Afia Nathaniel, writer/director of 'Dukhtar.'
Afia Nathaniel, writer/director of 'Dukhtar.'

The Women In Film Foundation’s Film Finishing Fund has announced the recipients of their 28th annual grant program, which provides cash grants and in-kind production services to the winners, among them two narrative features, one short and four documentaries. The seven winners, listed below, were selected from over 113 submissions. For the fifth year running, funding support is provided by Netflix.

Narrative Feature Films

"Dukhtar" - 
Afia Nathaniel (Writer/Director/Producer)

A Pakistani mother goes on an extraordinary journey to save her ten year old daughter from an arranged marriage. Based on a true story. 

"The Factory Girl" - Mohamed Samir (Producer)

A factory worker in a low middle class area has feelings for her supervisor despite class differences, but must deal with societal pressures when a pregnancy test is found at work. An examination of life in Cairo for a working young woman with hopes, aspirations, and intelligence. 

Documentary Films

"LaDonna Harris: Indian 101" - Julianna Brannum (Director/Producer)

Comanche activist LaDonna Harris has led an extensive life of Native political and social activism.  The documentary explores how traditional cultural and leadership values are passed on to new generations. 

"The Last One" - Nadine Licostie (Director)

The quest to sew the last panel into the AIDS Memorial Quilt would mean that the scourge of AIDS, the most devastating pandemic in the history of humankind, has come to a close.  The filmmakers explore the history of the quilt and the breadth and diversity of those AIDS has affected, through moving portraits of the originators of the quilt and the quilt workers who maintain and contribute squares to the quilt.   

"Mia, A Dancer's Odyssey" - Maria Ramas and Kate Johnson (Co-Directors)

A daughter's promise to tell her mother’s story becomes the unfolding of the remarkable life of celebrated 20th Century ballerina, Mia Slavenska:  a life in dance, of exile and return, of failure and success, and coming to terms with the impermanence and impact of a life in art. 

"Spies of Mississippi" - Dawn Porter (Director/Producer)

A look at the State of Mississippi's little known efforts to undermine the Civil Rights Movement using a network of both black and white spies who pretended to work for civil rights, while betraying the heroes who fought for equality, and the impact that the betrayal had on the movement and on the families of the spies and the activists themselves. 

Narrative Short Film

"The Bravest, The Boldest" - Pelin Uzay (Producer)

Two Army Casualty Notification Officers arrive at the projects in Harlem to tell Sayeeda Porter that her son has been killed in the war in the Middle East.  She eludes them on an inner journey to gather herself before she receives the news officially---news that she already knows from the moment she sees their uniforms.