JustFilms grants over $5 million to support 71 content projects, over $15.29 million to 122 documentary organizations and filmmakers
New York, NY (December 16, 2021) – Today the Ford Foundation announced its overall funding for independent documentary film for 2021. JustFilms, a part of the foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression (CFE) program, provided over $20.29 million to support 122 organizations and filmmakers in the United States and Global South.
From that allocation, JustFilms granted over $5 million to support 71 content projects, with 49 comprising new grantees and 73% of the support going to filmmakers identifying as Black, Indigenous, or people of color. The additional $15.29 million went to fund documentary organizations that are working to support emerging creatives and diversify the documentary film industry at large. These include continuing support for such organizations as Black Star Projects, Third Horizon, and Sundance Institute and support for new grantees such as Color Congress, Cousin Collective, and Morpheyes Studios at Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
“We are thrilled to support a variety of filmmakers who refuse to be spectators of history and are using independent documentary as a tool to drive accountability, and not only observation,” said Jon-Sesrie Goff, program officer for JustFilms at the Ford Foundation. “They provide a critical perspective that is all more needed for both audiences and the field at large as nonfiction content continues to rise in popularity. We are confident these works will drive wide reach and impact.”
“The stories we tell will define the world we live in, with documentarians holding a mirror to our humanity in their works,” said Chi-hui Yang, senior program officer for JustFilms at the Ford Foundation. “We are committed to supporting Independent filmmaking that offers a slow approach to storytelling where the makers spend time entrenched in subject matter and craft and are rooted in the perspective of the communities that are seen in their films.”
The JustFilms grantees span over 60 years of filmmaking practice, including a new documentary in development by filmmaking pioneer Madeline Anderson, the first Black woman to produce and direct a televised documentary film and one of the first women of color to join the Motion Picture Editors Guild. The film will reflect on her career and contributions to independent documentary film and public television.
Alex Rivera’s BANISHMENT will frame abolition and the re-imagining of law enforcement through the United States’ history of deportation. The documentary will examine ways in which the 19th-century implementation of deportation was misaligned with the country’s founding principles and the contested history of the practice.
A trio of filmmakers, Heather Courtney, Chelsea Hernandez, and Princess Hairston, follow the fearless journalists at The 19th—a CFE journalism grantee—and the stories they cover across the United States. As the filmmakers document the story of a newsroom intent on sharing stories from women’s perspectives, they are also intentional about creating a documentary from the point of view of women.
There are projects that grapple with the subject of race—recently released THE NEUTRAL GROUND is director CJ Hunt’s examination of “The Lost Cause” through the six-year battle to remove four Confederate monuments from public grounds in New Orleans. David Siev’s BAD AXE explores race and resilience through the story of his Cambodian-Mexican-American family’s fight to save their restaurant in their rural town, while José Antonio Aguilera Contreras explores the colonial legacy and contemporary failure to address racism in Mexico in RACISMO MX.
Alongside traditional documentary funding, JustFilms contributed to special projects including the May 19th Project by See Us Unite, an artist collective founded by Renee Tajima-Peña and Jeff Chang. The project included 14 short videos to promote solidarity within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. They additionally supported Viewers Like Us, a podcast executive produced and hosted by filmmaker Grace Lee stemming from an essay Lee wrote about public television for Ford’s Creative Futures initiative, and the production of the orientation film at the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.
The full list of documentary films supported by JustFilms in 2021 includes:
Newly Granted Projects
Directors & Producers: Paula Eiselt & Tonya Lewis Lee
Following the preventable deaths of two young women due to childbirth complications, two bereaved fathers galvanize activists, birth-workers and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American crises of our time—the US maternal health crisis.
