Sundance Institute Awards Grants to 18 Documentary Projects

The Sundance Institute has unveiled the latest recipients of grants for documentary projects spanning the globe.

The 18 projects, all in various stages of development, will split a total of $590,000 in unrestricted grant support, provided by the Open Society Foundations, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Luminate.

This year’s projects represent 20 countries and territories across five continents, with more than half the films having international roots. With all U.S. films this year helmed by at least one Black, Indigenous or person of color director, this year’s granting focused on projects by artists from underrepresented communities, ensuring that the stories be told from within the communities. Thirteen of the 18 projects are also led by women directors.

“Supporting equity in storytelling by elevating diverse cohorts is central to our mission,” documentary film fund director Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs said. “Sundance funding can play a vital role in creating a space for freedom of speech, stimulating local documentary production and ensuring that nonfiction narratives from around the world are elevated.”

This year’s films include Crystal Kayiza’s “The Gardeners,” Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbó’s “Gross National Happiness,” Lara Sousa and Everlane Moraes’ “The Ship and the Sea” and Sára Timár’s “Under the Dance Floor,” which are all currently in development. Films in production include Sarvnik Kaur’s “Against the Tide,” Lana Daher’s “Do You Love Me (working title),” Juan Mejia’s “Igualada,” Assia Boundaoui’s “Inverse Surveillance Project,” Nelson Makengo’s “Rising Up at Night,” Anna Hints’ “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood,” Zvi Landsman’s “The Therapy” and Sura Mallouh’s “Untitled.” The films already in post-production are Débora Souza Silva’s “Black Mothers,” Byron Hurt’s “Hazing,” So Yun Um’s “Liquor Store Dreams,” Jasmin Mara López’s “Silent Beauty” and Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler’s “Untitled Muscogee Nation Documentary.”

Previous recipients include “American Factory,” “Collective,” “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” and “The Mole Agent.”

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