14 Docs to Receive Grants from Sundance Institute
by Ali Gitlow
Twice a year, the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund awards
grants to U.S. and international films which showcase many types of social
and political awareness. The 14 recipients are chosen by a committee of
industry professionals and human rights specialists.
The Work-in-Progress category is comprised of films currently in
production or post-production. One of these films is Alison Maclean's
"Persons of Interest" (US), which tells of innocent people who were
victims of the post-September 11th domestic war on terrorism. A French grant
winner, Gilles de Maistre's "Europe, the Citadel" shows the harsh
lives of African exiles trying to get to Europe. Other recipients in this
category are Daniel Alpert's "A Doula Story" (US), Jason Kohn's
"Manda Bala" (Send a Bullet) (US), Ellen Perry's "Fall of
Fujimori" (US), and Peter Raymont's "The World Stopped Watching"
Development grants are given to films still being researched or in
pre-production. The Mexican film "Tale of Two Brothers," by
Mercedes Moncada, tells the story of brothers trying to reconcile
years after fighting on opposite sides of the Contra war. Jon Else's
"Wonders Are Many" (US) chronicles the making of Doctor Atomic, an opera
about Robert J. Oppenheimer by Peter Sellars and John Adams.
Other recipients in this category are Rebecca Cammisa's "Which Way
Home" (US), Phil Grabsky's "The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of
Bamiyan" (England), Cristina Ibarra and John Valadez's "The
Last Conquistador" (US), and Jonathan Stack's "In Pursuit of
A couple of films receive supplemental grants having already been given
Development grants. Mark Becker's "Romantico" (US) is about two
Mexican immigrant musicians who play music for pocket change to send home to
their families. "Shakespeare Behind Bars" (US) by Hank
Rogerson tells the story of Kentucky prison inmates putting on The
Tempest in their all-male Shakespeare acting company.
The Fund was created in 2002 (in 1996 it was established as the Soros
Documentary Fund), and is financed by a $4.6 million grant from the
Open Society Institute in New York. "Daughter from Danang" and
"Long Night's Journey into Day" were both supported by the fund and
received Sundance Documentary Grand Jury Prizes in 2002 and 2000
respectively, and were both nominated for Academy Awards.
Finally, on the narrative front, on Monday, October 27 at 8:00 p.m.,
David Kaplan's screenplay "Year of the Fish" will be read at
the Playwrights Horizons Studio Theater in New York. Kaplan is an
alumnus of Sundance's Feature Film Program. The reading is part of the
Screenplay Reading Series, which has included films such as "Smoke
Signals" and "Love and Basketball."
[ For more information, please visit: target="outside">http://www.sundance.org. ]