Gucci’s Tribeca Documentary Fund 2017 Helps More Humanitarian Documentaries

BY BRENNA O’DONNELL

Gucci has recently announced the details of their 2017 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, a program in partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute and the Oath Foundation that awards grants and services to documentaries that shed a light on social justice issues across the world. The program has been in place since 2008, and has since awarded $1.3 million across 83 films that explore humanitarian issues.

New in 2017, the fund has teamed up with creative impact agency Picture Motion, who will provide campaign strategy to accomplish maximum impact distribution. This year, 8 films have received $130,000 in production and finishing finances, as well as year-round guidance from the Tribeca Film Institute. More than half of these selected pieces will highlight women and youth and their dedication to bettering their communities and our future.

The pieces selected to receive funding where chosen by a jury comprised of Head of Feature Documentaries and Distribution at Vulcan Productions Ryan Harrington, actress and Global Executive Director of Equality Now Frida Pinto, Hot Docs Acting Director of Industry Programs Yasmeen Hassan, producer Jannat Gargi, and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. The 8 films chosen by this jury cover a diverse variety of relevant subject matter from the global fight against ISIS, to breaking glass ceilings in Hasidic communities in Brooklyn, to government surveillance in Arab-American communities in Chicago, and tackling drug addiction in Afghanistan.

Nearly 70% of the films that we’ve supported through the fund have been awarded to female filmmakers.

- Susan Chokachi, President and CEO, Gucci America

The fund is a win for all parties involved; Gucci is exhibiting their social responsibility by helping bring these documentaries to life, the filmmakers create poignant and gripping pieces, the subjects of the documentaries have their stories heard, and audiences all over are more aware, and even more inspired to drive change regarding the issues.

 

The recipients of the 2017 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund include:

93Queen — Directed and Produced by Paula Eiselt. Produced by Heidi Reinberg and Adam Bolt.
93Queen follows a group of tenacious women who are shattering the glass ceiling in their Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood by creating the first all-female volunteer EMS corps in NYC.


Crime + Punishment (Working Title)  Directed and Produced by Stephen Maing. Co-produced by Ross Tuttle.
Amidst a landmark lawsuit over illegal policing quotas, Crime + Punishment (Working Title) intimately observes the real lives and struggles of a group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and the young minorities they are pressured to arrest and summons in New York City. 


Laila at the Bridge —  Directed and Produced by Elissa Sylvia Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei. Produced by Ina Fichman.
Having witnessed her brother’s 25-year battle with drug addiction, former child bride Laila devotes her life to treating heroin-addicted men and women in Kabul. As foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan and international aid dries up, Laila struggles to prevail over a crisis of addiction and a corrupt government in a country on the verge of collapse.

 
The Feeling of Being Watched   Directed and Produced by Assia Boundaoui. Produced by Jessica Devaney.
When a filmmaker investigates rumors of surveillance in her Arab-American
neighborhood in Chicago, she uncovers one of the largest FBI terrorism probes
conducted before 9/11 and reveals its enduring impact on the community.

 The Interpreter   Directed by Andrés Caballero and Sofian Khan.
Afghan and Iraqi military interpreters serve as a crucial bridge between American soldiers and local nationals.  But as a result of their work with the U.S., many have become targets.  In the chaotic aftermath of war, these loyal allies now struggle to find safety for themselves and their families.
 

No Women No Revolution  —  Directed by Antonia Kilian. Produced by Sefinaz Mohhamad, Anna Markovski and Anja Vrdlovec.
Against the backdrop of the Syrian Civil War, 20-year-old Hala is fighting not only for the liberation from IS, but also for the liberation of patriarchal and traditional structures, even inside her own family.

 
Untitled Jennifer Laude Documentary  —  Directed and Produced by PJ Raval. Produced by Marty Syjuco, Lisa Valencia-Svensson and Kara Magnsanoc-Alikpala. 
Grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action when a local transgender woman is found dead in a motel room with a 19-year-old U.S. marine as the leading suspect. As they demand answers and a just trial, hidden histories of U.S. colonization come bubbling to the surface.

 
Writing with Fire  —  Directed and Produced by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas.
In one of the most socially oppressive and patriarchal states of India emerges a newspaper run entirely by rural women belonging to the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ community. Meera, its popular political reporter, decides to magnify the local paper’s impact with an audacious move – to transform from print to a digital news agency. Working in media dark villages, mocked and discouraged, this is the story of a visionary woman’s feisty spirit in building what will probably be the world’s first digital news agency run entirely by rural Dalit women.

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