2014 TAA Alumni Grants Are Announced

We are happy to announce the 15 films selected for the 2014 Tribeca All Access® Alumni Grants. This program supports previous TAA grant winners on either the original project for which they earned the TAA grant or gives them the opportunity to apply the grant to a new project to use in any capacity of their choosing.

TAA grant winners from 2003, the program’s inaugural year, through 2014 are eligible to apply for TAA Alumni grants, which can be applied to a variety of support areas including editing, marketing, travel, public relations, web development or a new media project. With this support of projects at any stage that are outside the realm of feature-length productions, one of our supported projects this year, John Hughes Ruined My Life, marks the first time we've awarded a web series.

Other familiar titles that received TAA Alumni grants in 2014 include Time Is Illmatic (2013), which screened as the opening night film that this year's Tribeca Film Festival and Meet The Patels (2005) which was awarded the Audience Award at LA Film Fest, among others.

TFI modified the TAA Alumni grant submission process in 2014 to be rolling, with filmmakers able to apply each quarter as many filmmakers utilize the grant for unforeseen needs that arise as their projects become finalized.

TAA is made possible by Time Warner Foundation with additional support from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Here are the 2014 grantees:

Seven grants were awarded to Scripted Programming projects in various stages:

HARRIET: Production
Produced by Ronald Simons; The harrowing true story of American hero Harriet Tubman.

THE COLOR OF THE SKY: Script Development
Directed by Cherien Dabis; Forced to choose between the confinement of an arranged marriage and the freedom of the streets, a young Egyptian woman sets out to make it on her own.

MODEL BEHAVIOR: Filmmaker: Casting
Directed by Ry Russo-Young; A couple from Michigan and their beautiful young daughter are dragged into the murky depths of New York’s fashion underworld.

STYKA: Filmmaker: Special Effects
Produced by Krista Parris; Stryka is an otherworldy reptile woman who survives by thieving with her partner in crime, Callen.

BIG MAN: Filmmaker: Development
Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green; Nick Johnson intends to break the world record in bench press at 54 years old, but life throws him a curveball when the woman he’s dating vanishes and leaves him to care for her nine-year-old daughter.

A PASO DE MANGLES: Travel/Research
Directed by Paola Mendoza; Three women’s interlocking stories celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit in the shadow of Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict.

JOHN HUGHES RUINED MY LIFE (web series): Production
Directed by Milton Liu; A single thirty-something woman who was raised on a steady diet of John Hughes' movies finds that, in this day and age, searching for her Jake Ryan is more like "Some Kind of Terrible."

Eight grants were awarded to Documentary Programming projects in various stages:
TIME IS ILLMATIC: Festival edit
Directed and Produced by One9; Produced by Erik Parker; Told through the lens of rapper Nas and his bluesman father Olu Dara, this film deconstructs Nas' indelible rap album Illmatic and the socioeconomic and cultural conditions that inspired it.

Directed by Marco Williams; MURDERS THAT MATTER explores murder in the black community by investigating the death of two of the director’s family members.

MEET THE PATELS: PR for festival run
Directed by Geeta Patel  and Ravi Patel; Meet The Patels is a laugh-out-loud documentary about a 30-year-old first generation Indian-American guy trying to find love the really old fashioned way—by asking his parents to help find him a wife. *Previously titled ONE IN A BILLION.

Directed by David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall; Ryan, an indie video game developer, is building an unusually poetic video game to document his experiences raising his dying son, Joel.

THE NEW BLACK: Audience development and outreach
Directed by Yoruba Richen; The New Black documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church.

ALMOST SUNRISE: Post-production
Directed by Michael Collins; Produced by Marty Syjuco; An intimate story that exposes the growing epidemic of soldier suicides and moral injury, Almost Sunrise follows Tom and Anthony on a journey of hope and healing as they walk across America.

Directed by Dana Nachman; Batkid Begins follows the events leading up to the day Batkid saved San Francisco and what happens when an event goes unintentionally viral.

BLACK FOLK DON’T: Production of a fourth season
Directed by Angela Tucker; In its upcoming fourth season, this web series confronts common assumptions about the behavior of black people.

[Photo: Time Is Illmatic]