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IDA Grants $75,000 of Pare Lorentz Doc Fund to 4 Docs

IDA Grants $75,000 of Pare Lorentz Doc Fund to 4 Docs

The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced the four feature-length documentary films selected to receive a total of $75,000 from the newly established Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund. The Fund was created with support from The New York Community Trust to illuminate pressing issues in the United States and to honor the legacy of the landmark documentary filmmaker Pare Lorentz.

IDA received grant applications from 165 filmmakers from across the U.S. and around the world, and submissions were judged on their objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, and high production values, as well as the reflection of the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz’s work.

“The International Documentary Association recognizes the growing importance of documentary filmmaking to cultures and societies, and the increasing financial needs of those who create this art form,” said Michael Lumpkin, IDA’s Executive Director. “With the support of The New York Community Trust and the Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz Fund, IDA is able to further its support of the documentary filmmaking community.”

The four productions receiving grants will shed light on a variety of critical issues including the coerced sterilization of Mexican-origin women during the 1960s and 70s, the future of America’s middle class, the country’s failings in the war on poverty and the healing of our nation’s racial divide.

Productions receiving Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund grants:

¿Más Bebés? ($20,000)
Renee Tajima-Peña, Producer/Director
Renee Tajima-Peña, Producer/Director
¿MásBebés? poses a provocative question: Was the maternity ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center a border checkpoint for unborn babies? The feature documentary uncovers the untold history of Mexican-origin women who allege they were coercively sterilized at the hospital during the1960s and 70s.

As Goes Janesville ($20,000)
Brad Lichtenstein, Producer/Director
First GM closes. Then related business shut down. Next, the Governor of Wisconsin tries to kill unions. What is the future for America’s middle class? As Goes Janesville has the answers, and they’re not so good.

Rise and Fall of ACORN: America’s Most Controversial Anti-poverty Organization ($20,000)
Sam Pollard, Producer/Director
At the height of its power, ACORN, an organization devoted to fighting poverty in the United States, is destroyed. In a story stranger than fiction involving embezzlement, a fake pimp, and a right wing conspiracy plot, Rise and Fall of ACORN examines how our nation’s war against poverty is really fought.

American Village ($15,000)
Mary Posatko, Co-Director/Co-Producer, Emily Topper, Co-Director/Co-Producer
Almost forty years after their father is shot by three black teenagers in Baltimore, a white family of thirteen looks for the murderers. The search forces a confrontation between America’s white middle class and black urban “underclass,” but they discover a shared desire to heal. Filmed by the victim’s granddaughter.

Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Finalists include:

American Arab – Usama Alshaibi , Director/Producer
Best Kept Secret – Samantha Buck, Director and Danielle DiGiacomo, Producer
Broken Heart Land – Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg – Directors/Producers
Can’t Stop the Water – Rebecca Ferris, Director
Charge – Mike Plunkett , Director and Anna Farrell, Producer
El Sistema USA – Anthony Drazan, Director and Jaimie Bernstein & Elizabeth Kling, Producers
Gabe Tomorrow – Francine Cavanaugh & Adams Wood, Directors/Producers
Gideon’s Army – Dawn Porter, Director and Julie Goldman, Producer
Green Shall Overcome – Megan Gelstein, Director/Producer
Jessica Gonzales vs. the United States of America – Katia Maguire & April Hayes, Directors/Producers
Seed – Sandy McLeod, Director
Untitled Kivalina Documentary – Jenni Monet, Director/Producer

The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund is a program of IDA’s Filmmaker Support Services, which provides fiscal sponsorship support to over 300 documentary film productions. Proposals for the Fund are accepted annually in April. for more information.

About the International Documentary Association
Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports documentary filmmaking worldwide. At IDA, we believe that the power and artistry of the documentary art form are vital to cultures and societies globally, and we exist to serve the needs of those who create this art form. IDA is the portal into the world of documentary filmmaking. We provide up-to-date news, information and community through our website,, our various special events, and our quarterly publication, Documentary Magazine. Our main program areas are Advocacy, Filmmaker Services, Education and Public Programs & Events.

About The New York Community Trust
Through the generosity of New Yorkers past and present, The New York Community Trust makes grants for a range of charitable activity important to the well-being and vitality of our city. We’ve helped make donors’ charitable dreams come true since 1924. We ended 2009 with assets of $1.7 billion in nearly 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $123 million. Grants made from these funds meet the changing needs of children, youth, and families; aid in community development; improve the environment; promote health; assist people with special needs; and support education, arts, and human justice. In addition to making grants to a broad range of nonprofit agencies, The Trust responds to urgent problems in the City by bringing people together, working with other funders, and issuing publications to help illuminate issues and explore their solutions.

About Pare Lorentz
Pare Lorentz was an American original. His documentary films The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936), The River (1938) and The Fight for Life (1940) were among the first to demonstrate that films can educate and rally a nation around its history, its greatness, and its problems. Both The Plow That Broke the Plains and The River, made in support of Roosevelt’s New Deal, are considered seminal works in the development of the American documentary and earned Lorentz international acclaim.

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