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Tribeca Film Institute Announces 2011 Award Winners and Grantees

Tribeca Film Institute Announces 2011 Award Winners and Grantees

The Tribeca Film Institute has announced today award winners and grants totaling $1,000,000. Winners included two of the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Awards, seven new TAA alumni grants, four for the TFI Documentary Fund, as well as four winners of the Latin America Media Arts Fund. For more details, please read the press release below or visit Tribeca Film.

[New York, NY – April 28, 2011] –The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced several program award winners and grantees at the TFI Awards Luncheon at Riverpark NYC during the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Two winners of the Tribeca All Access (TAA) Creative Promise Awards presented by Time Warner; seven new TAA alumni grants and fellowships; four winners of the Latin America Media Arts Fund; and four grantees supported by Insurgent Media for the inaugural TFI Documentary Fund were all presented today, totaling $125,000 in funds.

“This year’s winners and grantees are true examples of the incredible strength of films and talent resulting from the support of the Tribeca Film Institute,” said Beth Janson, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute. “Our main hope is that these films go on to completion and build strong relationships with audiences.”

During the TFI Awards Ceremony at Riverpark NYC in Manhattan, the following Tribeca All Access Creative Promise winners were announced:

TAA Creative Promise Award for Documentary

Gideon’s Army

Every day, more and more people are arrested, handcuffed, shoved into a

squad car, and booked. Weeks turn into months and their only line of defense is in the hands of a public defender. “Gideon’s Army” asks, are public defenders up to the fight?

Dawn Porter (Director)

TAA Creative Promise Award for Narrative

County Line

A Southern town’s underbelly exposed when its sheriff tries to rid himself of a drug alliance with a family friend and investigate the deaths of his female informants. In the process, he must confront his son’s addiction to the drugs he’s allowed in his county.

Tina Mabry (Director, Producer)

Morgan R. Stiff (Producer, Screenwriter, Editor)

Lee V. Stiff, (Producer, Executive Producer)

The winners were selected from 12 projects based on the strength of their vision and filmmaking promise.  The 2011 TAA Creative Promise Awards, presented by Time Warner, comes with a total prize of $20,000: $10,000 for narrative and $10,000 for documentary, as well as an original piece of art from a contemporary artist. The 2011 Narrative jurors were HiamAbbass, Ajay Naidu and F. Gary Gray. The 2011 Documentary jurors were Elvis Mitchell, Suroosh Alvi, and John Quinones. Now in its eighth year, TAA was created to help foster and nurture relationships between film industry executives and filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities.

TAA also extended its programming and support for alumni this year including $25,000 in grants and fellowships for past TAA projects in development or new works by program alumni. The following grants were announced today:

Tribeca All Access Ontrack Grant Narrative
When I Saw You

Jordan, 1960s. An eccentric and unbounded boy runs away from home knowing full well his young mother will follow in this search for freedom.
Annemarie Jacir (Director, Producer, Screenwriter)

Tribeca All Access Ontrack Grant Documentary
Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary

Set against the backdrop of various LGBTQ-friendly communities, Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary captures the experiences of several LGBTQ seniors as they navigate the adventures, challenges and surprises of their “golden years.”

PJ Raval (Director, Producer)

Sara Giustini (Producer)
Kyle Henry (Editor)

Tribeca All Access Trans Media Award Narrative

America, 2018. Unable to pay the ten trillion dollars it owes to China, the U.S. comes up with a plan: it gives China the  state of California. ANIMATION

Ellie Lee (Director, Screenwriter)
Peter Dowd (Screenwriter)

Tribeca All Access Trans Media Award Documentary
Untitled Mu Xin Project (Working Title)

In the sweep of China’s turbulent history, Mu Xin sacrificed everything for his art. Starting while he was illegally imprisoned, he transformed his experiences into a body of work merging East, West, classicism, modernism, terror and transcendence.
He has avoided speaking of the horrors he has seen – until now.

Francisco Bello (Director, Producer, Director of Photography)
Tim Sternberg (Director, Producer, Editor)

The TAA Adrienne Shelly Foundation Filmmaker Grant

El Jardin


El Jardin is a portrait of a cemetery in the drug heartland of México. Since the war on drugs began in 2007 it has claimed over 35,000 lives. The cemetery has doubled in size and the mausoleums have doubled in height.

Natalia Almada (Director/Producer)

The Games for Change Fellowship for TAA Alumni

The Undocumented

The Undocumentedis a feature length documentary which chronicles Arizona’s deadly summer months, following Border Patrol agents who fight to prevent migrant deaths, medical investigators and the Mexican Consulate who work to identify migrants who die crossing the border, and Mexican families who struggle to accept the loss of loved ones.