ASCO: WITHOUT PERMISSION
Director(s): Travis Gutiérrez Senger
Producer(s): Travis Gutiérrez Senger, Nick Boak, Andrew Renzi
Executive Producer(s): Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna
ASCO: WITHOUT PERMISSION is a feature length documentary that profiles the extraordinary art collective of the 70’s-80’s, ASCO, who merged activism/art and challenged Latinx representation in the art world, politics, and Hollywood through their incendiary performance art, photography, video, and muralism. WITHOUT PERMISSION examines the importance of their subversive and wildly spirited work and how it serves as a framework for representation in today’s cultural landscape. Through formal invention and the creation of original works with the next generation of Latinx artists, along with interviews with prominent actors, artists and activists, this documentary provides a call to action while celebrating a group that was far ahead of its time.
Director(s): David Siev
Producer(s): Jude Harris, Katarina Vasquez & David Siev
A second-generation Cambodian-American filmmaker returns to his rural hometown amid the pandemic to document his family struggling to keep their restaurant open. When the family uses their voice to speak up in a community divided by the BLM movement, mask mandates, and the impending election, we see them come together to heal their own American Dream in the face of white nationalists, anti-maskers, and scars of the Killing Fields.
Director & Producer: Alex Rivera
Deportations happen every hour of every day in the United States, but “deportation” appears nowhere in the US Constitution. ‘Banishment’ is the incredible true story of where deportation came from, how it almost never began, and a roadmap towards, perhaps, ending the practice forever.
DOUBLE EXPOSURE (working title)
Director(s): Phil Bertelsen
Producer(s): Phil Bertelsen & Lise Yasui
Ernest Withers’ camera captured the joys and sorrows of African American life and spread the news of civil rights. His photos also appeared in FBI files, provided by informant ME-338-R: Ernest Withers. DOUBLE EXPOSURE unravels the mystery and motives in Withers life and career, raising questions about loyalty, power, and patriotism in very troubled times.
Director(s): Pascale Appora-Genekindy
Co-Director(s): Ningyi Sun
Producer(s): Mathieu Faure
Executive Producer: Steve Dorst
EAT BITTER is a character-driven vérité film set in the Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries in the world. During the civil war, an immigrant Chinese construction manager and a local African laborer work on opposite ends of the spectrum to construct a sparkling new bank. As deadlines loom, they don’t hesitate to strip the earth and destroy their family lives for a seat at the table of prosperity.
Director(s): Ulises de la Orden
Producer(s): Ulises de la Orden & Alessandro Borrelli
Argentina, 1985. Trial of the military Juntas of the last dictatorship. On the stand, the six judges. On one side the Prosecution, on the other, the military personnel accused of genocide. The witnesses in the centre. During 90 days, the horror stories were heard. And the final sentence: Never again.
THE EMPIRE OF EBONY
Director(s): Lisa Cortes
Producer(s): Roger Ross Williams, Brenda Robinson, Linda Johnson-Rice, Geoff Martz & Alyse Shorland
The story of John H. and Eunice Johnson is—in many ways—a classic story of the American dream. Starting in 1942 in Chicago with a $500 loan secured by Mr. Johnson’s mother’s furniture, they grew the Johnson Publishing Company into a media juggernaut that included not just the iconic magazines Ebony and Jet, but also books, cosmetics, fashion, television and radio stations. Ebony and Jet magazine chronicled over 75 years of African American history—through the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement to the greatest Black firsts across society. The cultural impact is unparalleled: this was a place where African Americans could see themselves—not just in the articles and photo spreads, but in the advertisements, too. This media empire was a beacon of possibility and aspiration personified and has left a rich archival legacy to be explored.
FREE CHOL SOO LEE
Director(s): Eugene Yi & Julie Ha
Producer(s): Su Kim, Julie Ha & Eugene Yi
Co-Producer: Sona Jo
A Korean immigrant lands in prison after being mistaken for the hitman in a 1973 San Francisco Chinatown gang murder. The case sparks a landmark movement, uniting Asian Americans as never before, and they succeed in setting Chol Soo Lee free. But, once out, he struggles to live up to his newfound status as a symbol, and his demons ultimately threaten to destroy the legacy of the movement and the man himself.
