IDA Announces Logan Elevate 2023 Grantees
Today, International Documentary Association (IDA) announces this year’s recipients of the Logan Elevate Grant, which provides funds to emerging women and non-binary filmmakers of color, supported by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. 2023 recipients of the grant are filmmakers Janay Boulos (Lebanon/UK), Arya Rothe (India), and Pallavi Somusetty (USA).
Since 2018, the Logan Elevate Grant provides funds to emerging women and non-binary filmmakers of color directing feature-length journalistic documentary films. This year IDA will award $30,000 to each Logan Elevate grantee. In addition to story consulting and dedicated artist support, this grant provides year-long individualized professional development opportunities and filmmaker-guided public programming.
This year’s grantees are Janay Boulos, a Lebanese journalist and filmmaker who is working on a currently confidential project; Arya Rothe, an Indian filmmaker and a co-founder of NoCut Film Collective, with her project Untitled (working title) about Somi, an indigenous woman from India who fought as an armed Naxalite to defend the land rights of her people; and Pallavi Somusetty, a filmmaker who creates doc portraits that center BIPOC voices, for her project Coach Emily (working title), about Emily Taylor, an Oakland-based queer Black rock climbing coach, who fearlessly trains a diverse group of BIPOC girls and non-binary kids, including her daughter Milo.
“The Logan Elevate Fund allows us an opportunity to create individualized programs of professional development and support for each of our grantees. This is a beautiful opportunity for us and for them to learn and grow together,” said Keisha Knight, Director of IDA Funds and Enterprise Program.
The 2023 Logan Elevate Grantees are:
Janay is a Lebanese journalist and filmmaker. She graduated with a Master's degree in International Journalism from Brunel University. From 2012, she worked for BBC News in various roles, displaying versatility across TV, radio, and digital production. Her skills include shooting, editing, and field production in hostile environments. In 2021, she started a production company, Habak Films, with her partner, Syrian filmmaker and activist Abd Al-Kader Habak. She has worked on several documentaries for BBC News and Al Jazeera Arabic and her focus centers around sharing stories of lived experiences within the Middle East, particularly from Lebanon and Syria. Currently, she is immersing herself in the world of feature documentary production and has participated in several programs such as IDFA Project Space, Documentary Campus Masterschool, Sheffield DocFest's Future Producer School and Aflamuna Impact Lab.
Project: Currently confidential
Arya Rothe is an Indian filmmaker and a co-founder of NoCut Film Collective, established in 2016 by filmmakers Cristina Hanes (Romania), Isabella Rinaldi (Italy), and Arya Rothe (India) after their studies within the DocNomads program. Their directorial debut, "A Rifle and a Bag," received a Special Mention in the Bright Future Competition at the 2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film has been showcased at over 50 festivals and was also featured on MUBI. Arya Rothe has garnered support for her work from organizations such as the Doha Film Fund, IDFA Bertha Fund, Chicken and Egg Pictures, DMZ Docs, AlterCine Foundation and Creative Europe. Currently, she is co-producing two documentaries and has worked in various roles, including director, writer, and editor, on documentary projects for platforms like Arté, RTBF, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Project: Untitled (working title)
Somi, an indigenous woman from India, fought as a Naxalite (armed Maoist Guerrilla) to defend the land rights of her people. Now, she has to fight for the same rights but without her rifle. Her efforts to build a permanent home are cut short when another community claims ownership of her land.
Pallavi Somusetty is an Oakland-based filmmaker who creates documentary portraits centering BIPOC voices in the hope that we feel fully seen in the complexities of our identities and journeys. She’s a series producer for A-Doc, and her feature debut in progress, Coach Emily (working title), is a 2023 DocLands DocPitch Industry Award Winner. Pallavi’s short doc, Escaping Agra, about a young transgender Indian teen’s escape from family, has screened in festivals across the world, and her award-winning cinematography has appeared on Nat Geo, PBS, and other media outlets. Her work has been supported by Center for Asian American Media, California Film Institute, IDA, The Puffin Foundation, Eddie Bauer, Studio IX Project, Center for Cultural Innovation, and more. Pallavi holds a documentary-focused Master in Journalism from UC Berkeley and a BA in Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. In her spare time, she climbs rocks with her kids and supports incarcerated pregnant people as a doula.
Project: Coach Emily (working title)
Emily Taylor, an Oakland-based queer Black rock climbing coach, fearlessly trains a diverse group of BIPOC girls and non-binary kids, to conquer the pervasive discrimination they face in the great outdoors. As they claim their place in nature, Emily embarks on a profound journey of self-care, while working to dismantle an industry rife with institutionalized discriminatory practices.