Directors Nina Alvarez and Violet Feng have been named as the 2019 recipients of the Logan Elevate Grants from the International Documentary Association (IDA).
An initiative of IDA’s Enterprise Documentary Fund with support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the US$25,000 endowments are handed out to budding female filmmakers of color whose feature-length projects “integrate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process.”
The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation supports organizations that advance social justice by promoting world-changing work in investigative journalism, the arts, the environment, education, equity and inclusion, and documentary film.
Feature-length documentary This is My Country, directed by Alvarez (pictured, left), chronicles the impact of America’s current stance on immigration as a Salvadoran-American family faces the threat of deportation and family separation.
Meanwhile, Feng’s (right) feature-length debut, Hidden Letters, exposes an “ancient, secret women-only language” in an attempt to “inspire young women today to navigate their lives in a revived patriarchal society,” the director said in a release.
“The IDA’s grant will give me the validation and freedom to explore the issues through my own lens and find power along the way,” Feng added.
In addition to awarding the Logan Elevate Grants, the IDA has revealed the newest members of its Enterprise Documentary Fund Advisory Committee.
Now in its third year, the Enterprise Documentary Fund supports doc projects that aim to take on contemporary stories and integrate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the fund grants development and production funds totaling $1 million each year.
Past supported projects include Nanfu Wang and Lynn Zhang’s One Child Nation and Rachel Lears’ Knock Down the House.
New advisory members include: Carrol Bogert, president of The Marshall Project; Andrés Cediel, professor at U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; Dale Cohen, director of the Documentary Film Legal Clinic, UCLA School of Law; Alex Hannibal, associate director of content development at CNN Films; Jigar Mehta, deputy managing director at Doha Debates; Marie E. Nelson, VP of news and public affairs at PBS; Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, public editor at PBS; Steve Sapienza, senior strategist for collaborative news partnerships at the Pulitzer Center; and Sky Sitney, co-creator and co-director of the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival.
“The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund was developed to help fill the journalistic resource gaps that filmmakers face working on high-stakes projects independently,” said Carrie Lozano, director of the Enterprise Documentary Fund, in a statement. “The advisory committee is an invaluable group that helps us and our grantees navigate thorny journalism issues whether editorial, ethical or legal.”