A new initiative by the Sundance Institute is looking to provide creative and financial support for doc makers applying inventive artistic practices in their work.
The ‘Art of Nonfiction’ initiative includes a fellowship for filmmakers, as well as resources to help them “build sustainable creative practices.” The program was developed by Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, and comes in response to a perceived lack of support for artists taking bold, cinematic approaches to their work.
The initiative’s fellows for 2016 include Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine, pictured), Margaret Brown (The Order of Myths), and Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq (These Birds Walk). Art of Nonfiction is backed with editorial and financial support from Cinereach.
To illustrate the types of films that have inspired the initiative, the Sundance Institute cites Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s 20,000 Days on Earth and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel’s Leviathan as examples, in addition to more animation- and performance-focused docs, such as Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop and Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer.
Jackson, who took charge of the Documentary Film Program at the end of 2013, spoke on the need for more artistic docs and the cultural value of non-fiction film at her DOC NYC keynote in November 2014.
Applications for the Art of Nonfiction initiative are accepted by invitation only.
“This initiative represents our renewed thinking about how we, as a funder and creative resource, can experiment with our programs to better serve the needs of filmmakers who are experimenting with their own work,” said Jackson in a statement. “We hope this more robust infrastructure of support will bring the community together as we look to advance the understanding and practice of non-fiction film.”