antonin Dedet – Producer, Marseillies, France
When one of Ouardia’s two sons is killed, she fears the worst – that he was killed by his own brother, chief of an Islamist group. Despondent, Ouardia faces the challenge of trying to rediscover her “taste for life”.
The 2012 WIFF Film Finishing Fund Winners – Documentary Feature Films
BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ – Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater – Directors, Bala Cynwyd, PA
The life of and work of Philadelphia’s 77-year-old poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez – poet, playwright, teacher, activist – who raised her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, and women’s liberation, since she emerged in the 1960’s as a seminal figure in the Black Arts Movement. BADDDDD SONIA SANCHEZ also received funding from the Sundance Institute’s 2012 Documentary Film Program.
AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS – Grace Lee – Writer/Director, Los Angeles, CA
Grace Lee Boggs is a Chinese American philosopher, grassroots activist, writer and filmmaker who has devoted her life to social justice. In American Revolutionary, Boggs challenges a new generation of leaders to rethink what it means to be an American, and offers a voice of hope and a program of action for transforming her city of Detroit, the United States, and the world.
UCLA alumna Grace Lee (no relation) got to know the activist during the production her 2005 award-winner “The Grace Lee Project,” about the surprising prevalence in America of Asian women who shared her name. Lee directed the horror/satire American Zombies and was named one of the 25 Filmmakers To Watch by Filmmaker Magazine in 2002. Lee’s current film, the political satire Janeane from Des Moines, screened in the Official Selection at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and is opening in U.S. theatres in October.
OUT IN THE NIGHT – Blair Doroshwalther – Writer/Director, Brooklyn, NY
This is a character-driven, true story about four young African-American lesbians, who were sentenced to prison for defending themselves against a man who sexually threatened them in the gay-friendly community of Greenwich Village in New York City. The film examines how racial bias, gender and class prejudice conspired against them on the street and in the courtroom. Out in the Night has also received funding from the 2012 Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
GOOD OL’ FREDA – Kathy McCabe – Producer, Los Angeles, CA
Freda Kelly, the Beatles’ trusted secretary and friend throughout their rise to fame, tells her inside story for the first time. Good Ol’ Freda was selected for participation in the Independent Film Project’s ‘Spotlight on Documentaries’ in New York City in September 2012.
HAVA NAGILA – Roberta Grossman – Director/Producer, Los Angeles, CA
A romp through the history, mystery, and meaning of the great Jewish standard. The film had its World Premiere at the 2012 Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco. Grossman is an accomplished tv documentarian, who was a Film Finishing Fund winner in 2008 for the critically-acclaimed Blessed Is The Match. Hava Nagila is also produced by Marta Kauffman, creator of the Emmy® award-winning “Friends”.
MISS WORLD – Cecilia Peck – Director/Producer, Santa Monica, Ca
Actress (Wall Street, Killing Zoe) and producer (Shut Up & Sing) Cecilia Peck (daughter of the late actor Gregory Peck) follows the decision and actions of Israeli model and actress and former Miss World Linor Abargil, who went public 10 years after she had been raped. Arbargil engages in a campaign to raise awareness and assist survivors of rape in the pursuit of justice and in their recovery process.
REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG – Nancy Kates – Producer/Director, Berkeley, CA
An exploration of the complex moral and political threads running through the life and work of Susan Sontag, the late critic, activist, and novelist, including the contradictions of her public and private lives and numerous contributions to the culture. Kates co-produced and directed 2003 Sundance Film Festival World Premiere Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin with New York filmmaker Bennett Singer.
The 2012 WIFF Film Finishing Fund Winners – Narrative Short Films
THE ETYMOLOGY OF ZERO – Katie May – Writer/Producer, Liz Anderson -Rapunzel/Producer, San Francisco, CA
An animated short of the Rapunzel fairy tale, featuring Rapunzel as a brainy math-loving girl with the “super power’ to control the rate of growth of her hair. To avoid marrying the prince, who is climbing her long hair up the tower wall, she decides to grow it at the exact rate the prince climbs. She stays happily working in the tower and goes on to make great discoveries.
The Women In Film Foundation, the philanthropic and educational branch of leading global non-profit organization Women In Film adds 13 new members to its Board of Trustees:
Clare Baren – Music video director and DVD original content producer
Hillary Bibicoff – Partner, Greenberg Glusker
Ivy Kagan Bierman – Partner, Loeb & Loeb, LLP
Cindy Bond – President, Mission Pictures International
Lisa Gewirtz – singer/songwriter; Director of Sales and Marketing, Entertainment Partners
Kathy Fields Lander – MA/MFT; Founder, In Your Dreams Productions
Concepcion Lara – President, Lara MultiMedia, Latino Media Pioneer and Specialist
Lillah McCarthy – Senior Vice President, Original Programming, TNT and TBS
Robert Nieto – President, Greenhouse Marketing Group
Ellen Olivier – Founder/Editor, SocietyNewsLA.com
Betsy Pollock – Award-winning Producer; Associate Dean, American Film Institute
Tamara Rawitt – Emmy®-Award winning Co-Creator and Producer of “In Living Color”
Diane Tauder – Vice President, Post Production, Warner Bros.