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New York, NY - October 24, 2019 - Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), Verizon Media’s RYOT Films, and IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) have selected six finalists to pitch their climate change-focused short documentaries at IDFA 2019. Each team will have seven minutes to present their project to an international jury of industry luminaries. One winning project will receive a production grant of USD $25,000 from RYOT Films and year-round mentorship and career development through TFI’s IF/Then Shorts Program, which TFI created to amplify more inclusive voices in short-form storytelling. A second project will be awarded an honorable mention prize of USD $1,000. 

The six filmmaking teams selected for the pitch represent a variety of global regions, from Southeast Asia to the Caribbean. Each project explores how people and communities have been directly impacted by the climate crisis.   

“While communities around the world are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Institute, “the filmmakers selected for this pitch are doing the essential work of bringing their local stories around these issues to international audiences.” 

“From a great diversity of submissions, the final shortlist is a truly global slate that reflects the global nature of the crisis that humanity will face in years to come,” said Sarah Dawson, IDFA Programmer. “The selected films present not only the scale of the problem and the urgency of change, but also what's at stake, or what we stand to lose: the more delicate, beautiful and particular aspects of life on earth.”  

“The six projects chosen represent the wide-ranging and far reaching impacts of our current climate crisis,” said Hayley Pappas, Head of RYOT Films. “They are artful, global, and simultaneously personal stories that champion regional storytelling. We're thrilled to be able to support and excited to see these films come to life.” 

The pitch is open to the public and will take place on November 26th at IDFA 2019.  


Learn more about the projects and the artists behind them below:  


Director: Primrin Puarat 

Producer: Sirada Bunsermvicha  


A constantly expanding dumpsite in Chonburi has grown as tall as a mountain. Composed of over 3 million tons of waste, its notorious stench stretches across several kilometers. While Chonburi was positioned as a central base to drive the Thai economy, its development brings an environmental catastrophe in its wake. 


Director: Amada Torruella 

Producer: Seth Gadsden  

El Salvador 

The lives of three fisherwomen intertwine as they tackle the environmental degradation of their homeland from climate change, water mismanagement and human displacement.   


Director: Polen Ly 


A mother joins her small indigenous tribe to fight against commercial loggings in their ancestral forest, enduring countless risks and violence in process.   


Director: Arun Bhattarai 


One of Bhutan’s first glaciologists hikes for days through dangerous terrain, risking his life to measure the rapidly receding glaciers of the Himalayas.   


Director: Chloe White 

Producer: Jodie Taylor 


A striking meditation on loss and impermanence, through the personal cost of coastal erosion. Told by residents of various cliff-edge towns across the United Kingdom, as they lose their beloved homes to the sea. 


Director: Stephanie Saxemard 

Producer: Zephrine Royer  


The life of a young boy in Dominica who searches for normalcy after Hurricane Maria. 


About Tribeca Film Institute 

Tribeca Film Institute is a New York-based nonprofit organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff after 9/11 as a means to bring a community together through the power of film. Today, TFI works across the U.S. and globally to ensure that filmmakers and creators have the tools and resources they need to tell their stories, connect with audiences, and build thriving careers. We do all of this in service of the storyteller in order to break barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability that result from imbalances in representation and power. Working in documentary, scripted, and immersive media, TFI supports more than 225 storytellers each year through grants, mentorships, labs, and workshops valued at more than $2.25 million. For more information about TFI, please visit 


About RYOT Films 

RYOT Films is Verizon Media's Emmy Award®-winning, Academy Award®-nominated premium film studio. RYOT Films has produced a slate of critically acclaimed projects that have debuted at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and Hot Docs, among others. RYOT Films’ documentaries have been distributed with partners from HBO and POV to Showtime, Netflix, Amazon, NatGeo, and ESPN. Highlights include three Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for BODY TEAM 12, WATANI: MY  

HOMELAND, and LIFEBOAT. In 2018, as part of its commitment to funding groundbreaking storytelling, RYOT Films launched a multi-year multimillion dollar equity fund with Vice studios to produce premium documentaries. Current feature titles include THE BRINK, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER, CHE CHE LAVI, SEARCHING EVA, THE SEER & THE UNSEEN, FIRE ON THE HILL, SATAN & ADAM, and ON HER SHOULDERS.  


About IDFA 

IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) offers an independent, inspiring meeting place where audiences and professionals can see a diverse, high quality program. The diverse nature of the event applies to the form and content of the films as well as to the cultural backgrounds of the filmmakers. IDFA offers an alternative to mass entertainment and uniformity, confirming that there is an increasing need among audiences for high-quality films that delve deep and urge us to reflect. Since 2007, the festival's New Media program IDFA DocLab has been showcasing the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and exploring how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art. In addition to the festival, IDFA has developed several professional activities, contributing to the development of filmmakers and their films at all stages. At the co-financing and co-production market IDFA Forum, filmmakers and producers pitch their plans to financiers; at Docs for Sale new documentaries are on offer to programmers and distributors; the IDFA Bertha Fund supports filmmakers and documentary projects in developing countries and the IDFAcademy offers an international training program for up-and-coming documentary talent.  


IDFA 2019 takes place November 20 – December 1 in various locations in Amsterdam.  

23 Oct 2019