The Redford Center and IF/Then Shorts have unveiled their six finalists for the inaugural Nature Access Pitch presented by both organizations.
The pitch competition included a competitive open call for short documentary films exploring environmental solutions to restore humanity’s connection with the outdoors. The finalists were chosen by a jury of film industry luminaries and environmental experts.
The finalists will be evaluated at an in-person pitch event at DOC NYC on Nov. 16. The winning filmmaker will receive a US$25,000 production grant and a year of mentorship from IF/Then and The Redford Center that includes production support, creative feedback, distribution consultations and festival strategy. The jury will also award two honorable mention prizes of $5,000 production grants and distribution consultation.
The pitch competition was open to individuals living and working in the U.S., with an emphasis on stories and storytellers representing communities most impacted by environmental injustice and barriers to nature access.
The six finalists look at historical and ancestral connections to land, water and nature, held by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, immigrant and undocumented communities. The films also highlight how these communities navigate the impacts of forced displacement, generational trauma, inequity and injustice.
“With public awareness and support for environmental and climate action at an all-time high, it’s important to remember a key marker of our success will be a world where everyone can safely access, connect, and thrive outdoors and in nature,” said Jill Tidman, executive director of The Redford Center in a statement.
“Collaborating with IF/Then to bring these filmmakers and their projects to DOC NYC, and ultimately grow the range of nature access stories supported by The Redford Center, is a necessary step in expanding the environmental movement and helping reimagine environmentalism for all.”
The pitch finalists include:
Between Earth and Sky; directed by Andrew Nadkarni, produced by Swetha Regunathan and Katie Schiller, cinematography by Katelyn Rebelo, edited by Peter Zachwieja, located in Virginia and Costa Rica.
Fruit of Soil; directed by Faith Briggs, produced by Tracy Nguyen-Chung, director of photography Ryan Miyamoto, located in Portland, Oregon.
Makana O Ke Mele (Gift of Song); directed by Laurie Sumiye, director of photography Anne Misawa, located in Hawai’i.
Something Yet Higher; directed by Nadia Gill, co-direction and cinematography by Dominic Gill, produced by James Mills, located in Utah and Idaho.
Stay the Course; directed by Mariel Rodriguez-McGill and Teresa Cebrián Aranda, located in Bronx, New York.
Water Is Our Medicine, directed by Cathleen Dean, produced by Thaddeus Gamory, edited by Serge Dorsainvil, located in South Florida.