Tribeca Film Institute announces documentary grant winners


The Tribeca Film Institute announced the 2013 grantees of the TFI Documentary Fund. The fund provides financial support and furthers the development of exceptional character-driven, in-progress documentaries.

TFI also announced the inaugural TFI/ESPN Prize, a new extension of the Fund that will award an annual grant of $30,000 to a feature-length work-in-progress documentary that presents sports, competition and athleticism as a backdrop for a character-driven story.

Of 550 submissions to the TFI Documentary Fund from more than 45 countries worldwide, 11 filmmakers were selected to receive a total of $160,000 in grants toward their documentary projects, which are in various stages of development through post-production.

“Our 2013 grantees, many of whom are TFI alumni, are a diverse mix of contemporary storytellers from around the world. We are proud to support their artistic and creative approaches to filmmaking, which are bound to ignite passionate reactions from audiences,” said Ryan Harrington, director of documentary programming at TFI.

All TFI Documentary Fund grantees will receive guidance and consultation from TFI on the films’ production. This includes festival and distribution strategy sessions, fundraising support, industry introductions, labs and workshops.

The recipient of the inaugural TFI/ESPN Prize is The Battered Bastards of Baseball, directed by Chapman Way and Maclain Way, about a popular minor-league baseball team.

Five grants will be awarded to films in various stages of development:
• Director Heidi Ewing’s The Arrivals (Las Llegadas) follows two young men who leave their lives in Mexico City and make the dangerous journey to the United States so they may be together as an openly gay couple. Today, they are successful business owners in New York…but with no path to legalization.
The Battle with Satan, directed by Konrad Szolajski, concerns a rebellious teenager whose teacher views her refusal to attend religion lessons as a sign of demonic possession.
Peaches Goes Bananas, directed and produced by Marie Losier (The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye), takes an intimate look at artist and musician Peaches' playful creative world.
Wind on the Moon, from Planet of Snail director Seung-Jun Yi, centers on a deaf and blind girl who can only express herself by crying, screaming, laughing and smiling.
The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev, from Noam Pinchas and Tal Barda, profiles the Tajik musical family, led by the charismatic, funny and controlling Papa Alaev.

Four grants will be awarded to films in various stages of production:
Art and Craft, directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman, examines the curious story of a prolific art forger just as his 30-year con is publicly revealed.
• Ed Perkins’ Garnet’s Gold follows one extraordinary man’s quixotic and recklessly brave adventure in search of hidden treasure.
The New Czar, directed by Alejandro Alvarez and Ulrik Wivel, looks at Nancho Duato, former head of Madrid's Compañía Nacional de Danza, as he accepts the challenge of modernizing a Russian ballet troupe.
Teatro, directed and produced by Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen, is a documentary fairy tale about a tiny Italian farming village that turns their lives into a play in order to confront their issues and save their way of life.

Finally, one grant will be awarded to a film in post-production: Geeta V. Patel and Ravi Patel’s One in a Billion, a romantic comedy documentary about an almost-30-year-old Indian-American man who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams and his parents.