The Redford Center has unveiled its latest round of investments in documentary films about environmental issues such as water, land, and environmental justice.
Six feature-length documentary films comprising the current Redford Center Grants cohort will receive $295,000 in second-year funding, including production and development grants as well as impact campaign grants.
That impact campaign funding is part of the Redford Center’s expanded grantmaking strategy. For the first time, the organization is awarding funds to support completed films as part of an effort to create and inspire public dialogue and mobilize action around issues related to the film and environmental justice. The impact campaign grants are designed to help move audiences from awareness to action through initiatives like educational screenings and community partnerships.
The Redford Center’s goal is to emphasize stories and storytelling strategies that respond to the urgency of today’s crises, expand representation in the environmental movement, and create direct community impact. The 2020-21 cohort of Redford Center Grants includes 22 film projects that tell critical stories aimed at raising awareness about the environment and pushing for environmental justice, offering pathways for action and engagement.
The films set to receive production and development grants include Demon Mineral, directed by Hadley Austin and produced by Tommy Rock, about life in the radioactive desert on the Navajo Reservation; To the End (pictured), directed by Rachel Lears and produced by Sabrina Gordon, about the Green New Deal; Oaklead, directed by Alex J. Bledsoe and produced by Adrian Burrell, about high lead poisoning rates in Oakland, California; and Impossible Town, directed by Meg Griffiths and Scott Faris, about a West Virginia town dealing with chemical contamination;
Receiving impact grants are Razing Liberty Square, directed by Katja Esson and produced by Ann Bennett, about climate gentrification and the redevelopment of a historic African American public housing project in Miami; and We Still Here/Aqui Estamos, directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and the youth leaders fighting for justice.
“Climate and environmental impacts are at our front door. The need for deeper investments in stories that drive action increases every single day. The longer we have to wait for federal, global, and industry leadership — the more important community led, collective action becomes. And that’s where these stories live and thrive.” said Jill Tidman, the Redford Center’s executive director, in a release. “We are inspired by all of our grantees’ projects, and have every confidence that our further investments in these six films will lead to real-world environmental impact at a scale that is urgently needed.”