IFP/New York Names Five for $50K Doc Development Grants
by Brian Brooks
IFP/New York has named five documentary projects in development to receive $50,000 in grants through its newly re-launched Anthony Radziwell Documentary Fund. The grants are earmarked for U.S.-based producers and directors to provide "seed money" to new non-fiction work at the earliest stages of development, commonly a challenging time in the funding process.
The five projects, each receiving the $10,000 grants, are: Oriana Zill and Marco Williams' "BANISHED: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America," which investigates a series of 'racial cleansings' in the U.S. between the Civil War and the Depression; Marlo Poras' "Gambian Marriage," which peeks into the lives of older Western women who go to one of Africa's poorest countries, Gambia, and begin relationships with young men; Judith Helfand's "HEAT WAVE: An Unnatural Disaster," based on the book by Eric Klineneberg, about the disastrous July 1995 heat wave that killed hundreds in Chicago; Diane Bernard's "The Lord of Light," following the true story of a man's Hollywood dream to make a science fiction film along with the world's first science fiction theme park; and Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern's "The Trials of Darryl Hunt," detailing the tribulations of Darryl Hunt who was charged at 19 with the brutal rape and murder of a young white journalist, which divided Winston-Salem, North Carolina along racial lines.
"We hope that by putting funding directly into projects at the proposal stage, it will encourage other funders with deeper pockets to step up and support these projects so that they can go into active production," commented IFP/New York executive director Michelle Byrd in a statement.
The grant cycle generated 602 proposals from filmmakers in 45 states and the District of Columbia. The program is named in memory of Emmy Award-winning documentary producer Anthony Radziwill.
IFP/New York awards up to ten development grants annually over a six-month cycle and seeks applicants from across the U.S. The deadline for the next cycle is September 1st for grants to be awarded in early 2005.
[ Guidelines and online applications are available at the IFP website. ]