By Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire June 11, 2012 at 2:24PM
The Tribeca Film Institute has chosen the eight recipients of the combined $150,000 in grant money awarded by the annual Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund for 2012. The awards are given to feature documentary projects that highlight issues of social importance around the world and include finishing funds and other support.
Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman “E-Team”; Roger Ross Williams’ “God Loves Uganda”; Rachel Anderson’s “First to Fall”; Katrine W. Kjaer’s “Mercy Mercy”; and Hemal Trivedi’s “Two Children of the Red Mosque” will split $100,000. Alex Meillier’s “Alias Ruby Blade”; Berit Madsen’s “Stargazing”; and Joanna Lipper’s “The Supreme Price” will share $50,000 in funding from the Spotlighting Women Documentary Award presented by the PPR Corporate Foundation for Women’s Dignity & Rights.
Marshall Curry, Jesse Dylan, James Franco, Barbara Kopple, Andrea Meditch and Robin Wright served on the jury that selected the finalists from nearly 700 submissions. The fund is now in its fifth year.
“Over the past four years, alumni projects of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund have gone on not only to receive artistic and critical recognition from around the world, but also to inspire and impact change through the social justice issues within the stories they are telling,” said Ryan Harrington, director of documentary programming at the Tribeca Film Institute. “We are proud of their success and look forward to helping this year’s filmmakers finish and bring awareness to their films.”
Here is the full list of projects selected:
“E-Team,” Directed by Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman, produced by Chevigny, Kauffman & Marilyn Ness —“E-Team” follows the intense and courageous work of three intrepid human rights workers on the frontlines of identifying international human rights abuses. Dramatic and crucial, Human Rights Watch’s Emergency Team work is custom-made for a compelling documentary film with a global perspective.
“God Loves Uganda,” Directed and produced by Roger Ross Williams,produced by Julie Goldman — “God Loves Uganda” is a journey into the heart of East Africa, where Ugandan pastors and their American counterparts spread God’s word and evangelical values to millions desperate for a better life. Inspired by his own roots in the African American Baptist church, director Roger Ross Williams seeks to explore a place where religion and African culture intersect.
“First to Fall,” Directed by Rachel Anderson, produced by Tony Gerber, executive produced by Mike Lerner — “First to Fall” follows a group of young civilian expatriate ‘rebels’ on their 8-month journey to liberate their home country. They give up comfortable, stable lives in order to take up arms against a corrupt regime and risk their lives in a brutal, chaotic war.
“Mercy Mercy,” Directed by Katrine W Kjær, produced by Miriam Nørgaard, Sara Stockmann & Vibeke Windeløv —International adoption seems like the perfect solution to a heartbreaking imbalance: Poor countries have babies in need of homes, and rich countries have homes in need of babies. Unfortunately, a lot of the orphans are not orphans at all.
“Two Children of the Red Mosque,” Directed and produced by Hemal Trivedi, co-directed by Mohammad Naqvi, produced by Whitney Dow and Jonathan Goodman Levitt — After attending Pakistan’s most notorious madrassah, 12-year-olds Zarina and Talha pursue different dreams. Zarina attends school while trying to avoid marriage; Talha remains a madrassah student preparing for Jihad. Their stories personalize Pakistanis’ ideological war.
“Alias Ruby Blade,” Directed by Alexander Meillier, produced by Tanya Ager Meillier — One courageous woman risks everything for the love of the imprisoned leader of a nation struggling for freedom. Together they nurture the tumultuous birth of the world’s newest nation – Timor-Leste.
“Stargazing” (working title), Directed by Berit Madsen, produced by Henrik Underbjerg & Stefan Frost —A young Arabian girl wants to become an astronaut. But at her age the nightly stargazing excursions in the desert are a thorn in the side of family and traditions.
“The Supreme Price,” Directed and produced by Joanna Lipper — “The Supreme Price” tells the story of Hafsat Abiola. Following the annulment of her father’s victory in Nigeria’s Presidential Election and her mother’s assassination by the military dictatorship, Hafsat faces the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women.