Pennebaker, Jablonski among Catapult Film Fund grantees

Documentaries from filmmakers D. A. Pennebaker and Alex Jablonski are among 10 projects receiving development grants in the Catapult Film Fund's spring round.
May 20, 2014

Documentaries from filmmakers D. A. Pennebaker and Alex Jablonski are among 10 projects receiving development grants in the Catapult Film Fund’s spring round.

The fund, which has two grant periods per year, provides grants to filmmakers at the early stages of their projects and has supported 47 films since launching in 2010. This spring, the organization increased its capacity to fund 10 projects, up from the seven projects selected in previous years.

Previous grantees include filmmaker Jesse Moss, whose doc The Overnighters won a special jury award at the Sundance Film Festival, and Ross Kauffman and Katy Chevigny, whose film E-Team recently sold to Netflix in a big-money deal.

The 10 projects receiving grants include D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’s (Don’t Look Back, The War Room) animal rights film Unlocking the Cage; Kirsten Johnson’s A Blind Eye, which explores the medium of documentary; Tony Gerber’s American Warlord, on former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s American-born son; Anabel Rodriguez’s Growing Up in Oil, about the oil field settlement of Congo Mirador; and Amanda Micheli’s in vitro fertilization doc

The other grant recipients are Jason Cohn’s American tax revolt doc Mad As Hell; Andrew Hinton and Johnny Burke’s Tashi and the Monk, on the relationship between a Buddhist monk and an orphan; Justin Schein’s The Last Go Round, about a suicidal anti-war activist; Andre Hörmann’s The Punch, on a Chicago boxing community; and Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson’s Young Men & Fire, about firefighters in the American West.

“The applicant pool has increased dramatically each round highlighting the great need for development funding in the documentary field,” said Catapult Film Fund co-founder Lisa Kleiner Chanoff in a statement.

“This round we received about 450 applications – including an increase in the number of high quality projects – so it has become more and more important for us to expand our reach and fund more projects. We hope to be able to fund at least 10 projects per round going forward.”

Catapult co-founder Bonni Cohen added: “The film projects receiving grants this round are incredibly diverse but they all have great story and narrative in common. We are excited to see both seasoned filmmakers, like Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, amongst the grantees along with emerging filmmakers like Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson who already have an excellent track record.”

Catapult’s next round of funding will open July 14, with applications due August 25.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.