“Weiner,” “Fly Away” among TFI Doc Fund grantees

Joshua Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg's Weiner (pictured) and Hao Wu's People's Republic of Desires have been unveiled among the five recipients of the Tribeca Film Institute's 2016 TFI Documentary Fund.
January 21, 2016

Joshua Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s Weiner (pictured) and Hao Wu’s People’s Republic of Desires are among the five recipients of the Tribeca Film Institute’s 2016 TFI Documentary Fund.

Presented by U.S. distributor The Orchard, the fund provides grants and direction to feature-length documentary projects that detail a unique perspective on contemporary themes and are in the advanced stages of development, production or post-production.

The five grantees were chosen from more than 500 submissions. Topics include U.S. politician Anthony Weiner, China’s budding virtual entertainment world and a family looking to rebuild after a devastating loss.

Along with a monetary grant, each winning project will be provided with direct avenues for distribution on multiple platforms, with grantees given the opportunity to meet with The Orchard staff to discuss the potential for exclusivity agreements for North American theatrical and/or digital distribution. As well, each 2016 grantee selected will receive continual year-round guidance from TFI and The Orchard.

This year’s TFI Documentary Fund recipients include Joshua Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s Weiner, which reveals the human story of Anthony Weiner through unrestricted access to his ill-fated New York City mayoral campaign. The film, which participated in the 2014 TFI/A&E IndieFilms StoryLab, had its North American rights acquired by Sundance Selects, and will bow at the Sundance Film Festival this week.

Other grantees include Hao Wu’s IDFA Forum-pitched People’s Republic of Desires, following three Chinese millennials as they seek fame and fortune in the country’s virtual reality boom; LC Cohen’s Fly Away, which shadows a wife and her seven children as they mourn and move on from the suicide of their father; Chapman Way and Maclain Way’s tentatively titled Wild Wild Country, following the ambitious plans by an Indian mystic and his supporters to build a city in the Northwest desert; and Keith Maitland’s Tower, which participated in the 2015 TFI/A&E IndieFilms StoryLab, taking an animated look at the first mass school shooting in the U.S.

The TFI Documentary Fund has supported 44 projects since its launch in 2011.

“The films chosen by The Orchard and TFI for this year’s grant are a stunningly unique and layered group of films that truly represents excellence in nonfiction filmmaking. We are inspired by the opportunity to support and bring distribution options to these five incredible films and partner with the filmmakers to help them find the audience they deserve,” added Danielle DiGiacomo, VP of acquisitions for The Orchard.

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.