Under Construction: 2014 TFI Grantees Preview

Today the TFI 2014 grantees will take part in our industry meetings, which we provide during the Tribeca Film Festival so they have the opportunity to chat with a large part of the leading figures in the industry while they all are in town. The experience will be rewarding for all the filmmakers involved and though we are excited to see all of them progress over the next months and years, there are a few that our programmers are particular rooting for.

Here are a few projects you will be bragging to your friends you knew about way-back-when.
 

Documentary

OUT OF STATE 
Tribeca All Access® grantee

It’s always refreshing to witness new filmmaking voices emerge, and one such new voice is filmmaker Ciara Lacy. A native of Hawaii, Lacy is exploring the tumultuous process of redemption-seeking in her documentary Out of State. She has secured impressive access into a prison in the Arizona desert, where native Hawaiian inmates have been sent to. It is here where these inmates grapple with their past crimes and “inner demons” by learning and therapeutically practicing their native dance—hula. With a compelling verite approach, Lacy shows us the kinship that forms between inmates deeply connected to their country’s traditions—and the means by which they go to rehabilitate themselves and repair bonds with family members.
 

BEAVERLAND 
TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund grantee

Beaverland has a special place in my heart, mainly for the fact that the project participated in our inaugural Filmmaker Workshop in Santiago Chile—and then went on to apply for TFI funding and ultimately receive a Latin Fund grant! This is the first feature film for Chilean co-directors Antonio Luco and Nicolas Molina, who are tapping into bizarre and unconventional territory with real gusto. Luco and Molina follow a young couple of biologists studying a devastating overpopulation of beavers causing major deforestation in the Patagonia region. To combat this crisis and try to restore balance to the ecosystem, the two scientists decide to hunt and dissect the beavers to further analyze and understand this ecological dilemma. Luco’s and Molina’s storytelling technique carries a darkly comedic tone that makes the subject matter stand out, and complements the urgency of the environmental issue with an array of quirky and oddball subjects. 

Jose Rodriguez
Manager, Documentary Programming
 

Feature

PERMANENT
Tribeca All Access® grantee

Colette Burson is best known as the creator and executive producer of HBO’s hugely successful series Hung, which starred Thomas Jane and Anne Heche from 2009 to 2011. She’ll be bringing that same comedic sensibility to Permanent, the story of a girl in the 80’s stuck in a deadbeat town who only wants to have her hair permed but ends up with an afro instead when the beautician messes up. This causes her to not only deal with a ruined summer but to deal with the events that unfold surrounding her socially awkward family. Haroula Rose, who worked on the critically acclaimed film Fruitvale Station, will be producing.
 
 
AFRONAUTS
TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantee

Expanding the short that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival into a feature, the story is set in 1965 when the US was in a race with the USSR to put a man on the moon. Model/actress Diandra Forrest stars as a member of a disgraced group of Zambian exiles who have their own plans to launch a mission into space. Inspired by the true story of the Zambia Space Academy, writer/director Frances Bodomo had already created buzz within the independent film world with her first short, Boneshaker, which premiered at Sundance in 2013. Afronauts confirmed that buzz with its uniquely visual and lyrical style; ensuring Frances as a visionary filmmaker to watch.

John Lee
Manager, Feature Programming
 

Digital Initiatives

CHASING THE SUN
TFI New Media Fund

The Goggles are the very talented team behind Welcome To Pine Point and I am very excited about their next project about the Arctic, Chasing The Sun. The Goggles bring a really beautiful design aesthetic to their work and it’s exciting to see storytelling projects like this using the web as a creative medium.
 

THIS IS MY BACKYARD (LOGS OF WAR)
TFI New Media Fund

We have been very interested in how digital storytelling can be used to engage and activate people all over the world and it’s really fantastic to see a tool like This Is My Backyard being developed alongside a feature documentary, Logs of War. It’s doubly exciting that this app is being developed in Africa for African users.

Ingrid Kopp
Director, Digital Initiatives
 

[Photo: Out of State]