The grant, funded by Gucci, provides production finances for feature-length documentary films examining domestic and international social justice issues.
Eleven projects — Jon Sesrie-Goff’s “After Sherman,” Shaunak Sen’s “Airborne,” Sabaah Folayan’s “Ain’t I A Woman,” Débora Souza Silva’s “Black Mothers,” Nesa Azimi’s “Driver,” Jasiri, Moyo and Duke’s “Jasiri,” Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s “King Coal,” Zaynê Akyol’s “Rojek One Day,” Rachel Lears’ “To The End,” Sura Mallouh’s “Untitled” and Kate Stonehill’s “Untitled Privacy Project” — have been selected this year to receive a total of $140,000 in funding. A majority of these films were directed by womxn and explore female-led narratives or stories about environmental change.
The 2020 awardees were chosen by a jury composed of actor KiKi Layne, film festival programmer Opal H. Bennett, filmmaker Brett Story, BBC digital documentaries editor Mustafa Khalili and strategist and Maestra co-founder De’Ara Balenger.
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“These films are tackling incredibly important global issues that need more attention, and they are creating space for voices that are often forgotten about and ignored to be heard,” said Layne. “Many of the issues represented in these films such as climate change, racism, sexism, immigration, and terrorism are often dealt with on such a broad, general scale; these films shine light on the real, personal, human, day-to-day impact that these larger issues have.”
She continued, “I am amazed at the courage of these filmmakers and the bravery and resilience of the people in these films who have opened up to share their lives with an audience, while they are fighting to be heard and to make change.”
Established in 2008, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund has supported 105 films, providing more than $1.5 million in grants for independent filmmakers.
“Documentary film is a vital creative tool that opens our eyes to important issues, and helps us evaluate the way we perceive and understand the world around us,” said Susan Chokachi, President and CEO of Gucci America. “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to be able to support such a broad collection of more than 100 incredible film projects and filmmakers over the course of the last thirteen years. We are proud to play a role in advancing the reach of these critical stories through the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, and their capacity to ultimately drive meaningful change in our world.”