2017 New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Grants Announced

The Jerome Foundation Board of Directors, at its Board meeting on December 3, 2017, authorized thirteen grants based on the recommendations of the New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program Review Panel. Of the 174 applications submitted, thirteen grants totaling $357,000 were authorized for the productions described below:

Flavio Alves, $20,000, in support of The Garden Left Behind, a feature-length narrative film about a Mexican trans woman struggling to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City.

Omar Bakry, $30,000, in support of Abdo and Saneya. In Abdo and Saneya, a peasant Egyptian couple travel to the U.S. searching for a cure for infertility. They battle to survive in New York City without any language or notion of modern American life. Love helps them defy impossible odds, enduring the renegade homeless world to the hell kitchens of the restaurant business.

Nira Burstein, $30,000, in support of Charm Circle. Catalyzed by her sister’s upcoming wedding, filmmaker Nira Burstein delves into the most significant partnership she’s been witness to thus far- that of her parents. Uri & Raya's relationship began as a whirlwind romance, beget three children, and currently, is in a state of constant chaos. Father and artist Uri juggles bills that are past due, a house falling apart, and a wife struggling for his attention.  A meditation on love and family, dreams and sacrifice,  Charm Circle explores what a marriage might be at the midnight hour.

Todd Chandler, $30,000, in support of UNTITLED SAFE SCHOOLS PROJECT. UNTITLED SAFE SCHOOLS PROJECT explores the landscape of 21st century school safety in the United States, illuminating the complex ways in which we as a nation struggle to understand and prevent violence, and endeavor to create safer schools.

Winnie Cheung, $7,000 in support of What If, a silent short dance film which reimagines the Christian myth of creation. After stumbling upon The Garden of Eden, The Fool discovers two mystical creatures that identify as neither Man nor Woman.

Christina Choe, $30,000, in support of NANCY. A psychodrama about love, intimacy and trust, NANCY centers on a woman who blurs lines between truth and fiction and becomes increasingly convinced she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief—and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality.

Stefan Forbes, $30,000, in support of Siege. Siege tells the story of how, in January 1973, Shuaib Abdur-Raheem and three fellow Sunni Muslims attempted to steal guns for self-defense but were interrupted by the NYPD. A bloody gun battle killed an NYPD officer and set off the longest hostage siege in NYPD history. Over 47 tense hours, NYPD police psychologist Harvey Schlossberg became the inventor of modern hostage negotiation.

Kyle Lavore, $30,000, in support of Blink. In a world where everyone has a quirk that goes away when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness, Blink follows a young woman who can’t blink, who joins forces with an older woman with advanced ALS to explore the idea of assisted suicide and dying with dignity.

Moon Molson, $30,000, in support of Hyper/Space. After years of taking psychiatric medication, Shawn, a Black Millennial living in Spanish Harlem, decides to cease his treatment, questioning whether his neurological disorder even exists. Hyper/Space tracks the ensuing mania that awakens Shawn's burning need to solve the mystery of why his mother abandoned him as a child and committed suicide halfway across the country.

Ekwa Msangi, $30,000, in support of Farewell Amor (working title). After 17 years in exile, Walter finally reunites with his wife and daughter and they quickly discover how the years of separation have turned them into absolute strangers. Farewell Amor is their journey to overcome the personal and political hurdles amongst them and the muscle memory of dance that helps them find their way back “home.”

Katarzyna Plazinska, $30,000, in support of False Positive. False Positive is the story of David, a successful professional, who undergoes a crisis around his commodified existence. A mysterious disaster helps him confront the vast emptiness around him.

Iva Radivojevic, $30,000, in support of Aleph. Aleph is a magical cinematic journey with ten characters that steer us from one to the other and to ten different locations around the world. Their collected stories serve as pieces of a splintered labyrinth that leads us to an understanding of the unimaginable universe, where all of human experience resides: the Aleph.

Rachel Elizabeth Seed, $30,000, in support of A Photographic Memory. In A Photographic Memory, a daughter attempts to piece together a portrait of her mother, an avant-garde journalist and a woman she never knew. Uncovering the vast audio-visual archive Sheila Turner-Seed produced, including lost interviews with iconic photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and others, the film explores memory, legacy and stories left untold.

The New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program Review Panel was composed of:

  • Michelle Materre, Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at the New School
  • Alyce Myatt, consultant and former Director of the NEA Media Program and PBS Execeutive
  • Justine Nagan, Executive Producer and Executive Director of POV & America ReFramed/American Documentary
  • Jeffrey Scher, experimental filmmaker and media arts faculty member at both the School for Visual Arts and Tisch School of the Arts (NYU)
  • John C. Woo, Executive Director for Asian CineVision; and founder and president of Woo Art International, a creative services and visual communications firm
  • Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Emmy award-winning director and editor; teacher at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art

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