Projects from Rich Hill co-director Tracy Droz Tragos (pictured) and Medora filmmaker Andrew Cohn are among 11 documentaries to receive fall development grants from the Catapult Film Fund.
The San Francisco-based organization – which was launched in 2010 – supports documentary projects with critical early-stage development funding as well as mentorships. To date, Catapult has supported 57 films, including Jesse Moss’s The Overnighters and Dan Krauss’s The Kill Team, which were both recently shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Among the fall 2014 grantees are Droz Tragos’s film Sarah (working title), on a teen mother from rural Missouri, and Cohn’s Night School, about five adults from Indianapolis pursuing their high school diplomas.
Other projects to receive grants include Jordie Montevecchi’s Block Seven, on a notorious Peruvian prison; Marouan Omara’s Dream Away, about the Egyptian beach resort Sharm El Sheikh; Orlando Bagwell’s Pieces of a Man (w/t), on the artist and activist Gil Scott-Heron; and Banker White and Arthur Pratt’s Survivors, about a Sierra Leone community affected by Ebola.
Remaining films are Julian Rubinstein’s The Holly, about a race crisis in a Denver community; Pacho Velez’s archive-based doc The Reagan Years, on the former U.S. president; Rebecca Cammisa’s nuclear waste film Untitled Missouri Film (w/t); Till Schauder’s When God Sleeps, about Iranian musician and outlaw Shahin Najafi; and an as-yet-untitled doc from Joshua Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg.
“When you get involved this early with a project, it’s always risky but the effect you can have at this stage is critical for the films to get off the ground,” said Bonni Cohen, Catapult co-founder, in a statement. “It’s gratifying to be able to stay involved with a project from the moment of first funding to watching the film premiere.”