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The American Film Institute has announced that four documentary projects that screened at the AFI Docs festival are receiving $75,000 in funds from the first-ever AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants.

The films are “The Conversation,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Peace Officer” and “Salam Neighbor.”

The grants will support the outreach and social action campaigns for the projects, which participated in the inaugural year of the AFI Docs Impact Lab, a filmmaker workshop sponsored by NBCUniversal and presented in partnership with Picture Motion.

“The AFI Docs film festival leverages the power of documentary storytelling to catalyze change through not only screenings and events but also through professional development for our filmmakers,” said festival director Michael Lumpkin. “The AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants will help turn their training into action.”

Beth Colleton, senior VP of corporate social responsibility at NBCUniversal, said, “NBCUniversal is excited to have joined with AFI on this initiative to help filmmakers find innovative ways to create a positive impact through their films. We believe these grants will drive awareness and education around important social issues by engaging consumers, communities and government, and help these filmmakers also be changemakers.”

Full descriptions of the four films follow:

THE CONVERSATION

Blair Foster Director/Producer

Geeta Gandbhir Director/Producer

Jessica Jones Impact Producer

THE CONVERSATION, a series of short films, uses powerful personal narratives to elevate shared experiences about race and equality that are often only discussed in the confines of like-minded communities.  The series aims to foster a deep dialogue around racial tension and polarization in the United States as well as serve as an outlet for more personal and intimate discussions about race relations in America.  Each film will be a conversation from a different personal perspective, experience and racial lens within our society.

 

MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED

Greg Whiteley Director/Writer/Producer

Ted Dintersmith Executive Producer

Daria Lombroso Director of Campaign Strategy

The American education system was developed during the Industrial Revolution to help prepare young people to take on standard jobs of the era, which no longer exist.  So why has that system remained virtually unchanged for more than 100 years when our culture and economy have dramatically shifted to an age of information and technology?  Filmmaker Greg Whiteley explores this paradox and examines the future of education through experimental schools such as San Diego’s High Tech High, where students, teachers and parents embark on a new path that aims to spark an education revolution.

 

PEACE OFFICER

Scott Christopherson Director/Producer/Cinematographer

Brad Barber Director/Producer/Cinematographer

Corinne Bourdeau Engagement Campaign Strategist

As a sheriff in the 1970s, William “Dub” Lawrence founded Utah’s SWAT team.  Thirty years later, when a police standoff ends with that SWAT team killing his son-in-law, Dub launches a personal investigation into the case.  As the scope of his investigation grows to include several chilling cases of excessive force and questionable techniques used by law enforcement, he finds himself confronting a startling nationwide trend of increasing militarization of police forces.

 

SALAM NEIGHBOR

Chris Temple Director/Producer/Campaign Director

Zach Ingrasci Director/Producer/Campaign Director

Salam Darwaza Producer/Campaign Director

Across the Jordanian border from Syria lies the world’s second largest refugee camp.  In an effort to understand the growing crisis, a film team spends one month living in Za’tari.  The Syrian families they meet aren’t just displaced, they have no promise of a future with sufficient food, security, education or peace.  SALAM NEIGHBOR offers personal insights into the complexities of refugee life and challenges audiences to express neighborly love for people in crisis.