Chicago-based nonprofit documentary organization Kartemquin Films has announced the two projects that will participate in the first year of its Hulu accelerator program for filmmakers of color.
Colette Ghunim’s Traces of Home and Reveca Torres’ Tres Fridas (pictured) will each receive US$20,000 towards production, in addition to mentorship through 2020 within the Kartemquin collaborative production model.
In Traces of Home, Ghunim takes her parents to find the ancestral homes in Mexico and Palestine that they had fled from decades earlier. While filling in the missing pieces of her identity, the journeys unravel the trauma of displacement that passed down through generations.
Torres’ Tres Fridas, meanwhile, sees two artists paralyzed by spinal injuries discover a shared connection to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and decide to recreate her painting, Dos Fridas, using themselves as models.
This sparks a five-year artistic journey as the two women join forces with a photographer to transform iconic works of art into portrayals of contemporary people with disabilities. The film highlights a “unique creative process” as they devise ways to “authenticate disability as part of the human experience.’
The accelerator, launched in January, is offered to recent graduates of Kartemquin’s filmmaker development programs.
Supported programs will include Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs, KTQ Labs, and KTQ Internship programs.
The program builds upon the relationship between Hulu and Kartemquin following the release of Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu and produced by Diane Quon.
Minding the Gap was originally developed by Liu through Kartemquin’s Diverse Voices in Docs program, of which both Torres and Ghunim are also graduates.
“Access to meaningful development opportunities for underrepresented filmmakers is critically important, especially as we see just how under-resourced our community of independent documentary filmmakers of color are in this pandemic moment. This intervention — to bring a streaming service together with filmmakers at an earlier stage in the storytelling process — is where we want to be,” said Jolene Pinder, executive director of Kartemquin, in a statement.