FOR ALL THE SAINTS
Director(s): CB Hackworth
Producer(s): Jane Cole, Andrew Young
Reverend Andrew Young reflects on the lives and work of John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and Hosea Williams in the Civil Rights Movement.
HOW TO BUILD A LIBRARY
Director(s) & Producer(s): Maia Lekow & Christopher King
Two tenacious Kenyan women are transforming a dilapidated, junk-filled library in downtown Nairobi into a hub for the city’s citizens and creatives. But first they must wrangle with the local government, raise several million dollars for the rebuild, and confront the ghosts of a problematic colonial history still trapped within the library walls.
Director(s): Silvia Castaños, Estefanía “Beba” Contreras, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Diane Ng, Ana Rodriguez-Falco & Jillian Schlesinger
Producer(s): Leslie Benavides, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Ana Rodriguez-Falco & Jillian Schlesinger
In this collaborative coming-of-age film, best friends Silvia and Beba escape the cruel heat of their Texas border town, wandering empty streets at night in search of inspiration, adventure, and a sense of belonging. When forces beyond their control threaten their shared dreams, they take a stand and hold onto what they can—the moment and each other.
I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE
Director(s): Reid Davenport
Producer(s): Keith Wilson
Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, disabled filmmaker Reid Davenport launches into an unflinching meditation on freakdom, (in)visibility, and the pursuit of individual agency. Filmed entirely from the filmmaker’s physical perspective, I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE delves into Davenport’s thoughts on how he is seen, his distant family, and whether his own films have fallen into the legacy of the Freak Show.
JFK8 (working title)
Director(s): Brett Story & Stephen Maing
Producer(s): Samantha Curley & Marianne Verrone
From the perspective of a single Amazon fulfillment center, JFK8 is an intimate portrait of current and former Amazon workers taking on one of the world’s largest and most powerful
companies in the fight to unionize.
KARUARA, PEOPLE OF THE RIVER
Director(s): Miguel Araoz Cartagena & Stephanie Boyd
Producer(s): Stephanie Boyd, Leonardo Tello Imaina, Mari Luz Canaquiri & Fabricio Deza Iturri
Beneath the waters of Peru’s Amazon lies a vibrant world of spirits led by the Karuara. A brave indigenous woman and her people confront powerful interests to save their river and these sacred beings.
MADELINE ANDERSON MEMOIR UNTITLED
Director(s): Madeline Anderson
Producer(s): Immy Humes
At 94, the first Black woman documentary filmmaker is making another film, this time about her own life as an activist and filmmaker.
MAX ROACH: THE DRUM ALSO WALTZES
Director(s) & Producer(s): Sam Pollard & Ben Shapiro
MAX ROACH: THE DRUM ALSO WALTZES explores the life and musical career of the legendary drummer, composer and activist, across an incredible series of career and personal peaks, valleys, reinventions. His creativity, constant thirst for innovation, and unshakable commitment to social change kept Roach at the forefront of music and cultural activism across seven decades—from the Jim Crow era to the Civil Rights years, from the heady days of post-war modern jazz, clear to the hip hop-era and beyond.
MAY 19 PROJECT
Director(s): Grace Lee, Stephen Maing, Juan Mejia, Bo Mirhosseni, Tadashi Nakamura, PJ Raval, Jun Stinson
Producer(s): Jeff Chang, Renee Tajima-Peña
A rapid response social media campaign launched during a surge of anti-Asian American Pacific Islander violence and racially divisive narratives. The 14 short videos center the legacy of AAPI and interracial solidarity, from histories like Frederick Douglass and Wong Kim Ark’s fight for immigrant rights, to stories of the now, such as Youa Vang Lee’s advocacy for justice for her son and for George Floyd.
