Nanfu Wang, Manuel Abramovich among Sundance 2018 doc grantees

Nanfu Wang‘s Born in China, Manuel Abramovich’s Cowboy Love (pictured) and Marilyn Ness‘ Charm City are part of the 33 documentaries that comprise the latest Sundance Institute Documentary Fund and ...
November 1, 2018

Nanfu Wang‘s Born in China, Manuel Abramovich’s Cowboy Love (pictured) and Marilyn NessCharm City are part of the 33 documentaries that comprise the latest Sundance Institute Documentary Fund and Stories of Change grantees.

The grants – part of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program – are awarded for projects in development, production, post-production or at the audience engagement stage.

In all, the supported projects are comprised of directors from 17 different countries with nearly half (48%) originating from outside of the U.S, including Mexico, China, India, Denmark, Bolivia, Kenya, Sweden, Israel, Canada and Argentina.

Additionally, 81% of recipients this year have at least one woman producer or director attached to their project.

“These wildly diverse projects from around the globe encompass a staggering scope of subjects,” said HajnalMolnar-Szakacs, the Documentary Fund’s director, in a statement. “We are thrilled that our grants and tailored support opportunities can play a catalytic role across the lives of these projects, from developing creative languages to securing additional funding and finally launching the films on the world stage.”

Additional support for filmmakers comes in the form of custom grants from The Kendeda Fund, which provides specific support for projects addressing environmental themes or the challenges of gun violence; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provides support for journalistic projects, prioritizing diverse, Native and Indigenous voices; and the Stories of Change Fund, a creative partnership with the Skoll Foundation, which supports social entrepreneurs and independent storytellers.

These Institute grantees join those supported by Science Sandbox, a collaboration with the Simons Foundation, and the Art of Nonfiction Fellowship and Fund.

The full list of Fall 2018 projects follows below. For more information on each project, click here.


Dir. Lucrecia Martel

Cowboy Love 
Dir. Manuel Abramovich

Democrats II
Dir. Camilla Nielsson

Untitled Dystopia Film
Dir. Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Dir. Engeli Broberg

Dir. David Osit

My Mom and My Little Secret
Dir. Runze Yu

Until I Find You
Dir. Ludovic Bonleux


Dir. April Dobbins

Dir. Iva Radivojevic

The Fight
Dir. Violeta Ayala
(Bolivia & Australia)

Heaven Through the Backdoor
Dir. Anna Fitch and Banker White

Just a Band
Dir. Anjali Nayar, Wanuri Kahiu

Outta The Muck
Dir. Ira McKinley & Bhawin Suchak

Dir. Sam Soko

Through the Night
Dir. Loira Limbal


Dir. Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche

Born in China
Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

The Last Out
Dir. Sami Khan and Michael Gassert

The Letter
Dir. Maia Lekow and Chris King


Charm City
Dir. Marilyn Ness

Harvest Season
Dir. Bernardo Ruiz

Inventing Tomorrow
Dir. Laura Nix


As Goes Parkland…
Dir. Kim A. Snyder

Hollow Tree
Dir. Kira Akerman


And She Could Be Next
Dir. Grace Lee, Marjan Safinia, Yoruba Richen, Amber Fares, Deborah S. Esquenazi, Geeta Gandbhir. Anayansi Prado, Ramona Emerson

Untitled Puerto Rico Documentary
Dir. Cecilia Aldarondo

Untitled Race & Criminal Justice Project
Dir. Ursula Liang

Untitled Water Inequality in Kenya Project, scripted short
Dir. Judy Kibinge

First Time Stories, feature documentary
Directors: Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya

Mystery of Epilogue, feature documentary
Dir. Feras Fayyad

Untitled Government Technology Project
Prod. Kate Osborn, Josh Penn, Elizabeth Lodge Stepp

The Widow Champion, short documentary
Dir. Heather Courtney

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.