By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 15, 2013 at 1:34PM
Seven documentary films have been selected as recipients of the Catapult Film Fund’s fall 2013 development grant. Since launching in 2010, over $700,000 has been awarded to 37 films via the Catapult program. 465 proposals were submitted this time around, doubling the number of spring 2013 proposals.
A previous Catapult grantee is “Call Me Kuchu,” directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zohali-Worrall, which debuted in 2012 at the Berlin Film Festival, and continued on as a festival hit, followed by a theatrical release earlier this year in the U.S. and U.K.
The following film projects were chosen for funding:
A VERY COLD WAR, Dir. May Abdalla
A VERY COLD WAR is set at the frontline of the fast changing Arctic. As the UN decides how to divide up state sovereignty into the High North we travel into the lives of American entrepreneurs, Danish scientists and Russian priests who are investing in the thawing ice and the young island man who is trying to stop them. A timely documentary about the race for the last frontier.
ASK THE SEXPERT, Dir. Vaishali Sinha
ASK THE SEXPERT (working title) is a feature documentary centered on a highly popular sex column in a daily newspaper in India. Despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humor has emboldened many to write in with their questions. Highlighting a dance between desire and censorship, the personal narratives in the film play out against the backdrop of the heated debate over sexuality and sex education in India.
MUDFLOW, Dir. Cynthia Wade
MUDFLOW is the story of a giant, spewing, hot toxic mudflow in Indonesia, believed to be caused by poorly executed natural gas drilling. This eruption is one of the largest man-made disasters of recent times, yet relatively unknown beyond Indonesia. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for more than seven years, swallowing schools, villages and factories. It has permanently displaced 35,000 people and international scientists believe the mudflow will continue for another 20 years.
O.P.D., Dir. Pete Nicks
O.P.D. (working title) is the second of a series of inter-connected feature documentaries exploring the relationship between public institutions and the community in Oakland, California. O.P.D. follows the innovative efforts of the Oakland Police Department at a watershed moment for the department as they face federal pressure, a surging crime wave, and debilitating budget cuts. The film reveals in intimate detail the often lost perspective of an ensemble cast of officers who get up everyday to face the unpredictable realities inherent in one of America's most violent yet promising cities.
THE ARRIVALS, Dir. Heidi Ewing
Two young, gay men leave comfortable lives in Mexico and make the dangerous journey to the USA so they may be openly together. But now they must make a grueling decision that cannot be reversed.
THE MURDER AND THE JOURNALISTS, Dir. Francisco Bello
Since 1970 the strange case of Jeffrey MacDonald, a man convicted of the grizzly murders of his pregnant wife and daughters, has captivated the American public, the media at large, and a trio of celebrity journalists - all telling very different tales. THE MURDER AND THE JOURNALISTS is a film that will challenge the truth in what is one of the biggest "true crime" stories in generations.
TRAPPED, Dir. Dawn Porter
In recent years states have enacted a record-breaking number of laws aimed at restricting access to abortion. If successful, these laws would substantially reduce the number of licensed abortion clinics in the United States. TRAPPED follows the progress of two Southern abortion clinics –Reproductive Health Services of Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama and the Jackson’s Women Health Organization in Jackson, Mississippi as they struggle to stay open in the face of an increasingly hostile legal and political climate.