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Sundance Institute Announces Grant Recipients

Sundance Institute Announces Grant Recipients

Sundance Institute and Skoll Foundation have announced the final five grant recipients of the Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary initiative, a three-year partnership designed to enable the creation of new, feature-length independent documentary films that frame, examine and amplify social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to meeting the central challenges facing the world today.

An advisory committee, including CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour, documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki and Skoll Foundation senior advancement officer Sandy Herz, participated in the selection process. 10 films have been chosen, with the first films likely to be completed as early as 2010. “It is truly extraordinary to be able to provide funding for these important projects in this difficult economic climate,” said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program. “In their optimism, integrity and intelligence, the films that are launching today reflect the deep challenges we face as a global community, tempered with the ingenuity and commitment to effective, transformative change that social entrepreneurs exemplify.”

The five new projects are:

Director: Jonathan Stack
Social Entrepreneur: Aloy Chife
Nigerian entrepreneur Aloy Chife is making an unrelenting effort to shrink Africa’s digital divide by bringing information technology to those who need it most.

“Easy Like Water”
Director: Glenn Baker
Social Entrepreneur: Abul Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan
In Bangladesh, Architect Abul Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan’s solar-powered floating schools are turning the front lines of climate change into a community of learning.

“To Catch A Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America” (Working Title)
Director: Gayle Ferraro
Social Entrepreneur: Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus, known for developing the concept of microcredit, reached seven and a half million poverty-stricken families in Bangladesh with his Grameen Bank. This film profiles the Nobel Prize winner’s newest location in Queens, New York, and 500 women borrowers.

Directors: Annika Gustafson and Phil Jandaly
Social Entrepreneurs: Various
A documentary that shows viewers how to save the planet, save money while they do it, and have a laugh or two in the meantime.

“The Revolutionary Optimists”
Directors: Maren Grainger-Monsen, Nicole Newnham
Social Entrepreneur: Amlan Ganguly
In the slums of Calcutta, Ganguly, a lawyer turned social entrepreneur, empowers children to become “health minders” in their communities, which causes malaria and diarrhea rates to drop, and neighborhoods to transform.

For more information on Sundance Institute at the Skoll World Forum visit www.sundance.org/DocSource.

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