Director(s): Catherine Gund
Producer(s): Erika Dilday
MEANWHILE is the first docu-essay film to animate Claudia Rankine’s voice with cinematic devices—archival and observational footage—to capture how living inside the grips of a society controlled by whiteness shapes our connections to others
Director(s): Khristine Gillard
Producer(s): Julien Contreau
THE MINUSCULES accompanies a civic struggle in Nicaragua, initiated in 2013 against the construction of the Interoceanic Canal that would cut the country in half, under the volcano, through forests and farmland. In April 2018, in a reaction against multiple abuses of power, different social movements converge—the peasants, the students, the environmentalists, the LGBTQ+ community—and the insurrection explodes. What does resistance create?
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
Director(s)& Producer(s): Louis Alvarez & Andrew Kolker
Building on the mission of PEOPLE LIKE US, the classic film on social class and inequality, MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED examines the current state of social class in America: how the educated upper-middle-class is increasingly separating itself from both the middle and working classes, and how Americans on the economic margins endure a daily regime of structural challenges that remain largely invisible to most of their fellow citizens.
Director(s) & Producer(s): Rachael DeCruz & Jeremy S. Levine
NINE follows Gerald Hankerson, a Black 52-year old community leader, as he fights to get his former cellmate out of prison and pass legislation to reinstate parole in Washington State. Gerald met Henry Grisby—a man he came to lovingly call “Pops”—in Washington State’s maximum security prison. NINE is about enduring bonds of friendship forged across generations and decades, and the power it gives both men to push back against an oppressive criminal justice system.
Director(s): José Antonio Aguilar Contreras
Producer(s): José Antonio Aguilar Contreras & Christian Rubio
RACISMO MX explores how racism manifests in the lives of three people in Mexico: Manu, Viri, and Jean. The film depicts how Mexican racism has evolved since Colonial times and the way most of the country denies its existence although it still affects millions of non-white people. The director joins them in this emotional journey, confronting himself to the issue that he has experienced many times in his life.
RIVER OF GRASS
Director(s): Sasha Wortzel
Producer(s): Danielle Varga & Sasha Wortzel
A film about Florida’s water crisis, RIVER OF GRASS brings audiences on a journey through the past, present, and precarious future of the Everglades, an imperiled and iconic American region on the verge of collapse.
Director(s): Sarah Jones
Producer(s): Sarah Jones, David Goldblum & Julie Parker Benello
SELL/BUY/DATE is a heartfelt, candid and witty documentary that follows the Tony Award-winning playwright, performer and comedian Sarah Jones. As a Black woman in America she, with the help of the multi-cultural characters she’s known for, explores her own personal relationship to one of the most urgent issues at the intersection of feminism, race, power and identity in our current cultural climate: sex work.
SILENCE IN SIKESTON
Director(s): Jill Rosenbaum Meyer
Producer(s): Cara Anthony
SILENCE IN SIKESTON tells the story of how the 1942 lynching of Cleo Wright—and the failure of the first federal attempt to prosecute a lynching—continues to haunt a rural Missouri community divided by race, with the past reverberating in a 2020 police killing of a young Black father.
TELL ME ANOTHER STORY
Director(s): Damani Baker
Producer(s): Noah Bashevkin, Rachel Chanoff, Deborah Pope & Diana Vozza
TELL ME ANOTHER STORY paints a portrait of the children’s literature community and its movement toward a greater diversity of voices and stories. Through intimate conversations with some of the most esteemed creators in the field and an historical account of 20th century activism, this is the story of the unique power and potential of children’s books to change our culture and reimagine the future.
TESTAMENT (working title)
Director(s): Meena Nanji & Zippy Kimundu
Producer(s): Meena Nanji, Zippy Kimundu & Eliane Ferreira
Set in Kenya, TESTAMENT follows Wanjugu Kimathi, a woman searching for her father’s remains. She soon discovers a buried history of British colonial atrocities, including concentration camps and land theft that left hundreds of thousands Kenyans destitute. Her personal mission expands, and she transforms into a powerful advocate for exposing colonial brutality while building a grassroots movement for land resettlement.
