Earlier this month, TFI went to Bali! No, not vacation, but close, because we had a blast bringing the latest edition of our IF/Then Shorts Pitch Competition along with our partner In-Docs to Docs by the Sea. This IF/Then competition focused on filmmakers telling stories from Southeast Asian countries and was part 2 to the lab we ran earlier this year where we selected the finalists.
Before we share the winners, we want to give a huge thank you to Al Jazeera English and Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, director of the Indie Film Clinic at Cardozo School of Law, who conducted 2 legal workshops during the event. We also want to thank our American colleagues that joined us overseas - Chloe Gbai from POV, Ben Thompson from Tribeca Film Festival, Lisa Hasko from Film Independent and independent filmmaker Karin Chien. And of course a big thanks to our incredible IF/Then Shorts jury Aloke Devichand from Al Jazeera English, Patrick Hurley from Sheffield Doc Fest, Chloe Gbai from POV, Don Edkins from STEPS and TFI's Amy Hobby.
And the winners are...
Directors: Cha Escala, Kristoffer Brugada (Philippines)
Children of indigenous tribes in Mindanao fight for their right to education as the government militarizes their schools to quell rebel conflicts.
The Songbirds of Aceh
Director: Aminda Faradilla (Malaysia)
In one of the strictest Muslim states in the world, an all-female teenage Muslim choir tackles gender inequality and Islamic extremism using nothing more than their voices in song.
How Far I’ll Go
Director: Ucu Agustin (Indonesia)
Two blind childhood friends — now teenage girls, Andrea and Salsabila, living with their blindness in two different continents — USA and Indonesia.
Diary of Cattle
Directors: David Darmadi, Lidia Afrilita (Indonesia)
This film is a tragic comedy about the lives of three different cows who have different personalities but share the same home at a landfill site.
These four projects will receive completion funding from In-Docs and TFI as well as mentorship and distribution support.
In addition, the following short documentary project from the IF/Then Shorts program will be fully commissioned by the major news network Al Jazeera English for its Witness documentary series...
Touch the Color
Director: Baby Ruth (Philippines)
Two sisters are serving life in prison for keeping a missing boy. The law says it's kidnapping, while they claim they were ensuring the boy's safety. After 19 years, a possibility for parole emerges on the condition that the mother of the boy meets them and grants forgiveness.
We're also thrilled to share that additional industry prizes went to our IF/Then Shorts finalists: Under the Stars (IF/Then finalist) will go to IDFA Academy, Songbirds of Aceh ( IF/Then Winner) & Touch the Colour (IF/Then Al Jazeera English Commission winner) will go to Docs Port Incheon, South Korea and finally How Far I’ll Go (IF/Then winner) will go to Tokyo Docs. Congrats to all!