Over a luncheon in Riverpark restaurant today, TFI announced a series of new program award-winners and grantees. Among them were two winner of the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Awards, presented by Time Warner, which went to a documentary and narrative from this year's 12 TAA selections.
The TAA Creative Promise Award for Documentary went to Dawn Porter's Gideon's Army, and the Award for Narrative to Tina Mabry's County Line. Each will receive $10,000, as well as an original piece of contemporary art. This year's jurors were Hiam Abbass, Ajay Naidu and F. Gary Gray on the narrative side, and Elvis Mitchell, Suroosh Alvi and John Quinones on the doc side.
Also announced at the luncheon were $25,000 in alumni grants and fellowships for past TAA projects or new works from TAA participants. The TAA Narrative Ontrack Grant went to Annemarie Jacir's When I Saw You, about a boy who runs away from home in Jordan in the 1960s. The TAA Documentary Ontrack Grant went to PJ Raval's Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary, which follows several LGBTQ seniors as they navigate the challenges and surprises of their "golden years."
The TAA Trans Media Award for a narrative film went to Chinafornia, co-writer/director Ellie Lee's animated film set in 2018 America, when the US gives China the state of California after being unable to pay the ten trillion dollars it owes the country. The documentary award went to Untitled Mu Xin Project, Francisco Bello's film about Chinese artist Mu Xin, beginning when he was illegally imprisoned and looking at how he transformed his experiences into a body of work.
The TAA Adrienne Shelly Foundation Filmmaker Grant, a $5,000 grant which goes toward the advancement of a talented female filmmaker, went to Natalia Almada's El Jardin.
The Games for Change Fellowship for TAA Alumni went to The Undocumented, Marco Williams' documentary looking the Mexico-Arizona border during the deadly summer months.
The Audience Activation Grant went to The Ipo Boys (aka They Are All My Brothers), Nicole Oppers documentary about boys at a home for abandoned youth in Mexico who learn to make artisan goat cheese.
The Latin America Media Arts Fund also announced four winners to support innovative film and video artists who are living or working in Mexico, Central and South America. Each will receive $10,000 in grants and guidance. This year's jury consisted of Benicio Del Toro, Paola Mendoza and Mónica Lozano. The awards announced today included Juan Mejia's The Battle for Land (Columbia), a journey into the complexities of mass displacement; Violeta Ayala's Cocaine Prison (Bolivia), about the unlikely friendship that develops between two inmmates trying to establish a cocaine business inside Bolivia's craziest prison; Alba Mora-Roca's Toys (Mexico), about how a Mexican-Japanese family's peculiar love for toys helps children overcome the effects of violence; and Taira Akbar and Heidi Brandenburg's When Two Worlds Collide (Peru), about an indigenous leader forced into exile and facing 20 years in prison for resisting the environmental ruin of Amazonian lands by big business.
Four additional grantees of the TFI Documentary Fund, created to further the development of character-driven documentaries, were also announced through the backing of NY-based Insurgent Media, a production and distribution company founded by Andrew Karsch, Erik Gordon and Fisher Stevens. The four recipients will each receive $10,000 in grants and guidance. The four films are Teenage, directed by Matt Wolf and written by Jon Savage, an unconventional historical film about youth culture; Of Monsters and Men, directed by Morgan Matthews, a fascinating and touching portrait of men who are obsessed with monsters; Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, directed by Havana Marking and produced by Mike Lerner, about the most successful jewel thieves of all time; and Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, directed by Ramona Diaz, following the real life rock-n-roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from You Tube to become the front man for iconic American rock band Journey.
Grants which were previously announced were also recognized at the annual awards ceremony including: TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantees, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the TFI Documentary Fund HBO Fellowships.
For more information, check out the official press release.