THE UNTITLED 19TH* NEWS FILM
Director(s): Heather Courtney, Chelsea Hernandez, Princess Hairston
Producer(s): Diane Quon, Heather Courtney, Chelsea Hernandez
In 2020, a fearless group of female journalists seek to upend the white male status quo by launching an all-women and non-binary news start-up. Building a newsroom that reflects the women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ communities they’re writing about, The 19th* News could be a model in these changing times—if they can survive their tumultuous first years.
UNTITLED DETROIT EDUCATION DOCUMENTARY
Director(s): Brian George and Samara Rosenbaum
Producer(s): Brent Palmer, Samara Rosenbaum, and Danny Glover (executive producer)
This feature documentary investigates the connections between education, structural racism, and democracy in America. The film follows a student, a teacher, a mother, and a long-time activist in Detroit as they fight against private interests for control over their public school district.
UNTITLED DOMESTIC WORKERS DOCUMENTARY
Director(s): Paola Mendoza
Producer(s): Jill Howerton, Josh Kunau and Olga Segura
There are 2.5 million domestic workers in the United States serving as a foundation for the growth of our economy, yet their work has consistently been rendered invisible. The film follows inspiring characters in the care industry as they fight for safety, dignity and respect, carrying on the legacy of generations of domestic workers that came before them, all while navigating their own personal journeys.
UNTITLED JAMAICA KINCAID PROJECT
Director(s) & Producer(s): Stephanie Black
Beginning with early childhood visits to tropical colonial gardens in Antigua to present-day global seed expeditions, the garden is both metaphor and manifestation of a quest for diversity, in the life of award-winning author, Jamaica Kincaid. This literary biography will follow the many-storied dimensions of Jamaica’s life experiences growing up in colonial Antigua, being sent to work as an au pair in Scarsdale as a teenager, becoming an acclaimed staff writer at the New Yorker at age 26 and beloved novelist.
UNTITLED LERONE D. WILSON DOCUMENTARY
Director(s): Lerone D. Wilson
Producer(s): Andrea Mustain & Lerone D. Wilson
Good intentions, unforeseen consequences, and the forces of the internet collide, revealing the humanity of social media and the humans confronting its unprecedented power.
UNTITLED NAM JUNE PAIK DOCUMENTARY
Director(s): Amanda Kim
Producer(s): Jennifer Stockman, David Koh & Amy Hobby
A documentary about the life and work of Nam June Paik, widely considered the father of video art. The story follows Paik’s displacement from his home country, South Korea to the US, in his youth, which fueled his desire to use technology and art to imagine a globally connected world and foster electronic empathy between warring countries. In pursuit of this vision, he overcame many obstacles as a minority artist to pioneer a new art form that was initially dismissed by the art world.
VIEWERS LIKE US
Director(s): Grace Lee
Producer(s): Grace Lee (co-executive producer and series host), Joaquin Alvarado (co-executive producer), Ken Ikeda (co-executive producer) & Olivia Aylmer (producer)
Viewers Like Us documents the growing disconnect between PBS’s founding mission and the increasingly diverse public it was created to serve. The audio series unearths five decades of rhyming history within the public broadcasting system, explores who gets to tell America’s stories today, and envisions what the future could look like if PBS centered a true diversity of experiences and perspectives. Following 2020’s intersecting racial and social reckonings, VLU’s podcast and digital platform aim to break a cycle of inertia when it comes to advancing—and sustaining—equity and inclusion throughout public media.
WHEN THEY WALK
Director(s): Jason DaSilva
Producer(s): Jason DaSilva, Naomi Middleton &Leigh DaSilva
Fifteen years ago, Jason DaSilva was diagnosed with a rare and relentless form of Multiple Sclerosis. Now quadriplegic, his biggest struggle is living in a world not made with people like him in mind. Faced with the issue of global inaccessibility, Jason attempts to map accessibility around the world. In this autobiographical and participatory documentary, Jason turns the camera on himself to show his body getting weaker and his life getting fuller. Can he make the future for accessibility brighter?
