The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci have announced the recipients for the 2009 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, which helps documentary filmmakers whose projects promote social change.
The fund, which is in its second year, has selected seven projects from 350 submissions from 41 countries to receive $100,000 from the Tribeca Film Institute.
The films were selected by a committee that includes Dan Cogan, Abigail Disney, Philip Gourevitch, Julia Ormond and Sam Pollard.
The selected films are:
-"Anatomy of Poverty" (Elinyisia Mosha)
-"Born Under Fire" (Jairo Eduardo Carrillo)
-"Enemies of the People" (Rob Lemkin & S. Thet)
-"Growing Small" (Jyllian Guther)
-"Made in India" (Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha)
-"Marathon Boy" (Gemma Atwal)
-"The Promise of Freedom" (Beth Murphy)
The films tell the stories of outsourcing surrogate mothers to India, a Cambodian journalist’s time spent Khmer Rouge killers, one high school’s unique approach to education, the controversial rise to fame of the world’s youngest marathon runner, the combined impact of privatization and foreign investment in Tanzania, chaotic childhood experiences in Colombia and one American’s attempts to save thousands of Iraqis.
"It was a great eye-opener to be part of the committee that selected the winning films," said Philip Gourevitch in a statement. "Each of the winners found a look and a tone that illuminated their material and their take on it in some indelible way, and each has stayed with me long after the screen went dark, seeing and hearing the voices of its subjects."
"It is very evident that these filmmakers are passionate about the topics they explore," said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Board for the fest. "Their films show a high level of artistry and sensitivity in humanizing larger social and geo-political conflicts."
A summary of the selected projects:
Anatomy of Poverty, Directed and Produced by Elinyisia Mosha. – (USA) Anatomy of Poverty follows several characters in order to explore the impact and progress of foreign direct investment on Tanzania over the last ten years since massive privatization measures were enacted.
Born Under Fire, Directed and Produced by Jairo Eduardo Carrillo. – (Colombia) Born Under Fire is an animated documentary which is based on interviews and drawings of displaced children who have grown up in the middle of violence and chaos in Colombia.
Enemies of the People, Directed and Produced by Rob Lemkin & S. Thet, Executive Producer Sandra Whipham. – (Cambodia, UK) Enemies of the People follows a young journalist, whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge, as he spends a decade making friends with the men and women who directed and perpetrated the Killing Fields. With ground-breaking confessions from the notorious Brother Number Two and the grassroots killers, he discovers a new and terrifying explanation for the genocide.
Growing Small, Directed and Produced by Jyllian Gunther, Executive Producer Jack Lechner – (USA) Growing Small witnesses one community’s arduous and idealistic endeavor to found its own public school. The film chronicles the 1st and 4th year of the Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) in an attempt re-invent urban education in their community of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Made in India, Directed and Produced by Rebecca Haimowitz & Vaishali Sinha. – (USA, India) Made in India traces the human experiences behind the phenomenon of outsourcing surrogate mothers. Intimate stories of infertile Americans and Indian surrogates reveal complex relationships between global economics, families in crisis, and personal choice.
Marathon Boy, Directed by Gemma Atwal. – (UK) Marathon Boy tells the story of a small boy from the slums of India who became a global phenomenon when he ran 65km non-stop and entered the record books as the world’s youngest marathon runner. Over a period of more than three years, a compelling human story emerges, full of moral dilemma, dramatic twists, and ethical and legal debate.
The Promise of Freedom, Directed and Produced by Beth Murphy, Co-Produced by Sean Flynn. – (USA) The Promise of Freedom is a modern-day Oskar Schindler story about a young American fighting to save tens of thousands of Iraqis whose lives are in danger because they worked for the U.S.
Special Note: Dan Cogan and Sam Pollard recused themselves from any discussion about Anatomy of Poverty, as they both were supporters of the film professionally.