The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, made possible by The New York Community Trust, supports full-length documentary films that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz's work, exhibiting objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, high production values, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork and editing.

2021 Grantees

  • The promotional poster for "All We've Lost": an elderly woman in a red rainjacket and black trousers stands at the steps of a government building, with the film's title in large letters next to her.


    In the small town of Laurel, Montana, a mother refuses to give up fighting for her wrongfully imprisoned son’s release, culminating in a spectacular bipartisan collective effort spanning local and national exoneration and innocence activist movements....

  • A still from "Black Mothers": one of the film's protagonists, a middle-aged Black woman hosts a gathering of Black mothers in a hotel lobby.


    Violence. Outrage. Impunity. Repeat. BLACK MOTHERS follows the journey of two women working to disrupt the cycle of racist police violence within our country's judicial system. As one mother navigates the aftermath of her son’s attack by local police, the...

  • Promotional poster for "The Call": A pop-art style animation shows a closeup of a white woman's hand holding a green telephone receiver to her ear.

    This personal portraiture piece examines weaponized 911 calls in the age of white fragility.

  • A still from "Commuted": Protagonist Danielle Metz, a middle aged woman, is shown in sharp focus in the foreground, looking out at a sunset.


    When Danielle Metz’s triple life sentence was commuted, she got a rare chance to regain the life and family that she’d been dreaming about in prison. But back home in New Orleans, she steps into a different reality. Commuted traces Danielle’s journey to...

  • A still from "For Venida, For Kalief": Two framed photos sit on a bedside cabinet, one of Kalief Browder, a young Black man wearing a checked shirt, and the other of a young Black woman wearing a sleeveless black top.


    For Venida, For Kalief is a poetic cinematic portrait of the complex microcosm of criminal justice reform in New York. The film debuts the poetry of Venida Brodnax Browder, mother of Kalief Browder, whose unjust arrest and tragic suicide deeply...

  • A 2D animated watercolor painted image of a girl wearing glasses with long, dark black hair, wearing a green sweater with a yellow broken heart and a pink ribbon on the shoulder. Her eyes are closed and she faces downward looking a bit sad. Another girl in a dress painted grey sits on her shoulder, and a boy painted the same color grey floats in front of her. The girl in glasses is against a grey, cloudy sky with a cityscape of highrise buildings in the distance behind her.


    Accessing the American Dream is still not possible for all, much less those who come from immigrant backgrounds; for undocumented youth, their hopes for the future coexist with permanent fear of possible deportation. Marginalized within the country they...

  • A still from "Murders That Matter": Protagonist Movita Johnson-Harrell, a middle-aged Black woman in a white t-shirt and black hijab, stands next to a middle aged Black man wearing a blue hoodie that says "The Charles Foundation"

    Murders that Matter documents Movita Johnson-Harrell an African American Muslim mother who, in the aftermath of her youngest son’s murder, vows to save all the other Black sons, on both sides of the gun.

  • Photo of a white steeple partially hidden behind bare tree branches.

    The arrival of a white supremacist pagan church ignites the struggle for the soul of a small town and compels the townsfolk to face the prejudice sown and cultivated in American soil. What happens when this town says the ‘quiet part’ out loud?

  • A still from "United States vs. Reality Winner": A young woman with blonde hair and an orange sweatshirt looks out from the window of a car.


    A state of secrets and a ruthless hunt for whistleblowers – this is the story of 25-year-old NSA contractor Reality Winner who disclosed a document about Russian election interference to the media and became the number one leak target of the Trump...

  • Freda Huson (Chief Howihkat) during a three day ceremony preceding her arrest / credit: MIchael Toledano

    Freda Huson, a Wet’suwet’en leader, faces down fossil fuel corporations, the government, and police wielding assault rifles as she galvanizes her nation in a high-stakes struggle to protect their territory from gas and oil pipelines.

2020 Grantees

  • anti-socialist activists use large figuring of a socialists to push their rhetoric

    A former Marine and a public school teacher in two different states find themselves broke and unable to sustain their livelihoods through their jobs. Activated by the energy of the 2016 Sanders presidential campaign and the murmurs of a state-wide teacher strike, both turn to socialism, a once-...

  • two young children hang Halloween decorations with their mother outside their mobile home

    When housing on the lowest rung of the American dream is being devoured by the wealthiest of the wealthy, whose dream are we serving? That’s How We Roll addresses urgent issues of class and economic (im)mobility through the lives of mobile home park residents who can’t afford housing anywhere...

  • educational protesters

    When a thriving, highly-successful African American public elementary school is threatened to be replaced by a new high school that favors the community’s wealthier residents, parents, students and educators fight for the elementary school’s survival.