Director(s): Javier Lovera
Producer(s): Ina Fichman
WHOSE CITY follows four community coalitions in North America fighting against the rise of smart cities—the trend to embed technology in public spaces and infrastructure. Weaving the personal journeys of community leaders and expert testimony from technologists and scholars, WHOSE CITY explores the impact of emerging technologies on local democracies and human rights, celebrating those working tirelessly to reclaim their cities and redefine their future.
Director(s): Lisa Jackson
Producer(s): Lisa Jackson, Alicia Smith & Priscilla Galvez
WILFRED BUCK is a hybrid feature documentary centering on a Winnipeg-based Cree elder who’s at the forefront of an Indigenous star knowledge movement. Weaving together his harrowing youth and present life with sky stories, we’ll explore colonization’s impact on Indigenous ways of knowing and follow the dialogue that emerges as Wilfred’s work draws the attention of Western scientists.
Director(s): Michael Toledano
Producer(s): Brenda Michell, Jennifer Wickham, Franklin López, Michael Toledano
Executive Producer: Sam Vinal
Commissioner: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Freda Huson, a Wet’suwet’en leader, faces down fossil fuel corporations, the government, and police wielding assault rifles as she galvanizes her nation in a high-stakes struggle to protect their territory from gas and oil pipelines.
Continuing Grant Support
Director(s): Adam Khalil & Zack Khalil
Producer(s): Steve Holmgren, Franny Alfano, Grace Remington, & Tiffany Sia
In the sterile storage of museums and archives our ancestors’ remains struggle to find their way home. The film follows the Indigenous repatriation specialists that make up MACPRA (Michigan Anishinaabek Cultural Preservation & Repatriation Alliance) fighting to rebury and return ancestors from settler-colonial libraries, archives, and museums. Through an essayistic approach the film lays bare the history of Indigenous collections, the laws passed to ensure return of human remains and funerary objects, and vérité portraits of the righteous and courageous individuals doing the hard and emotionally draining work of bringing our ancestors back home.
AT THE READY
Director(s): Maisie Crow
Producer(s): Maisie Crow, Abbie Perrault & Hillary Pierce
Ten miles from the Mexican border, students at Horizon High School in El Paso, Texas, are enrolling in law enforcement classes and joining a unique after-school activity: the criminal justice club. Through mock-ups of drug raids and active-shooter takedowns, they inch closer to their desired careers in border patrol, policing, and customs enforcement. We follow Mexican American students Kassy and Cesar and recent graduate Cristina as they navigate the complications inherent in their chosen path and discover their choices may clash with the values and people they hold closest.
Director(s): Pamela Yates
Producer(s): Paco de Onís
The United States border is not just a geographical location. The border is everywhere. In every immigrant family, the border is inside each and every member because at any moment they can be ensnared, deported, destroyed. Skylight’s forthcoming feature-length documentary Borderland weaves the story of Indigenous Mayan migrants working to build a movement in the US claiming their human rights.
CAIRO, IL PROJECT
Director(s): Lisa Marie Malloy, JP Sniadecki & Ray Whitaker
Producer(s): Karin Chien
CAIRO, IL PROJECT offers a collectively-authored portrait of the overlooked yet vibrant and historic town of Cairo, IL, a former industrial and agricultural empire at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers that was a nexus for civil rights movements in the 1960s. Through intimate depictions, our film celebrates the town’s vibrant community spirit and participates in its resurgence in defiance of economic hardship, racial injustice, and negative perceptions.
GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT
Director(s) & Producer(s): Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson
GOING TO MARS: THE NIKKI GIOVANNI PROJECT pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.
