A cohort of 10 filmmakers and their non-fiction projects have been selected to take part in the Sundance Institute’s Sandbox Fund.
The fund aims to amplify voices of independent artists working “at the intersection of science and non-fiction storytelling” as they produce and promote work that combines science and art.
The selected project teams will receive non-recoupable grants and access to Sundance Institute’s year-round support system, providing assistance for creative, financial and production issues. Grantees will additionally receive opportunities for engagement events to connect with Sundance’s network of alumni and creative advisors as well as Sandbox Films’ roster of scientists.
The seven filmmakers and their projects receiving development funding include Jenni Morello’s The Age of Loneliness, which looks at the global fight to stop the impending insect apocalypse; Shenny A. Madrigal and Daniel B. Arvizu’s Darwin’s Baby, following an illustrator’s pursuit of drawing a user’s manual for the human mind; Sara Dosa’s End of Land, an observational portrait of exploding methane deposits that open portals to the past on Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula; and Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana and Daniel Chein’s Finding Your Voice, exploring the unique identity rooted in voice.
Remaining development fund recipients include Kimberly Reed’s Testosterone: The Movie, an exploration of the gender spectrum; Lisa Jackson’s Wilfred Buck, a hybrid feature centering on a Cree elder who’s been called the Indiana Jones of Indigenous star knowledge; and Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s Red Moon, an experimental vision for a future that’s settled on the moon.
Production grants, meanwhile, have been handed out to Laura Gamse and Toby Lunn’s Brigidy Bram: The Kendal Hanna Story, exploring the life and work of Bahamian painter Kendal Hanna; Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan’s Nocturnes, following a young woman’s scientific studies focused on moths in the Eastern Himalayas; and Daniel J. Clark’s Planet Nine, in which the world’s greatest astronomers have calculated the existence of a new planet, never before seen by people, lurking at the edge of our solar system.
“These visionary storytellers are working at a crucial intersection in this moment — one that centers artful non-fiction storytelling and scientific exploration and thinking,” said Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund director, in a statement. “We’re pleased to champion their works, and look forward to leveraging our collective expertise to help them develop, shape and uplift their stories as they come together.”