Grants are announced twice a year and submissions are judged on their approach to storytelling, artistic treatment and innovation, subject relevance and potential for social engagement. Staff received 325 applications for this cycle from more than 52 countries.
Films funded in this round tell stories of the emotional impact of the death penalty, artists in exile from Burma, the largest annual migration of Chinese in the world and Muslims in the post-9/11 world. 'From China, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Iran and the United States, the Documentary Film Program considered our most international docket yet,' Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, said.
'With this round we also introduce engagement grants, which are designed to extend the continuum of support the Fund offers by providing seed money for innovative distribution strategies for films that have received Sundance DFP funding previously. '
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
Toma Kudrna's All That Glitters (Kyrgyzstan/Czech Republic)
In a remote village in Kyrgyzstan, the discovery of gold by an international mining company offers benefits and threats to the community and the environment.
Nic Dunlop's Burma Soldier (Burma/Thailand/US)
Myo Myint's dramatic transformation from a soldier of Burma's junta to a pro-democracy activist tells the story of modern Burma today.
Maria Teresa Rodriguez' Donde Estan' The Disappeared Children Of El
Salvador (US/El Salvador)
Margarita Zamora, an investigator who survived the civil war in El Salvador, tracks down disappeared children and reunites them with their families.
Amlan Datta's Image: Democracy (India)
India's 350million citizens must each receive a photo identity card prior to the 2009 elections in the world's largest democracy. Many have never been photographed in their entire life and the process is creating a new image for modern India.
Bishnu Dev Halder's a tale of three sisters (India)
Two sisters from a remote Indian village migrate to New Delhi in search of a new life while the third sister awaits her turn.
Leonard Retel Helmrich's Position Of The Stars (Indonesia/Netherlands)
The director of Eye Of The Day and Shape Of The Moon returns with the third film in a trilogy about the life of the Sjamsudin family in Indonesia after the fall of President Suharto.
PROJECTS IN PRODUCTION/POST-PRODUCTION
Carol Dysinger's Camp Victory: Afghanistan (US)
Follows US National Guardsmen as they deploy to Afghanistan to train the Afghan National Army.
Heather Rae's Family: The First Circle (US/Native American)
Examines the foster care system and the challenges now faced due to methamphetamines.
Michael Collins' Give Up Tomorrow (US/Philippines)
Looks at the grass-roots campaign to free a wrongly accused man on death row in the Philippines that led to the abolition of the death penalty.
Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater's Goundo's Daughter (US)
Chronicles a Mali woman's fight for political asylum in the US as she tries to protect her daughter from female genital mutilation.
Lixin Fan's Last Train Home (China)
China experiences the largest internal migration in the world as rural workers travel to cities for jobs. The Zhang family, torn apart by years of separation, save year-round to travel home each Chinese New Year.
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor's New Muslim Cool (US)
Jason 'Hamza' Perez is a Puerto Rican American and ex-gang member who has converted to Islam. Over the course of three years he struggles to maintain his family, faith and artistic pursuits in contemporary, post-9/11 America.
Orhan Eskikooy and Ozgur Dogan's On The Way To School (Turkey)
Since the 1920s, Kurds in Turkey have resisted the official ban on speaking or writing Kurdish. The film follows a year in the life of a Turkish teacher teaching Kurdish children in eastern Turkey.
Laura Poitras' Release (US/Yemen)
The second documentary in Poitras' The New American Century trilogy
about post-9/11 America follows the stories of men released from
Guantanamo Bay prison.
Jakob Preuss' The Other Chelsea (Germany)
Two middle-aged Ukrainian miners try to keep pace with the political and economical changes in their home country.
Gef Senz' Virtual Freedom (Australia)
This part animation, part documentary presents an innovative portrait of Burma through the internet as seen through the eyes of exile, animator, chef and political activist Maung Maung Aye.
Farid Haerinejad and Mohammad Reza Kazemi's Women In Shroud (Iran/Canada)
A dedicated group of Iranian lawyers and activists work together to eliminate the death penalty and the brutal process of stoning.
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT GRANTS
Pamela Yates' State Of Fear (US/Peru)
State Of Fear tells a story of repression and resistance as Peruvian leaders used the threat of terrorism to effectively dismantle democracy and turn Peru into a virtual dictatorship.
Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Trouble The Water (US)
An aspiring rap artist and her streetwise husband show what survival is all about after they are trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters caused by Hurrican Katrina. Winner of this year's Sundance Film Festival documentary grand jury prize.