About the Fund

The IDA+XRM Media Incubator supports short vérité documentary films from around the globe, with an emphasis on emerging filmmakers and new perspectives. Both a fund and a mentorship program, the Incubator provides production and post-production grants and mentorship from Academy and Emmy award-nominated directors to filmmakers crafting character-driven observational shorts. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.

With major support from XRM Media, the Incubator will grant three filmmakers with $25,000 each. In 2021, the Incubator mentors are Oscar-nominated directors Skye Fitzgerald (Hunger Ward) and Smriti Mundhra (St. Louis Superman), and Emmy-nominated director Nadia Hallgren (Becoming).

IDA+XRM Media Incubator Fund is discontinued and will not be accepting applications in 2022.

2021 Grantees

IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grantee

House of Tulip

Director(s):
Cydney Tucker
Producer(s):
Zaferhan Yumru
Grant Year(s):
2021
New Orleans city council candidate Mariah Moore, a Black Trans woman, wears a burgundy dress. She smiles and holds her brother's hand in anticipation of the incoming election results.

Synopsis

House of Tulip follows two Black trans activists as they run for office and work to build Louisiana’s first housing refuge that provides residency solely for trans and gender non-conforming residents. We’ll follow the founders as they fight to use their organization to protect and build community in a state with one of the highest gun-related murder rates in the country. Their journeys will highlight the dangerous, yet beautiful, reality of what it means to be Black trans women in the deep South.


Cydney Tucker is a Black woman with a bob of bouncy shoulder length curly hair. She's seen sporting a black rimmed hat and black jumpsuit, while smiling near a bannister.Cydney Tucker, Director

Cydney Tucker is a journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has written, produced, and directed films for a variety of legacy and digital media organizations including CBS News, NBC News, Al Jazeera International (AJ+), and RYOT. Her latest projects include two films with the New York Times Presents’s Hulu/FX documentary series, in addition to Rebyrth, a short film about a Black doula's plight to save Black mothers as they journey from pregnancy into childbirth. Her work has been featured in several festivals including SXSW, New Orleans Film Festival, Indie Memphis Film Festival and Idlewild Film Festival. 

Zaferhan Yumru is a Middle Eastern male with short hair and beard. He is wearing a dark green shirt, a gold chain necklace, clear-framed prescription glasses, and a large golden wire earring shaped to resemble a human eye inside the sun.Zaferhan Yumru, Producer

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Zaferhan (Zaf) Yumru is a film and festival producer and marketing professional. In Turkey, he worked as a programmer and marketing manager for organizations including !f Istanbul Film Festival, Discovery Channel, QueerFest Ankara, and more. Zaf immigrated to the U.S. in 2017 and joined the New Orleans Film Society, where he still works as the director of marketing and communications. He also currently serves as the co-director of PATOIS New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. Zaf is an associate producer of Ma Belle, My Beauty (dir. Marion Hill) which premiered at the 2020 Sundance FF and won the Audience Award in the NEXT category, and Silent Beauty (dir. Jasmin Mara López) a feature-length documentary in post-production. 

IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grantee

Mountain Man

Director(s):
Arun Bhattarai
Producer(s):
Arun Bhattarai
Grant Year(s):
2021
Phuntsho Tshering, a man of South Asian descent, is standing on top of a rocky terrain in the rugged mountainous Himalayas looking straight into the camera. He is wearing shades, a pair of gumboots and hiking clothes.

Synopsis

In the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan no one touches the mountains because they are considered to be the abode of the gods but every year Phuntsho Tshering breaks this spiritual rule as he risks his life and hikes for days through dangerous terrain to measure the rapidly receding glaciers of the Himalayas. Will the glaciers ever stop melting at this pace or will he ever stop climbing? 


Head shot of a male of south Asian descent with brown skin and long curly black hair. He is wearing a blue striped 'Gho' which is the national dress of Bhutan.Arun Bhattarai, Director/Producer

Arun Bhattarai (Thimphu, 1985) is a freelance film director and producer. He premiered his first feature-length documentary The Next Guardian at IDFA in the First Appearance Competition in 2017. Since then it has been screened at more than 40 international festivals (True/False, Ambulante, SFFILM, MoMA DocFortnight, Camerimage, Docs Against Gravity etc.) received awards, had theatrical releases and broadcasted around the world. His most recent television documentary, Kelden won The Asia Pitch and was screened in NHK World TV and KBS Korea. Before becoming an independent filmmaker, he worked as a TV director at the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) for more than 5 years. He graduated from the first edition of DocNomads Joint Master in documentary directing for which he was awarded a full Erasmus Mundus scholarship in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels in 2014. Currently he is working on a short documentary Mountain Man, about Bhutan’s first glaciologist who risks his life every year, as he hikes for days through dangerous terrain to measure the rapidly receding glaciers of the Himalayas. The project won the Best Pitch Prize at If/Then Global Short Pitch at IDFA 2019. He is also currently working on his second feature documentary Gross National Happiness that recently won development funding from the Sundance Film Institute and Catapult film fund. He established his own production company -Sound Pictures - dedicated to creative documentaries. He is one of the few independent documentary filmmakers in Bhutan.

IDA+XRM Media Incubator Grantee

People Like Us

Director(s):
Pedro Samper
Producer(s):
Pedro Samper
Grant Year(s):
2021
Sonia, a woman with dark skin, stands in her cemetery. She looks at a wall of graves. The text "People Like Us" is overlaid on top.

Synopsis

Sonia Bermúdez, thanatologist and cemetery owner, takes care of the “memoryless”, that is, homeless people, elders and immigrants that die alone in the streets and hospitals of Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia, with no one to take care of their bodies. Despite dwelling in a world of loneliness and loss, Sonia is, essentially, a vitalist devoted to her family and to “her dead”, as she calls them. One of a kind, we will see how she struggles to maintain her cemetery alive, and how she herself takes care of these forgotten bodies.


A black and white portrait of a light skinned Columbian man with short dark hair. He is putting his hand to his face.Pedro Samper, Director/Producer

Pedro Samper is a Documentary Director and Producer working on culture, social justice, environment, and related topics. He is the founder of Luminante Studio. 


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