Bahrani’s doc debut among five chosen for Tribeca All Access

Filmmaker Rahmin Bahrani's untitled doc about the gold industry (pictured), docs about Detroit firefighters and civil rights, and documentarian Ondi Timoner's scripted Mapplethorpe biopic are among this year's grantees.
January 12, 2012

The non-fiction debut from filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, docs about Detroit firefighters and the intersection of LGBT and African-American civil rights movements  as well as documentarian Ondi Timoner’s first narrative feature will receive grants through the Tribeca Film Institute’s (TFI) Tribeca All Access program.

Best known for his narrative dramas Chop Shop and Goodbye Solo, Bahrani’s first documentary is a yet-to-be titled film about the state of the gold industry in the wake of the global recession, while Timoner is working on a biopic about controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The film will star James Franco in the leading role and marks the DiG! and We Live In Public director’s first foray into scripted cinema.

Tribeca All Access grants support emerging and established filmmakers from under-represented communities and includes $15,000 in financing, year-round support and industry connections, and are eligible for one of two $10,000 Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Awards. Each of the 11 projects chosen – including five documentaries – will be presented during a five-day career development program during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in April.

This year’s five documentary grantees, with descriptions provided by the TFI, follows:

Untitled Ramin Bahrani Gold Documentary (Directed and produced by Ramin Bahrani, produced by Jason Orans)

Set in today’s global recession, which has catapulted gold prices to historic highs, Untitled Ramin Bahrani Gold Documentary explores our centuries-old obsession with gold, and what – if anything – is its intrinsic value. This will be Bahrani’s first documentary project.

BURN (Directed and produced by Brenna Sanchez and Tom Putnam)

BURN is an action-packed documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of its firefighters.

Two Children Of The Red Mosque (Directed and produced by Hemal Trivedi, co-directed by Mohammad Naqvi, produced by Whitney Dow and Jonathan Goodman Levitt)

Amid suicide bombings and U.S. drone attacks in Northwestern Pakistan, twelve-year-olds Zarina and Talha are pursuing different dreams. After attending madrassahs of the Red Mosque, they make different choices that promise to define their adult lives. Zarina recently escaped the madrassah, and her struggle to attend secular school and avoid marriage stands opposed to Talha’s journey over the next two years. Their stories personalize the hard choices facing modern Pakistanis living in rural areas, where ongoing ideological battles between fundamentalist and moderate Muslims are shaping Pakistan’s future.

Desert Stars (Directed and produced by Raouf Zaki, produced by Frank McDonnell)

Desert Stars documents the journey of a man who abandons the world and its desires to seek a relationship with God alone as a monk in the desert, but, in order to save his monastery, he must confront the world again in the midst of the bloody Egyptian revolution.

The New Black (Directed by Yoruba Richen, produced by Yvonne Whelbon and Angela Tucker)

The New Black is a documentary that uncovers the complicated histories of the African-American and LGBT civil rights movements.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.