2016 New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Grants Announced

The Jerome Foundation Board of Directors, at its Board meeting on December 12, 2016, authorized five grants based on the recommendations of the New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program Review Panel. The panel met on November 18, 2016, and was composed of: 

  • Ruby Lerner, former Executive Director of Creative Capital Foundation and of the Association of Independent Film and Videomaker (AIVF)
  • Aliza Ma, Head of Programming at New York Metrograph
  • Dan Sickles, filmmaker and director

 Of the 165 applications submitted, six grants totaling $135,000 were authorized for the productions described below:

CAMILLE DE GALBERT, $20,000 for Margot, which follows the inner journey of a young woman struggling to reconnect with reality as she delves through layers of her subconscious and key moments from her childhood taking a unique approach to the narrative form by twisting it around the finger of poetic surrealism.

GABRIELLA KESSLER, $30,000 for Prison Show, a documentary about a small local Texas radio station with a call in show for prisoners and their families that unveils the tentacular reach of the US penal system, whose grip goes far beyond prisons, and from which it is impossible to escape.

ANDREA PALLAORO, $30,000 for Monica, Monica is the intimate observation of a 52-year-old transgendered woman who returns to her Kansas hometown to take care of her dying mother, who is in the advanced stages of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, and whom Monica has not seen in over 35 years, since being kicked out of her own home as a teen.

DEMPSEY RICE, $15,000 for The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks, a documentary film that brings to life ten years of extraordinary conversations with author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D., painting a portrait of his pursuits and his uniquely agile mind.

FERN SILVA, $25,000 for Sacred Sights, an experimental film based around the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. As lava continues to flow from the earth’s core on the island of Hawaii–posing an imminent danger–an existential crisis mounts for native Hawaiians: astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on the burial grounds of their most sacred and revered ancestors.

SONEJUHI SINHA, $15,000 for Love Comes Later, a suspenseful drama about a young South Asian woman, Riz, who enters America illegally, desperate to start her life over. In order to survive she starts working at a middle of the road motel in New Jersey, where the lives of immigrant women, drug dealers and loan sharks collide.

Of the remaining 13 finalists chosen by the panel, the following agreed to share descriptions of their films by the time of this posting. Other finalists may agree and be added to this list in time. Those finalists were:

JOEY CARDUCCI for Coming Outtakes, a 16mm experimental film where a queer experimental feminist filmmaker decides to transition from female to male and attempts to contextualize it, challenge it and justify it, to himself and everyone else by coming out to Barbara Hammer on film.

SARAH J CHRISTMAN for Swarm Season, a feature length film combining documentary and speculative fiction to reexamine the relationship between human beings and the natural environment in the past, present and future set against the backdrop of social and environmental uprising on the Big Island of Hawaii.

HARRIET HIRSHORN for Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS, a documentary telling the story of the inspiring women spearheading the global AIDS movement and revealing how women have shaped grassroots movements in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa, saving innumerable lives in the process.

BILL KERSEY for White Cactus, a feature-length personal documentary about the daughter of a New Jersey-based Columbian drug cartel kingpin and her quest to uncover the truth about her father's past and her own childhood.

FERNANDO ORTEGA for Marakame, the story of Don Antonio Carrillo, his incredible way of life, and the inspiring transformation he underwent to become a marakame, a well-respected Wirrarika shaman high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, where the indigenous Wirrarika (commonly known as Huichol) have maintained their connection to nature and ancestral traditions for thousands of years.

COLE SMOTHERS for Sanctuary of Butterflies, the story of a pioneering musician’s journey across Mexico to explore the rapidly fading heritage of ancestral music.

ERICA TREMBLAY for To Return a Man, a feature documentary which explores the cycle of domestic violence and the definition of healthy masculinity within Native communities through the lens of Calvin, a young Lakota man on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota as he embarks on a tribe-mandated re-education program that pushes him to redefine what it means to be a man in an increasingly complex world.

STEPHEN WINTER for Clementine, the story of four optimistic young black friends in Lafayette, Louisiana who struggle to launch positive lives in the face of poverty and despair, and get caught up in mysterious events that erupt into macabre murders, seemingly motivated by racial self-hate.

For further information about these grants, please contact Jerome Foundation President Ben Cameron at 651.925.5617. Additional grants for the New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production program were made in September 2016–view the press release.

The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. The Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City.

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