By Austin Dale | Indiewire May 3, 2012 at 3:50PM
The LEF Foundation today announced nine grants totaling $165,000 awarded to indie documentary films by New England filmmakers. Frederick Wiseman's upcoming "National Gallery" is one of the films currently in production which will receive $15,000.
The LEF Foundation is a group supporting the creation and presentation of contemporary work in the fields of visual art, performing art, new media, literary art, architecture and design.
The awarded films are:
Ben Avishai & Ken Winikur - J Street ($15,000) J Street follows a progressive American-Jewish lobby group as it takes on the entrenched establishment, its founders struggling to build a movement while maintaining their ideals.
Chris Boebel & Christine Walley - Exit Zero ($15,000) In a narrative about the filmmakers’ family, Exit Zero offers an unusually intimate look at the lasting effects of deindustrialization in the United States and the ways that Americans talk – and fail to talk – about social class.
Audrey Kali & David Tamés - Abattoir Rising ($15,000) Former vegan Audrey Kali struggles with questions about the consumption and humane slaughter of locally raised animals.
Ed Pincus & Lucia Small - Elephant in the Room ($15,000) Two filmmakers of different generations film each others' lives to explore friendship, legacy and living with terminal illness.
Nicky Tavares - Son of a Bug ($15,000) Through the stories of members of Pakistan’s first rock n’ roll band, The Bugs, and their children, this documentary explores issues of religious and hyphenated identities, transnationalism, memory and oral history
Frederick Wiseman - National Gallery ($15,000) By exploring the day to day operations of the National Gallery of London, this film reveals the role of the curators and conservators; the education, scientific, and conservation departments; and the experiences of the Gallery’s visitors.
Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel - Leviathan ($25,000) A Moby Dick for the present, Leviathan seeks to capture how human, animal, and machine, and life and death, merge in uncanny ways in the world of contemporary commercial fishing.
David Redmon & Ashley Sabin - Downeast ($25,000) This complex and sympathetic portrait of America’s economic crisis delves into the difficulties entrepreneur Antonio Bussone encounters in trying to retain employees and keep his new lobster processing factory afloat in Downeast Maine.
Raouf Zaki - Desert Stars ($25,000) Desert Stars follows the journey of Father Nofr, a Christian hermit living in the desert, as he’s driven to confront the world again in the midst of the bloody Egyptian revolution in order to save his monastery.