In an exciting announcement today, the Sundance Institute revealed the recipients of this year’s grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. A total of 23 projects were selected for unrestricted grant funding, amounting to just over $1,000,000 in support. These grants are made possible by generous contributions from the Open Society Foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Gucci, and the Kendeda Fund.
The Documentary Fund has long been a champion of nonfiction filmmakers worldwide, providing them with the financial support needed to bring their visions to life. This year’s grantees are working on projects that cover a range of important and timely topics, with films in various stages of development, production, and post-production.
The Fund strongly emphasises elevating marginalized voices and amplifying integral stories. It seeks to empower artists working in regions where independent filmmaking support is lacking or freedom of expression is threatened. Many of the international projects supported in this round of funding reflect this priority, shedding light on issues of oppression, conflict, human rights, social justice, and coming of age.
Among the notable filmmakers in this year’s slate are Lourdes Portillo, an Oscar and Emmy nominated director, who is working on “Looking at Ourselves,” a journey through memory and time that reflects on immigration; Amy Jenkins, who is directing “Adam’s Apple,” a personal documentary about a family in transition; and Anayansi Prado, who is working on the untitled Uvalde Documentary.
“We are thrilled to support this incredibly talented group of artists and their powerful documentaries,” said Paola Mottura, Documentary Film Fund Director at Sundance Institute. “Their stories and themes embody Sundance’s spirit and our mission to create narrative change. These films can potentially make a real impact and contribute to a healthy democracy and thriving civil society.”
Previous projects supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund include award-winning films such as “American Factory,” “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” and “Minding the Gap.” The Institute’s commitment to independent storytelling has fostered the careers of acclaimed filmmakers such as Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Quentin Tarantino, and Chloé Zhao.
The Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. It is a champion and curator of independent stories, providing support and resources to artists across various storytelling media. In addition to the Documentary Fund, the Institute offers labs, grants, mentorship programs, and community platforms to foster the development of new work. The annual Sundance Film Festival is a flagship event that showcases independent films and connects audiences with artists.
The announcement of the 2023 Documentary Fund grantees is further evidence of the Sundance Institute’s dedication to supporting nonfiction filmmakers and promoting diverse and impactful storytelling. The funded projects will continue to shape the landscape of documentary cinema, shedding light on pressing social issues and inspiring audiences around the world.
|The Beauty of the Donkey||Switzerland, France, Kosovo||Dea Gjinovci||Dea Gjinovci, Emma Lepers, Ilir Hasanaj|
|The Days I Would Like to Forget||Ukraine, France, Austria||Alina Gorlova, Yelizaveta Smith, Simon Mozgovyi, Maksym Nakonechyi||Eugene Rachkovsky, Ralph Wieser, Nabil Bellahsene|
|Girl-Tubers||Brazil||Tali Yankelevich||Leonardo Mecchi|
|Looking at Ourselves||U.S.A.||Lourdes Portillo||Lourdes Portillo|
|My Mothers’ Tale||U.K.||Mizgin Arslan||Shirine Best, Avesta Kadir|
|Somebody’s Gone||U.S.A.||Cyrus Moussavi, Hubert Taylor||Brittany Nugent|
|The 3,000 Project||U.S.A.||Keith McQuiter||Keith McQuiter|
|…that’s why He made momma||U.S.A.||Lendl Tellington, Salome Sykes||Lendl Tellington, Salome Sykes|
|Adam’s Apple||U.S.A.||Amy Jenkins||Brit Fryer, Amy Jenkins|
|Life After||U.S.A.||Reid Davenport||Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney|
|Listening to the World||Ukraine, Germany, Sweden||Yelizaveta Smith||Olga Beskhmelnytsina, Eugene Rachkovsky|
|Niñxs||Mexico||Kani Lapuerta Laorden||Suleica Adriana Pineda Rodríguez|
|Our Seeds||Turkey, Germany||Erhan Arık||Meryem Yavuz, Manuel Rees, Frank Carsten Walter|
|Powwow People||U.S.A.||Sky Hopinka||John Cardellino, Adam Piron|
|Redlight to Limelight||India||Bipuljit Basu||Nilotpal Majumdar|
|Remaining Native||U.S.A.||Paige Bethmann||Paige Bethmann, Jessica Epstein, Judd Erhlich|
|Untitled Yemen Project||Yemen, Netherlands, U.S.A.||Sara Ishaq, Sonia Kennebeck||Sara Ishaq, Sonia Kennebeck|
|When They Were Here||U.S.A.||Ivan MacDonald, Ivy MacDonald||Ivan MacDonald, Mridu Chandra, Jessica Jane Hart|
|Widow Champion||Kenya||Zippy Kimundu||Zippy Kimundu, Heather Courtney|
|Will They Ever Come Back?||Colombia||Ángela Carabalí||Sandra Tabares-Duque, Ángela Carabalí|
|Ride with Delivery Workers||U.S.A.||Jing Wang||Jing Wang, Dr. Do Jun Lee, Annie Berman, Nicholas Wong|
|Untitled (Myanmar)||Myanmar||Min Min Hein||Min Min Hein|
|Untitled Uvalde Documentary||U.S.A.||Anayansi Prado||Anayansi Prado, Mary Recine|