  • An activist in his wheel chair in the Capital

    When 32-year-old activist and father Ady Barkan is diagnosed with ALS and given four years to live, he finds himself in a deep depression, struggling to connect with his young son, whose presence reminds him of the future he will miss. But after a chance confrontation on an airplane with Senator...

2019 Grantees

  • Two women is walking with their white dog on an unpaved road flanked by green green trees.

    Jones Farm is a lush, 688-acre farm situated in the heart of western Alabama. Three generations of black women explore their very different ties to this place that shaped them and continues to exert a strange hold on their identities. This is the same plot of land that their ancestors once worked as slaves—a history that is important to their identities and to how they navigate the world.

  • structure of indigenous building overlooks development neighborhood of the Hamptons

    In the Hamptons, playground of the rich, land for the development of luxury property is bought and sold at a premium. Members of the Shinnecock Nation, tell a different story about the meaning and value of this beautiful peninsula and long to preserve what remains of their cultural heritage.

  • a Black adult in brown shirt looking down

    Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project pushes the boundaries of biographical documentary film to reveal the enduring influence of one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators.

  • single building in Puerto Rican mountains

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of the aftermath of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.

  • A man on his horse, with dogs in a beautiful field during sunset

    As cowboys meet at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, they confront myths, old and new, to try and save the land they love.

  • A Native American woman leaned over a fence

    The Sacred & The Snake follows several Indigenous women and two-spirit activists as they discover their power in the act of collective resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. But as each returns home empowered to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and abuse, they realize their battle has just begun.

2018 Grantees

  • two camp members sit under a tree while attending a disabled persons camp; a wheel chair is focal point of image

    Steeped in the humor and music of the era, Crip Camp explores the universal experience of summer camp awakenings that would transform lives and shape the future of the disability rights movement.

  • An illustrated image of an adult in superhero outfit carrying a camera

    "When We Walk" is a follow-up to the Emmy-Award winning film "When I Walk". It is the second part of a documentary trilogy that follows the life of filmmaker Jason DaSilva as he deals with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

2016 Grantees

  • 93QUEEN follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are shattering the glass ceiling in their neighborhood to create the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in NYC.

  • Indigenous coal miner poses for photo in front of plant equiptment

    A Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter on his own, struggles with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain.

  • In the Fourth Kingdom, cans and bottles are exchanged for coins, and the waste of the society becomes the dreams of their inhabitants.

  • Jessica Gonzales Lenahan stands to the left of a doorway in their home with a family portrait on the right wall

    HOME TRUTH follows the life of Jessica Gonzales Lenahan, a Latina and Native American domestic violence survivor, who, after the death of her three young daughters, sues her local police department in Castle Rock, Colorado, for not adequately enforcing a restraining order, and pursues her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and an international human rights tribunal.

  • A multi-billion dollar American development is poised to engulf a small coastal community in Mexico with a mega hotel/condo complex. But local people are banding together to save their way of life and the delicate ecosystem on which they all depend. What rights do indigenous communities have...

  • QUEST is an intimate documentary film that captures ten years in the life of an African-American family living in North Philadelphia.

  • Set in the Canadian Arctic, against the threat of climate change, THOSE THAT BREATHE is the powerful and intimate story of an Inuit community struggling to hold on to their culture and their land.

2015 Grantees

  • white male teen looks through chainlink fence at school

    At a remote Mojave Desert high school, extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than academics, give at-risk students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty in the lives of these so-called "bad kids."

  • A former football star and refugee of Hurricane Katrina shakes up a troubled West Oakland high school with his edgy and unorthodox approach to keeping Black and Latino kids in school.

  • white middle aged male stares at himself in the bathroom mirror wearing pink button up

    Denial is a movie about electricity, about gender, about filmmaking, and about all the ways we lie to ourselves even when faced with overwhelming facts. It is the story of a family coming to terms with hard personal truths against the backdrop of a global crisis.

  • Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL! Ellis Haizlip makes television broadcast history with SOUL!, America's first "black Tonight Show."

  • In the aftermath of the worst mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history, Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters within Newtown and beyond interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.

  • The Radicals tells the harrowing story of ISIS from the perspective of the mothers of “foreign fighters”, as they attempt to grapple with the sudden and disruptive transformation of the world around them.

  • At a moment of national reckoning on mass incarceration, what can California's experiment teach the nation?

  • A story about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.

  • The story of a football town divided, ROLL RED ROLL is an true crime thriller examining sexual assault in small town America.

  • A first-hand look at how the murder of a teenage boy became the last straw for a community under siege. Whose Streets? is a story of love, loss, conflict, and ambition; the journey of everyday people turned freedom fighters, whose lives intertwined with a burgeoning national movement for black liberation.

