The New York-based organisation grants finishing funds to six projects, selected from 80 applications.

The New York-based Foundation For Jewish Culture has granted finishing funds ranging between $12,000 and $40,000 to six documentaries. The funds are designed to enable the film-makers to pay licence fees for music and archival footage, complete additional editing and shooting and build audience awareness through outreach and engagement strategies.

The grants fall under the Foundation’s Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Film which supports projects expanding understanding of the Jewish experience. 80 projects made applications this year and the final six recipients were selected by a panel including MOMA’s Sally Berger, film-maker Nicole Opper, film critic George Robinson and Daniella Tourgeman from the Jerusalem Cinematheque/Israel Film Archive.
The fund has supported the completion of over 80 films since 1996 including Waltz With Bashir, Budrus, William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe and The Rape Of Europa.
The winning projects are:

  • How To Re-Establish A Vodka Empire [pictured] directed by Dan Edelstyn, which traces the history of the film-maker’s Jewish grandmother who fled the Bolshevik revolution and settled in strife-torn Belfast.
  • Miss World, directed by Cecilia Peck (Shut Up And Sing), which is the story of Israeli beauty pageant queen Linor Abargil and her crusade to combat sexual violence against women.
  • My Father Evgeni, directed and produced by Andrei Zagdansky, follows the film-maker’s history working with his father for the Kiev Popular Science Film Studios.
  • The Return, directed and produced by Adam Zucker (Greensboro: Closer To The Truth), which follows four young Polish women who were raised Catholic only to discover that they were born Jewish.
  • Sosua: Dare To Dance Together, directed and produced by Peter Miller and Renee Silverman, which follows Jewish and Dominican teenagers over the course of the year as they create a musical theatre piece about German Jews finding refuge in the Dominican Republic in the late 1930s. 
  • Watchers Of The Sky directed by Edet Belzberg (Children Underground) which interweaves stories of four visionaries with the journey of lawyer Raphael Lemkin who drafted and pushed through the UN Genocide Convention.