The Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish documentary film has granted finishing funds to six documentaries, including Miss World (pictured), Watchers of the Sky and How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire.
Grants ranging from US$12,000 to US$40,000 were awarded to documentaries including Cecilia Peck’s Miss World (working title), a film on a Israeli pageant queen who has turned her rape into an opportunity for activism and spiritual awakening; Edet Belzberg’s Watchers of the Sky, a portrait of five humanitarians in a fight to end genocide; and Sosúa: Dare to Dance Together from Peter Miller and Renée Silverman, which follows a musical theater production developed by a Broadway director in collaboration with Jewish and Dominican-American teens.
My Father Evgeni, a film directed and produced by Andrei Zagdansky about growing up Jewish in the former Soviet Union, also received a grant; as did Dan Edelstyn’s How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire, an exploration of the Ukranian distillery Edelstyn’s family once owned; and The Return from Adam Zucker, which looks at a new generation’s struggle to create Jewish identity and community in contemporary Poland.
The grants aim to help complete these documentaries by paying for license fees, additional editing and shooting, and outreach and engagement strategies, to ensure the films’ delivery to film festivals, television and other distribution outlets.
A two-tiered panel of scholars, critics, filmmakers, and curators selected the winners from a pool of 80 submissions. “This year’s grantees offer highly personal stories that will deepen connections to complex Jewish histories and contemporary social issues,” said Foundation for Jewish Culture board member Lynn Kroll. “These films will resonate with viewers of all cultural backgrounds.”
Since 1996, the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Film has supported the completion of more than 80 original documentaries that explore the Jewish experience. The priority of the fund is to support projects that address significant subjects, offer fresh, challenging perspectives, and engage diverse audiences.
Past grantees include Waltz with Bashir, Budrus, and William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.