The San Francisco Film Society has revealed the three winners of its 2014 SFFS Documentary Film Fund awards, which total more than $75,000 and support feature-length documentaries in post-production.
Moby Longinotto’s “The Joneses,” Jason Zeldes's “Romeo Is Bleeding” and Andrew James's “Street Fighting Man” were each given funding to help push them towards completion. (More details on each project below.)
Previous winners include Zachary Heinzerling’s Oscar nominated “Cutie and the Boxer,” Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s Sundance Special Jury Prize winner “American Promise” and Shaul Schwarz’s strongly reviewed 2013 Sundance entry “Narco Cultura.”
2014 DOCUMENTARY FILM FUND WINNERS:
The Joneses — Moby Longinotto, director and Aviva Wishnow, producer — $30,627
The Joneses is a portrait of Jheri, a 73-year-old transgender trailer park matriarch, who lives in bible belt Mississippi. Reconciled with her family after years of estrangement, and now living with two of her sons, Jheri embarks on a new path to reveal her true self to her grandchildren. Will their family bonds survive?
Moby Longinotto studied at England’s National Film School where his graduation film Make Me Proud screened at multiple festivals and won numerous awards. His subesequent work includes Bad Boy, a piece made for the BBC about a young man released from prison attempting to integrate back into society; and Smalltown Boy, which follows a 15-year-old boy, once kicked out of his foster home for being gay as he attempts to win the Carnival Queen crown. Longinotto has also directed and shot multiple non-scripted television series for BBC, Channel 4 and SwissTV.
Romeo Is Bleeding — Jason Zeldes, director and Michael Klein, producer — $22,500
Donte Clark's poetic voice was honed on the violent street corners of a struggling city. Yet rather than succumb to the pressures of Richmond, CA, Clark uses his artistic perspective to save his city from itself. For more information visit RomeoIsBleedingFilm.com.
Jason Zeldes is an editor in LA’s documentary scene. The first feature film he edited, Twenty Feet From Stardom, premiered on opening night of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, continued on to a successful theatrical run, and won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Prior to that film, Zeldes spent years working with acclaimed filmmakers such as Patrick Creadon, Doug Blush and Kirby Dick, learning the documentary craft at its highest level, and earning credits on films like the Oscar-nominated Invisible War. Zeldes graduated from USC in 2009.
Street Fighting Man — Andrew James, director; Sara Archambault and Katie Tibaldi, producers — $22,500
In a new America where the promise of education, safety and shelter are in jeopardy, three Detroit men fight to build something lasting for themselves and future generations. For more information visit streetfightingmanthemovie.com.
Andrew James is the writer/director of Una Vida Mejor and the coproducer/codirector of the feature-length documentary Cleanflix. Una Vida Mejor has screened at festivals world-wide and was the recipient of the Special Jury Prize for artistic vision at the 2008 Cinequest Film Festival. Cleanflix had its world premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival before screening at more than 25 festivals around the world. Street Fighting Man was also selected for IFP's 2012 Independent Film Week and the 2013 Hot Docs International Pitch Forum, and has received support from the Sundance’s Documentary Fund and Documentary Edit & Story Lab.