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2012 Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Grantees Announced

By IDA Editorial Staff

The International Documentary Association is pleased to announce the five feature-length documentary films that have been selected to receive a total of $75,000 from the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund. The Fund, which was created with support from The New York Community Trust, goes to projects that illuminate pressing issues in the United States and honor the legacy of the landmark documentary filmmaker Pare Lorentz.

This year IDA received a record number of grant applications from 216 filmmakers from across the U.S. and around the world. 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.

Pare Lorentz was an American original. His documentary films The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936), The River (1938) and The Fight for Life (1940) were among the first to demonstrate that films can educate and rally a nation around its history, its greatness, and its problems. After first working as a journalist and a film critic, Lorentz became a director in the 1930s and was appointed as film advisor to the U.S. Resettlement Administration. In 1939 Lorentz founded and began running the U.S. Film Service.

"Using the power of nonfiction storytelling, each of these films has the potential to change how our society views some of the most pressing issues of our time," said Michael Lumpkin, IDA’s Executive Director. "With the support of The New York Community Trust and the Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz Fund, IDA is able to further support the vital work of documentary filmmakers."

Here are the productions receiving Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund grants:

After Tiller - Directed and produced by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. After the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, the last four late-term abortion doctors in America confront harassment from protestors, challenges in their personal lives, and a series of tough ethical decisions.

Citizen Corp - Directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Citizen Corp is about the influence of money in US politics. Set against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, the film explores the consequences for democracy when private interests determine who is elected to deliver public good.

Four Walls Around Me - Produced and directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky and produced by Sophie Harris, Four Walls Around Me follows three ex-cons their first year out of prison. Through their earnest attempts, grave missteps and a frightening end game, the film asks, is it possible to truly reinvent yourself?

The New Black - Directed by Yoruba Richen and produced by Yvonne Welbon, Yoruba Richen, and Angela Tucker, The New Black is a documentary that uncovers the complicated and often combative histories of the African-American and LGBT civil rights movements.

Remote Area Medical - Directed by Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman and produced by Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman, and Dan O’Meara. Over three days, Remote Area Medical, the pioneers of “no-cost” health care, treat nearly 2,000 patients on the infield of Bristol, Tennessee’s NASCAR speedway.

Learn more about the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund.