October 5, 2011

Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Grants Announced

Today, the IDA announced the four feature-length documentary films selected to receive a total of $75,000 from the newly established Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund. The Fund was created with support from The New York Community Trust to illuminate pressing issues in the United States and to honor the legacy of the landmark documentary filmmaker Pare Lorentz.

IDA received grant applications from 165 filmmakers from across the U.S. and around the world, and submissions were judged on their objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, and high production values, as well as the reflection of the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz’s work.

The four productions receiving grants will shed light on a variety of critical issues including the coerced sterilization of Mexican-origin women during the 1960s and 70s, the future of America’s middle class, the country’s failings in the war on poverty and the healing of our nation’s racial divide.

The four projects include:

¿Más Bebés? ($20,000)
Renee Tajima-Peña, Producer/Director
¿MásBebés?
poses a provocative question: Was the maternity ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center a border checkpoint for unborn babies? The feature documentary uncovers the untold history of Mexican-origin women who allege they were coercively sterilized at the hospital during the 1960s and 70s.

As Goes Janesville ($20,000)
Brad Lichtenstein, Producer/Director
First GM closes. Then related business shut down. Next, the Governor of Wisconsin tries to kill unions. What is the future for America's middle class? As Goes Janesville has the answers, and they're not so good.

Rise and Fall of ACORN: America's Most Controversial Anti-poverty Organization ($20,000)
Sam Pollard, Producer/Director
At the height of its power, ACORN, an organization devoted to fighting poverty in the United States, is destroyed. In a story stranger than fiction involving embezzlement, a fake pimp, and a right wing conspiracy plot, Rise and Fall of ACORN examines how our nation's war against poverty is really fought.

American Village ($15,000)
Mary Posatko, Co-Director/Co-Producer, Emily Topper, Co-Director/Co-Producer
Almost forty years after their father is shot by three black teenagers in Baltimore, a white family of thirteen looks for the murderers. The search forces a confrontation between America's white middle class and black urban "underclass," but they discover a shared desire to heal. Filmed by the victim's granddaughter.

Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Finalists include:

American Arab - Usama Alshaibi , Director/Producer

Best Kept Secret - Samantha Buck, Director and Danielle DiGiacomo, Producer

Broken Heart Land - Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg - Directors/Producers

Can't Stop the Water - Rebecca Ferris, Director

Charge - Mike Plunkett , Director and Anna Farrell, Producer

El Sistema USA - Anthony Drazan, Director and Jaimie Bernstein & Elizabeth Kling, Producers

Gabe Tomorrow - Francine Cavanaugh & Adams Wood, Directors/Producers

Gideon's Army - Dawn Porter, Director and Julie Goldman, Producer

Green Shall Overcome - Megan Gelstein, Director/Producer

Jessica Gonzales vs. the United States of America - Katia Maguire & April Hayes, Directors/Producers

Seed - Sandy McLeod, Director

Untitled Kivalina Documentary - Jenni Monet, Director/Producer

The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund is a program of IDA’s Filmmaker Support Services, which provides fiscal sponsorship support to over 300 documentary film productions. Proposals for the Fund are accepted annually in April.

Visit http://www.documentary.org/parelorentz for more information.