IN PLAIN SIGHT
Director(s): PJ Raval
Producer(s): Farihah Zaman
IN PLAIN SIGHT is a limited docuseries that radically reframes the immigrant experience in support of the abolition of US migrant detention. The series will explore the critical role of art and artists through the coalition of activists, writers, scholars, and makers who collaborated on a spectacular trans-national, trans-media artwork in which meaningful phrases were skytyped over immigrant detention facilities, many of which are hidden from the American people whose tax dollars keep them running.
THE IN BETWEEN
Director(s): Robie Flores
Producer(s): Alejandro Flores, Kellen Quinn
THE IN BETWEEN is a lyrical coming-of-age portrait of growing up on the US-Mexico border. Woven from singular moments in the lives of children, from early childhood to adolescence, the film celebrates and explores the ordinary and extraordinary moments of day-to-day life.
MURDERS THAT MATTER
Director(s) & Producer(s): Marco Williams
MURDERS THAT MATTER documents Movita Johnson-Harrell an African American Muslim mother who, in the aftermath of her youngest son’s murder, vows to save all the other black sons, on both sides of the gun.
NO ACCIDENT (working title)
Director(s): Kristi Jacobson
Producer(s): Alexandra Moss, Michelle Carney & Netsanet Negussie
With exclusive access to attorney Roberta Kaplan, her team, and the plaintiffs she represents, NO ACCIDENT, an urgent, timely, and intimate verité film, will capture the rapidly unfolding legal drama in the case of Sines v. Kessler, which holds that the organizers of the Unite the Right march that took place in Charlottesville on August 11-12, 2017, intended to incite the violence that so tragically erupted there.
THE NEUTRAL GROUND
Director(s): CJ Hunt
Producer(s): Darcy McKinnon
In 2015, director CJ Hunt began filming the New Orleans City Council’s vote to remove four Confederate monuments. But when the proposed removal was halted by death threats, Hunt sets out to understand why a losing army from 1865 still holds so much power in America. The result is THE NEUTRAL GROUND, Hunt’s smart, and bitterly funny look at America’s troubled romance with The Lost Cause.”While the film is an exploration of race in America, it is also an exploration of Hunt’s own racial identity as African American.
STORMING CAESARS PALACE
Director(s): Hazel Gurland-Pooler
Producer(s): Hazel Gurland-Pooler & Nazanet Habtezghi
STORMING CAESARS PALACE uplifts the story of Black women who took on Presidents, the Mob, and everyday Americans, challenging the pernicious lie of the “welfare queen.” Las Vegas activist Ruby Duncan recalls how she and a band of ordinary mothers launched one of the most extraordinary feminist, anti-poverty movements in our history, offering a blueprint today for an equitable future.
UNTITLED MICHAEL PREMO FILM
Director(s): Michael Premo
Producer(s): Rachel Falcone
A feature film about contemporary America.
UNTITLED MUSCOGEE NATION DOCUMENTARY
Director(s): Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler
Producer(s): Garrett Baker, Conrad Beilharz, Tyler Graim
When the Muscogee Nation suddenly begins censoring their free press, a rogue reporter fights to expose her government’s corruption in a historic battle that will have ramifications for all of Indian Country.
Director(s)& Producer(s): Abby Ginzberg
WAGING CHANGE shines a spotlight on the challenges faced by restaurant workers trying to feed themselves and their families off tips with the growing movement to end the tipped minimum wage. Featuring Saru Jayaraman, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the film reveals an American workers’ struggle hidden in plain sight—the effort to end the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13 for restaurant servers and bartenders.
WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND (LO QUE DEJAMOS ATRÁS)
Director(s): Iliana Sosa
Producer(s): Emma D. Miller & Iliana Sosa
For decades, filmmaker Iliana Sosa’s grandfather Julián has traveled by bus from Mexico to visit family in the US. Now 89 and unable to make the journey, Julián begins construction on a new house in Mexico that he says will be for the whole family. WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND (LO QUE DEJAMOS ATRÁS) follows Julián in the twilight of his life, as his granddaughter pieces together how their transnational family has built and rebuilt home over decades of separation.
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