Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s The Gut (w/t), Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s Honeyland are among the documentaries that have been awarded funding through the SFFILM Documentary Film Fund.
The fund, backed by Jennifer Battat and the Jenerosity Foundation, totals US$125,000 in support of projects already in post-production to push them towards completion. Each film was awarded $25,000.
In addition to the cash prize, each project has access to benefits through SFFILM Makers, the organization’s artist development program. Benefits can include one-on-one project consultations, creative development, additional fundraising assistance, resource and service recommendations, and networking opportunities, among others.
Receiving backing from the SFFILM Documentary Film Fund were Taylor’s tentatively titled The Gut, which follows a group of characters as small town America meets the Syrian civil war; Stefanov and Kotevska’s Honeyland, a film capturing the struggles of the last female bee hunter in Europe; and Liza Mandelup’s In Real Life, which provides an intimate portrait of a young social media darling.
Also receiving financial support were Hassan Fazili’s Midnight Traveler, which follows a group of Afghan filmmakers on the run from the Taliban, and Jessica Kingdon’s Untitled PRC Project, an observational film that looks at megatrends in China through the idea of the “Chinese Dream.”
The panelists who reviewed the submissions are Jennifer Battat, founder of the Jenerosity Foundation; Noah Cowan, SFFILM’s executive director; David Eisenberg, senior director of production at ITVS; Kate Hurwitz, manager at Cinetic Media; Lauren Kushner, artist development senior manager at SFFILM; Jenny Slattery, associate director of foundations and artist development at SFFILM; filmmaker Sandi Tan; and Caroline von Kühn, director of artist development at SFFILM.
Since launching in 2011, the SFFILM Documentary Film Fund has awarded more than US$750,000 to filmmakers across the U.S.
Past recipients include RaMell Ross’ Sundance Jury Prize-winner Hale County, This Morning, This Evening; Peter Nicks’ Sundance Directing Award-winner The Force; Peter Bratt’s SFFILM Audience Award-winner Dolores; and Zachary Heinzerling‘s SFFILM Audience Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee Cutie and the Boxer.