Stories of post-TalibanAfghanistan, Mexican immigrants and a Shakespearean prison troupe are among 14recipients of the latest round of bi-annual grants from the SundanceDocumentary Fund (SDF).
"The recipients of thisfall's grant cycle show an uncanny ability to get to the heart of crucialissues and events, which are not being covered by the mainstream media,"Diane Weyermann, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, said in astatement.
"These documentaryfilm-makers are making an extremely important contribution to our understandingof the world and we're pleased to be able to support their projects."
Originally established in1996 as the Soros Documentary Fund, the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund wascreated in 2002 and offers development, work-in-progress and supplementalawards to US and international pictures that tackle human rights-relatedthemes.
The fund is backed by a$4.6m grant from the New York-based Open Society Institute and has launchedsuch award-winning titles as Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco's Daughter FromDanang and Kate Davis's SouthernComfort, which won the 2002 and 2001Sundance Documentary Grand Jury Prize respectively.
The recipients are:
A Doula Story by Daniel Alpert (US)
Chronicles one woman'scommitment to educate and assist pregnant teens and teenage mothers living inone of Chicago's poorest neighbourhoods.
Europe, The Citadel by Gilles de Maistre (France)
Exposes the difficulties ofimmigration by illuminating the devastating realities faced by African exilesas they journey to Europe in hope of a better life.
Manda Bala (Send ABullet) by Jason Kohn (US)
Explores kidnapping andcorruption in contemporary Brazil through the parallel stories of a plasticsurgeon and a frog farmer.
Persons Of Interest by Alison Maclean (US)
Tells the complex,behind-the-scenes stories of innocent victims of the domestic war on terrorismfollowing the September 11 attacks.
Fall Of Fujimori by Ellen Perry (US)
Chronicles the tumultuous10-year reign of Peru's former president, Alberto Fujimori, as his battleagainst terrorism ends in subverting the system of democracy he was elected touphold.
The World StoppedWatching by Peter Raymont (Canada)
Explores the fate ofordinary citizens of Nicaragua, the final battleground of the Cold War, nowthat the media spotlight has turned away.
Which Way Home by Rebecca Cammisa (US)
Every year, thousands ofLatin Americans cross the US border illegally in search of employment, leavingtheir children behind. Which Way Home follows a few of these children as theymake the same perilous journey with the hope of a reunion with their parents.
Wonders Are Many by Jon Else (US)
Follows the making of DoctorAtomic, the new opera from PeterSellars and John Adams that creatively explores the life of J RobertOppenheimer and the birth of nuclear weapons.
The Boy Who Plays On TheBuddhas Of Bamiyan by Phil Grabsky (UK)
Grabsky paints a revealingportrait of daily life in post-Taliban Afghanistan, as seen through the eyes ofan eight-year-old boy, his family, friends, and neighbours, who live in thecaves beside the destroyed Buddhas of Bamiyan.
The Last Conquistador by Cristina Ibarra and John Valadez (US)
Investigates the complexlegacy of conquest via the controversial construction of a larger-than-lifepublic memorial to Juan de Onate in El Paso, Texas, and the long-standingracial tension it reignites between the Acoma Indians and proud Hispanics.
Tale Of Two Brothers by Mercedes Moncada (Mexico)
Tells the story of twinbrothers from Nicaragua who fought on opposite sides of the Contra war duringthe 1980s and their attempts to reconcile with each other in a divided anddevastated post-war country.
In Pursuit Of Liberty by Jonathan Stack (US)
Examines current events inLiberia from all sides of the conflict - the rebel army's attempts to overthrowthe government, the government struggling to hold onto power, and the foreignpolicy response of the United States.
Romantico by Mark Becker (US)
A portrayal of illegalimmigrants in the US through the eyes of two Mexican musicians who playromantic music for tips to support their families back home. The film exposestheir struggles as they repeatedly cross the border in both directions in hopeof a better future.
Shakespeare Behind Bars by Hank Rogerson (US)
Members of an all-maleShakespeare acting company at a prison in Kentucky confront their pasts ascriminals and their futures as convicts while they rehearse and perform a fullproduction of The Tempest.