2014 Grantees

  • two veterans pause in the middle of road amid their backpacking trip

    The inspiring true story of two friends who embark on an epic journey to heal from their time in combat.

  • main character Daje rests her head on crossed arms at desk with bookbag and photo of Obama behind on wall

    For Ahkeem follows 17-year-old Daje Shelton as she struggles to beat the odds and earn a high school diploma in one of the most volatile places in the country. After getting into a fight at her North St. Louis high school, a juvenile court judge sends Daje to an experimental program that offers...

  • a black and white image of Wendell Berry reading a book in a chair with feet kicked up on table

    In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, where he bought a small farm house and began a life of farming, writing and teaching.  This lifelong relationship with the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings. A half century later, Henry County, like many...

  • Overburden is the story of a fiery, pro-coal right-winger and a tenacious, environmentalist grandmother whose lives are thrust together when a mine disaster shatters their community. Through an intimate story unfolding over seven years, Overburden underscores the need for reconciliation as a...

  • RICH HILL chronicles the tormented lives of impoverished kids in a dying Midwestern town, who struggle to discover self-worth and to imagine a brighter future.

  • College is supposed to be the best years of a young adult’s life, filled with personal exploration, sex, parties and intellectual growth. Yet on many campuses there has been a general attitude of “boys will be boys,” allowing misogyny, bigotry, cyber-harassment and violence to permeate student...

2013 Grantees

  • group of LGBTQ+ gang members walk down alley at night

    Check It is a feature-length documentary about a gay African-American gang struggling to survive in one Washington D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods.

  • a group of Native Alaskan children sit on top a caught bowhead whale

    Children of the Arctic is a portrait of five Native Alaskan teenagers coming of age in Barrow, Alaska - the northern-most community of the United States. As they embark on their journey into adulthood in and outside of Barrow, they wrestle with their roles as inheritors of a jeopardized culture...

  • My Country, No More takes an intimate look inside the lives and hopes of one North Dakota farming community in response to a fundamental question: what are we willing to sacrifice in our pursuit of progress?

  • Ringside, previously The Punch, tells the story of a fateful relationship of a father and his son and their shared fragile dream. It is a tale of failure and hope – and what it means to live with dignity.

  • (T)ERROR is the story of Saeed "Shariff" Torres, a 63-year-old former Black Panther-turned-counterterrorism informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The film is the first documentary to place filmmakers on the ground during an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation. (T)ERROR...

2012 Grantees

  • Kansas abortion doctor stands in office doorway looking down towards the ground

    Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in Kansas in May 2009, there are only four American doctors left who openly provide third-trimester abortions. After Tiller paints a complex, compassionate portrait of these physicians—Dr. LeRoy Carhart, Dr. Warren Hern, Dr. Susan Robinson and Dr....

  • middle aged white male convict listens with arms crossed at a re-entry training

    Each year in the United States, 650,000 convicts are released from our state and federal prisons. Four Walls Around Me follows three of them as they embark on the jarring odyssey known as “re-entry.”

  • promotional graphic for Citizen Koch; statue with a for sale sign around neck in front of government buidling

    This a story about how Wisconsin - birthplace of the Republican party, government unions and Paul Ryan - becomes a test market in the campaign to buy Democracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the GOP. Please make a charitable donation now to help us ensure this film has an...

  • The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to...

  • A debate over healthcare has been raging nationwide, but what's been lost in the discussion are the American citizens who live day after day, year after year without solutions for their most basic needs. REMOTE AREA MEDICAL documents the annual three-day "pop-up" medical clinic organized by the...

2011 Grantees

  • an ACORN political activist speaks in front of crowd and fellow supporters waiving signs

    If you were impoverished, politically voiceless, and believed you didn’t matter, ACORN hoped to change your mind. For 40 years, the controversial community-organizing group sought to empower marginalized communities. Its critics, though, believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with liberal...

  • large family poses for black and white picture

    Baltimore, 1972: Henry Selhorst, father of thirteen children, is murdered blocks from his home by three young men.

    Decades later, his granddaughter Emily Topper tries to find out what really happened that fatal day. 'Racism', people said back then. But is that really all there was to it...

  • former factory employees posed outside of warehouse in Wisconsin

    AS GOES JANESVILLE reports from ground zero of America’s recession-ridden heartland — the city of Janesville, Wisconsin. When bankrupt GM shuts down the community’s century-old plant, forcing workers to leave their families in search of decent jobs, local business leaders seize the moment to woo...

  • They came to have their babies.  They went home sterilized.  No Más Bebés is the story of Mexican immigrant mothers who were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County hospital during the 1970s. Alongside a young Chicana lawyer and armed with hospital records secretly gathered by a...