“Acali,” “Pearl Button” receive Sundance doc grants

The Acali Experiment and The Pearl Button (pictured) are among the 33 indie documentaries that have been selected to receive Sundance Institute Documentary Films Program support.
November 20, 2015

Marcus Lindeen’s The Acali Experiment and Patricio Guzmán‘s The Pearl Button (pictured) are among 33 documentaries that are to receive support from the Sundance Institute Documentary Films Program.

The Sundance Documentary Fund this year shifted to a “limited rolling open call” and encouraged filmmakers to submit applications when their project was ready to be shared. Films will continue to be supported on a rolling basis.

Submissions are to remain open throughout the year. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit for consideration when ready to do so.

Grants are awarded for projects that are in development, production, post-production or at the audience engagement stage. Recent projects to receive support from the program include Laura Poitras‘ Academy Award-winning doc Citizenfour, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR and Matthew Heineman’s Cartel Land.

“We eliminated deadlines, embraced risk-taking in form, filmmaker and subject matter, but we stayed true to our core purpose of discovering contemporary stories of meaning and moral purpose,” said Rahdi Taylor, Film Fund director, in a statement. “Overall the selections are characterized by risk, inclusion and innovation as well as addressing the most vital conversations of our time.”

Full project descriptions of this year’s grantees can be viewed here. All projects are listed below:


The Acali Experiment (Sweden)
Director: Marcus Lindeen; Producer: Erik Gandini

Afterglow (Hungary)
Director: Noémi Veronika Szakonyi; Producer: Julianna Ugrin

Casting JonBenet (Australia/U.S.)
Director: Kitty Green; Producer: Scott Macaulay and Kitty Green

Shirkers (U.S./Singapore)
Director-Producer: Sandi Tan

Three Identical Strangers (UK)
Director: Tim Wardle; Producer: Grace Hughes-Hallett

Untitled Kronos Project (U.S.)
Director: Sam Green

Untitled Prison Project (U.S.)
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Producer: Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix, Roger Ross Williams

Yoghurt Utopia (UK/Spain)
Directors: Anna Thomson, David Baksh; Producer: Adrian Pennink

Young Men and Fire (U.S.)
Director: Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski; Producer: Kyle Dickman

When God Sleeps 
Director: Till Schauder; Producer: Sara Nodjoumi & Till Schauder

Whose Streets? (U.S.)
Director: Sabaah Jordan and Damon Davis; Producer: Flannery Miller


All These Sleepless Nights (Poland/UK)
Director: Michal Marczak; Producer: Marta Golba, Michal Marczak, Julia Nottingham, Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa

Audrie & Daisy (U.S.)
Director: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk; Producers: Richard Berge and Sara Dosa

Cecilia (India)
Director-Producer: Pankaj Johar

Eagle Huntress (UK/Mongolia)
Director: Otto Bell; Producer: Stacey Reiss and Sharon Chang

Forgiveness (UK)
Director: Elizabeth Stopford; Producer: Nicole Stott

Greywater (U.S.)
Director: Jeff Unay

The Keepers (U.S.)
Director:  Ryan White; Producer: Jessica Lawson

Untitled Newtown Documentary (U.S.)
Director: Kim A.  Snyder; Producer: Maria Cuomo Cole, Kim A. Snyder

Untitled Reef Project (U.S.)
Director: Jeff Orlowski; Producer: Larissa Rhodes


Almost Sunrise (U.S.)
Director: Michael Collins; Producer: Marty Syjuco

The Event (Ukraine/Russia)
Director: Sergei Loznitsa; Producers: Sergei Loznitsa & Maria Choustova

Holy Cow (Azerbaijan/Germany/Romania)
Director: Imam Hasanov; Producer: Andra Popescu, Veronika Janatkova, Stefan Kloos

Maman Colonelle (France/DR Congo)
Director: Dieudo Hamadi; Producer: Christian Lelong

Markie in Milwaukee (U.S.)
Director: Matt Kliegman; Producer: Matt Kliegman and Zac Stuart-Pontier

The Pearl Button (El Boton de Nacar)
Director: Patricio Guzmán; Producer: Renate Sachse

Proposition for a Revolution (India)
Directors: Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla; Producer: Anand Gandhi; Co-Producer: Ruchi Bhimani; Exec. Producer: Joris van Wijk

The Reagan Years (U.S.)
Director: Pacho Velez; Producer: Sierra Pettengill

Teatro (U.S./Italy)
Director: Jeff Malmberg; Producer: Chris Shellen

They Call Us Monsters (U.S.)
Director: Ben Lear; Producer: Sasha Alpert and Gabriel Cowan

Audience Engagement

1971 (U.S.)
Director: Johanna Hamilton; Producer: Marilyn Ness

Enter the Faun (U.S.)
Director & Producer: Tamar Rogoff and Daisy Wright; Executive Producer: Véronique Bernard

Sundance-ESPN Films Fellow

Shot in the Dark (U.S.)
Director: Dustin Nakao Haider; Producers: Daniel Poneman, Daniel Dewes, Derek Doneen, and Ben Vogel

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.