Marco Williams (Director)

Audience Activation Grant

The Ipo Boys (aka They Are All My Brothers)
Several boys at a home for abandoned youth in Mexico rebuild their lives while contributing to the social enterprise that sustains them: world-renowned French artisan goat cheese. DOCUMENTARY
Nicole Opper (Director, Producer)

“I’m incredibly proud of the Creative Promise Award winners but also can’t wait to see just how far this week’s meetings and networking will take each of the 12 filmmakers,” said Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming, TFI. “It’s also very exciting to see alumni come back and receive additional support through our newer grants – I’m looking forward to the successes of everyone here today.”

The Latin America Media Arts Fund also announced four winners to support innovative film and video artists who are living or working in Mexico, Central and South America. The awards announced today included:

  • The Battle for Land (Columbia), Directed by Juan Mejia– The Battle for Land delves deep into the complexities of mass displacement pushing us past prevailing ideas where displacement is seen as an aberration of war, and progressively revealing a more intricate and terrifying picture. It is above all a journey deep into the heart of uprooting and the dark side of progress.
  • Cocaine Prison (Bolivia), Directed by Violeta Ayala– Trying to establish a cocaine business inside Bolivia’s craziest prison an unlikely friendship develops, between two ‘little fish’, a young ambitious trafficker and a middle-aged cocaine worker fighting for release, personifying the country’s love affair with cocaine.
  • Toys (Mexico), Directed by Alba Mora-Roca– Toys explores how a family’s peculiar love for toys helps children overcome the effects of violence in Mexico. It follows a Mexican-Japanese family who, having gathered the largest toy collection in Latin America, travels north to do workshops with victims of the violence generated by fighting drug cartels.
  • When Two Worlds Collide (Peru), Directed by Taira Akbar and Heidi Brandenburg– An indigenous leader forced into exile and facing 20 years in prison for resisting the environmental ruin of Amazonian lands by big business. Refusing to surrender he continues his quest, shedding light on conflicting visions shaping the fate of the Amazon and the climate future of our world.

The four selected films will each receive $10,000 in grants and guidance by TFI and were selected by a jury consisting of Benicio Del Toro, Paola Mendoza and Mónica Lozano.

Four additional grantees of the TFI Documentary Fund were also announced through the backing of NY-based Insurgent Media.Insurgent Media was founded by Andrew Karsch, Erik Gordon and Fisher Stevens and is a central innovator in the production and distribution of thought-provoking filmed content. The recipients announced today include:

  • Teenage, Directed by Matt Wolf and written by Jon Savage–Teenageis an unconventional historical film about youth culture based on an acclaimed book by the punk author Jon Savage. The film examines the invention of modern teenagers in wartime America with profiles of extraordinary adolescents.
  • Of Monsters and Men, Directed by Morgan Matthews– Of Monsters and Menis a fascinating and touching portrait of men who are obsessed with monsters and their adventures to find them.
  • Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, Directed by Havana Marking and Producer by Mike Lerner– Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, in their own words, the most successful jewel thieves of all time take you into their world: the post-Milosovic Balkans, the modern diamond trade and a 21st Century crime gang.
  • Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, Directed by Ramona Diaz – Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journeyfollows the real life rock-n-roll fairy tale story of Filipino Arnel Pineda, who was plucked from You Tube to become the front man for iconic American rock band, Journey, thereby becoming the latest performer to go from the Internet to real life celebrity.

The TFI Documentary Fund grantees will receive $10,000 each in grants as well as guidance and consultation from TFI on the film’s production. Benefits include: festival and distribution planning and strategizing sessions; fundraising; and industry and/or crew match-making and introductions. The Fund was created to further the development of character-driven documentaries.

“We are supporting nearly 30 documentary projects in 2011 representing a broad spectrum of ideas from around the globe and offering a good mix of artists’ experience,” said Ryan Harrington, TFI’s Director of Documentary Programming. “TFI is excited and proud to continue to grow and strengthen the resources that we provide to our filmmakers.”

Grants which were previously announced were also recognized at the annual awards ceremony including: TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund grantees, provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the TFI Documentary Fund HBO Fellowships.

During this year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 20-May 1), TFI filmmakers from programs including Tribeca All Access and the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, participated in one-on-one industry meetings on Tuesday, April 26 and Wednesday, April 27 to network with film industry executives, potential investors, development executives, producers and agents.