Projects exploring the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Filipina supply teachers in Baltimore, and the legacy of a Ku Klux Klan attack are among 15 to receive grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund.

The grants total $605,000 and comprise the first of two annual awards and were selected by human rights experts and film professionals to support films that focus on critical issues of our time.

"The projects selected in this funding cycle point to a growing chorus of international documentary filmmakers grappling with contemporary issues playing out in all sectors of society," Cara Mertes, incoming director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Programme, said.

"Through these important storytelling efforts, often complex realities are rendered in human terms, and audiences are increasingly seeking stories like this, which speak to them both artistically and as moving explorations of the human experience."

The recipients of works in progress grants are: Skye Fitzgerald's Bombhunters; Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar's Made In LA; Maria Yatskova, Irina Vodar and RaphaelaNeihausen's Miss Gulag; ShariRoberston and Michael Camerini's My American Dream; Ido Haar's 9 Star Hotel; Ramona S Diaz's The Learning; Melis Birder's The Visitors; Tia Lessin, Carl Deal and Amir Bar-Lev's TroubleThe Waters; and Petr Lom's TheTightrope.

Development grants go to:Margarita Martinez Escallon and Miguel Salazar's The Baton Resistance; Ra'anan Alexandrowicz' Justice Must Be Seen; and Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt's Chekpapi.

Supplemental grants go to: Adam Zucker's Greensboro: Closer To The Truth; and Daniel Junge's Rebirth Of A Nation; and Jon Else's WondersAre Many.