The grants were selected by a committee of human rights experts and film professionals from more than 300 global projects.
'The films funded in this round represent a range of documentary style and innovation combined with issue-based storytelling that promise to be extraordinary,' said Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Programme.
'Each of them fulfils our goal to provide support at a crucial, often difficult time in the life of a film and to encourage a combination of innovative and effective storytelling in raising awareness about issues that touch all of us.'
The 20 Sundance Institute Documentary Fund grant recipients are:
Francois Verster, Dream Of Shahrazad (South Africa)
Astra Taylor, Megapolis (US)
Kamal Aljafari, Port Of Memory (Palestine/Germany)
Deann Borshay Liem, Precious Objects Of Desire (US)
Laura Poitras, Release (US)
Carrie Lozano and Sam Green, Speaking From The Grave (US)
Tod Lending, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning (US)
Phil Grabsky Angola Music School (Rivers Of Gold) (working title) UK
Ed Pincus and Lucia Small, The Axe In The Attic (US)
Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss, Full Battle Rattle (US)
Daniel B Gold and Judith Helfand, Everything's Cool (US)
Weijun Chen, Please Vote For Me (China/South Africa)
Esteban Uyarra and Michael Christofferson, Saddam On Trial: Battle For
Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi, Waiting For Armageddon (US)
Nahid Persson, My Wives And Me (Iran)
Mahmoud Al Massad, Recycle (Jordan)
Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, The Devil Came On Horseback (US)
Maria Finitzo, Terra Incognita: The Promise And Perils Of Stem Cell