Project of the Year

[Editors Note: Project of the Day is presented in partnership with Blackmagic Design, one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology.]

Every Monday through Thursday here on Indiewire, we select a Project of the Day. Some days, it's a feature-length documentary, other times it's an experimental short or a web series pilot. This year, we even featured a few transmedia projects. 

Now, after all of those worthy endeavors have been narrowed down from numbering in the hundreds to just twelve, the opportunity to participate in the crowning of the 2015 crowd favorite is here.

Below, you'll find the twelve winners from Indiewire's Project of the Month contest for the 2015 calendar year. 

Amy Jo Johnson's "The Space Between" took home the prize for 2014. You can stream "Know How" (which won alongside "Sleepwalkers" at the close of 2013) right now from the comfort of your own home. And the 2012 winner, "Dear White People," went on to become a Sundance hit and Indie Spirit nominee.

As with last year's contest, the audience-selected project will be given a spot at Tribeca Film Institute's Filmmaker and Industry Meetings at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. The 2015 Project of the Year winner will also receive a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4k (further details on this digital camera can be found here).

With both physical and invaluable resources on the line, now it's your turn to help decide this year's winner. 

The ballot is at the bottom of this post.

Here are the nominees (with descriptions courtesy of the filmmakers):

January - Big Sonia - A feature documentary about 89-year old, 4'8" Sonia Warshawski — Diva, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor living in suburban Kansas City. She still drives herself to work every day at her late husband's tailor shop — John's Tailoring — in the corner of a giant dead mall. Sonia can barely see over the steering wheel of her giant pink Buick, but customers come from far and wide just to be in her presence. And she just so happens to be my grandmother.

February - Swim Team - "Swim Team" chronicles the overwhelming struggles and extraordinary triumphs of three young competitive swimmers with autism and their swim team that brings hope to a community. It's a film about how sports transcends disability and not giving up on your kid.

March - Almost Adults - Two best friends, Cassie and Mackenzie, are in their final year of college. Cassie (a straight girl) and Mackenzie (a giant lesbian) have found themselves heading in different directions, like emotionally. Cassie is struggling with her career path, while Mackenzie is struggling with her sexuality. It's a (platonic) love story about two best friends. Think "Thelma and Louise" without all of the killing and cliff jumping.

April - The Devil on Wheels - "Duel" fans from all over the world regularly visit the film locations in the desert next to Los Angeles. They can quote every line of dialogue. Forty-odd years later, Steven Spielberg’s first known work has become an iconic piece of filmmaking and its influence is still fresh to this day. How come this tiny film, made cheaply and quickly for TV, has generated such a passionate, international and undying cult? "The Devil On Wheels" will look deep into the "Duel" phenomenon and in doing so, it will explore the power and fascination of films on people.

May - To the Edge of the Sky - A documentary about parents fighting to stop Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy before it kills their sons. New drugs are on the horizon to treat this deadly disease, but they are stalled at the FDA. With access to the families, legislators, and FDA, we present the daily strategizing required to get the government and public to pay attention to Duchenne. We depict the tireless battles that parents fight to protect their kids. These parents will do anything to save their sons. They'll go to the ends of the earth, to the edge of the sky.

June - High Cotton - Revenge is not always sweet. "High Cotton" is a Southern Gothic in the vein of "Mud" or "Undertow." The film centers on two unlikely friends: Les, a southern misfit man-child, and Bulldog, a transplant from England. Their lives are forever changed by the news of a dead woman. The ensuing tragedy that follows forces Les to question his allegiance to his stubborn mate and mentor Bulldog. 

July - The Interpreter - "The Interpreter" follows Farooq Haqmali, an Afghan interpreter who is promised a visa by the U.S. Government after the Taliban threatens to kill him for assisting the U.S. Army with its operations in the country. The clock is ticking for Farooq and his family. They will die at the hands of the Taliban if they don't make it out of Afghanistan before the departure of the U.S. Army platoon that Farooq once lent his skills to. When Farooq decides to take matters into his own hands, the platoon's leader, Lt. Spade tries to help. But will it be too late?

August - Delinquent - Joey, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks looks up to his father, Rich, and his father's crew. They pull small-time, bullshit robberies around their rural town. When one of Rich's crew gets injured, Joey becomes their de facto look out for the night. The robbery goes wrong and the owner of the shop is killed. The town being as small as it is the owner is Joey's childhood best friend's father. Joey is caught between the disintegrating crew, the impending polices, his responsibilities to his younger siblings, his conscious and a renewed interest in his former friend.

September - The Ability Exchange - A documentary film about an innovative Disability Studies course at NYU Polytechnic where engineering students and adults with cerebral palsy team up to make movies. This observational film illustrates the trajectory of personal growth and bonding that these first time filmmakers experience during a journey in which the line between ability and disability gets blurred and definitions of "normalcy" and "inspiration" are challenged. It invites the viewer to reflect on what it takes to understand and appreciate a person, a community, and a culture, and how this exchange of abilities and perspectives empowers lives.

October - As Far As The Eye Can See - In the land of Van Cliburn, where classical piano holds pride of place, Jack Ridge is a former prodigy who has withdrawn to his family's North Texas farmland. His wife has left him, and the week of the county piano competition he puts his fist through a wall, threatening to derail his performance and disappoint his entire home town. When the local corporate farm ratchets up the pressure on him to sell his land, his only allies are Phillip, the cantankerous, elderly owner of the local Mexican restaurant and Alyssa, a teenage spitfire with dreams of being a farmer.

November - The S Word - Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America. Every 13 minutes someone dies by suicide in this country. The amazing thing is that suicide is preventable. But, it is topic that has long been silenced and buried with the lives it’s claimed. Our documentary will shine a light on this topic and open the the much needed national conversation. "The S Word" is a film about humanity — people giving voice to their struggles in the hope that those intimate stories will help prevent further suicides. Amidst all the pain, these stories are really about life.

December - Endo What? - "Endo What" explores one of the world's most misunderstood diseases: endometriosis. It affects 1 in 10 women or 176 million worldwide, yet most people have never heard of it. Patients see an average of 8 doctors for 10 years before being diagnosed. In that time, many are forced to abandon dreams of having children, to leave careers they love, to watch personal relationships suffer & to live in unspeakable pain. Because of societal taboos & misinformation, many doctors & even those closest to them tell them the pain is normal or in their heads.

Vote below - polls will close this Friday, January 15th at 5 PM EST.

Note: Votes are confirmed by email. Indiewire nor PollDaddy will use your email address after the confirmation, but if you do want to sign up for our newsletter, that can easily be done here!

Want your early shot at the 2016 Project of the Year? Submit to Project of the Day here!


Project of the Month: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire's Project of the Month winners (November, December, January) with one (1) Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 12 License each. DaVinci Resolve 12 combines professional non-linear video editing with the world’s most advanced color corrector so now you can edit, color correct, finish and deliver all from one system. 

Project of the Year: Blackmagic Design will award Indiewire's Project of the Year winner (announced in January) with one (1) Blackmagic URSA Mini 4k, the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. 

For more information about Blackmagic please visit their website right here.