Under Construction: A Glimpse At The 2013 TFI Grantees

The grantees have spent yesterday being prepped by our staff and pros in the industry, now it's time to talk business. Today kicks off our Industry Meetings at the Tribeca Film Festival for our 2013 class of grantees. In the coming days they will use this time to discuss their projects with some of the major players in the film world. It's a process that will help them move to that next level in their work and also make the decision makers aware of who they are.

Though we think all of our grantees have amazing projects there are a few that stand out. Here our program heads give us a sneak peek at some of the projects they are excited about and hopefully will be playing at a theater near you in the years to come. 

Ryan Harrington
Director, Documentary Programming


Tribeca All Access® grantee
Filmmaker Nariman Hamed has worked in the visual art world for years and he brings that experience to his first feature documentary. Shirin is more than just a portrait of the acclaimed exiled Iranian artist Shiirin Neshat, it is a broader examination of  the social, cultural and religious codes of the Iranian society that rejected the controversial artist. I am intrigued with Hamed's visual art sensibility and how that will inform a three-act feature-documentary. 


Latin America Media Arts Fund grantee
It's too rare that documentaries use humor to affect an audience; almost in a way that romantic comedies are able to do. However, filmmaker Paula Schargorodsky's charming and relatable The Girl Behind The Camera does just that. Remarkably void of ego that is all-too-prevalant in personal films, Schargorodky has filmed nearly every moment of importance in the last decade of her life. The thing missing: a stable relationship. This film looks at the life choices a woman is forced to make (or hasn't made) as she approaches mid-life. 


TFI Documentary Fund grantee
Planet of Snail was one of my favorite films of 2012 and I was more than eager to support the visionary Korean filmmaker Seung-Jun Yi on his follow-up effort. In Wind on the Moon, Yi once again captures the beautiful intimacy of the relationships of the often over-looked individuals in society: this time focusing on a mother who creates her own way communicating with her deaf-blind daughter. Never heavy handed, Yi's treatment of his subjects forces us to recognize our similarities more so than the differences that separate us. 


Ingrid Kopp
Director, Digital Initiatives


TFI New Media Fund grantee
Hollow is a really innovative approach to telling the story of home and of place—in this case a West Virginia  county on the brink of extinction. I was immediately drawn to Elaine McMillion's dedication and passion for this project and she has brought community filmmaking, interactive data and content together in a really creative and wonderful way. Although this is about one particular place it is also about lots of rural towns across the U.S. and I'm looking forward to seeing how people interact with it when it launches.


TFI New Media Fund grantee
The first thing that struck me about Immigrant Nation is the central concept that we all have an immigration story. The idea of creating a platform that allows people to discover their story and become part of a conversation is really exciting. This is the perfect example of a project that really benefits from interaction so that people can understand the issues more tangibly and personally. There is a huge need for this now and Theo Rigby is the right person to tell it, he's been focusing on immigration in the U.S for the past seven years.


TFI New Media Fund grantee
I'm fascinated by the idea of stories as software and hardware and I love that Lance Weiler is exploring this with Laika, a robot that travels around the world, inspiring kids along the way. Lance is a trailblazer in the field of interactive storytelling and it is a privilege to be able to support one of his projects.


Tamir Muhammad
Director, Feature Programming

The Lobbyists

Tribeca All Access® grantee
Terence Nance’s vibrant debut feature, The Oversimplification of Her Beauty, made a splash on the festival circuit last year. With the upcoming theatrical release, there’s plenty of momentum behind his fresh voice and artistic hand as he moves towards production on his anticipated second feature, The Lobbyists.

Obvious Child

Tribeca All Access® grantee
Gillian Robespierre truly impressed us all with her short Chunk, about an overweight teen sent to fat camp; Elisabeth Holme has had a crucial role in driving crowd-funding successes through Kickstarter; and Jenny Slate has wowed us with Marcel the Shell. This trifecta of unstoppable talents is combining to blow our minds with their collaboration in this dark comedy.


TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantee
Director Minh Nguyen-Vo’s highly acclaimed directorial debut Buffalo Boy was Vietnam’s entry to the 2006 Academy Awards. His highly precise, methodical and uniquely visual approach to the craft of filmmaking promises a new vision of the environment of the near future in 2030.


[Photo: Laika's Adventure]