CNN Films and Points North Institute Announce 2022 Five Winners for American Story Author) Documentary Scholarship.
The Artist Development Program Fellowship supports independent documentary filmmakers who explore unique themes of the American experience from different perspectives. The five filmmaking teams receiving scholarships this year include Ameha Molla and Rajal Pitroda; Gabriela Díaz Arp and Karla Claudio Betancourt; Paige Bessman and Jessica Epstein; Jordan Lord and Abby Sun; and Julie Wyman , Lindsay Dryden and Jonah McCone.
Fellows will each receive $10, production grant and pays to attend a weeklong run concurrently with the annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) of immersion work retreats) in Maine. Retreats include feedback sessions, workshops, and individual and group discussions with veteran filmmakers and industry professionals.
Each 2022 film production team is selected from 40 Applicants from across the United States with selected directors working in Nevada, California, Georgia and New York.
“CNN Films is proud to partner with the Points North Institute to establish an enduring program that provides nonfiction filmmakers with development opportunities and hands-on skills mentoring, designed to pass powerful storytelling. Today, the ongoing impact of the pandemic has made the challenging job of independent filmmaking even harder,” Alexandra Hannibal, senior director at CNN Films, said on behalf of CNN. “We are delighted to enthusiastically support these ideas and help them thrive.”
Award-winning projects include director Ameha Molla and producer Rajal Pitroda’s Higher 15, uncovering long-standing family secrets about Uncle Mora, ex Ethiopian Revolutionary Escape From Prison Escape To America, Director Gabriela Diaz Arp and Producer Carla Claudio Betancourt’s Matininó Follow Villanueva-Rodriguez, a multigenerational family of Puerto Rican women turn their experiences of domestic violence into a sci-fi movie.
Director Paige Bethmann and Producer Jessica Epstein’s document Remaining Native is a document about 15-year-old Cottoman, who dreams of leaving his reservation and becoming an elite runner, lacks the resources needed to compete. But when the remains of thousands of Aboriginal children were discovered, his family’s painful history was unearthed, and he learned how to navigate his past, not turn away from it.
The remaining selected recipients include the team behind the document Voice of Democracy — by Jordan Lord Directed and produced by Abby Sun – see Lord recount winning $30, Patriotic “Audio Essay” Contest and Voices Exploring American Democracy, with director Julie Wyman and producers Lindsey Dryden and Joe Na McConne’s Untitled Dwarfism Project about a new drug that promises to make little people grow taller, but in doing so threatens the communities it claims to serve . In this film, director Julie Wyman confronts her diagnosis of dwarfism as she explores Little People’s hyper-visible legacy and representation of disabled life, body, and story.
“Over the past eight years, our growing partnership with CNN Films has supported exciting new voices in some of the most influential films and documentaries, This year is no exception. These five new projects and 10 filmmakers represent countless approaches and perspectives and highlight The artistry and urgency of the story being developed in America,” said Ben Fowlie, executive and artistic director of Points North Institute, in a statement.
The American Story Documentary Scholarship is an extension of the American Story Documentary Fund, which was launched on 40 for the purpose of Projects in support of filmmakers are in production and affected by the COVID-40 pandemic. This fund replaces the Camden/TFI Retreat offered by CNN Films and Points North Institute, which was offered between 2015 and run for four years.
Mentors for the program currently include creative producer Andrea Meditch (Buck; Fathom); award-winning filmmaker Assia Boundaoui ( The Feeling Of Being Watched) and Nadia Hallgren (Becoming) ; Director and Editor Maya Daisy Hawke (Navalny, Cave of Forgotten Dreams); Reid Davenport and Keith Wilson ( I didn’t see you there ); and Josh Braun, owner of Submarine Entertainment, a major documentary sales, production and distribution company.
Under the leadership of Amy Entelis, Executive Vice President of Talent and Content, the entire program was first launched on 2015 CNN Worldwide and Developed by Courtney Sexton, Senior Vice President, CNN Films. Self Supported 19 Filmmaker Created 19 Nonfiction Feature films, of which nearly two-thirds of the projects are completed, some of which will premiere and win awards at major festivals.