OCT | 2017

• Highlights  

• Recent Grantees

• Spotlight on Films-in-          Progress

• Awards and Festivals 
Instant Life, director Mark Becker
The Catapult Film Fund team is thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new website! We were hard at work all summer designing a site that better highlights the incredible films we support and incorporating a news platform to keep you updated about Catapult-funded films. Explore and enjoy!

We are very excited to award eight new grants to a diverse set of stories from around the globe. Stay tuned for the full list of 2017 grantees in our January 2018 newsletter. From eyewitness accounts of the Michael Brown murder, to a contemporary treasure hunt for items stolen by the Nazis, to a love story between a jazz musician wrestling with Alzheimers and his dedicated partner, these new films focus on intimate stories that grapple with this difficult time in our country’s history, personal journeys of love and heartbreak and the deepest ethical questions of our time. Read more about our recent grantees below and on our website.

Catapult-funded films are out in the world! Peter Nicks’ The Force opened in New York, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area and is now making its way around the country. After finishing its festival run, Amanda Michelli's Vegas Baby is now on Netflix. In September, CNN Films aired Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill’s The Reagan Show and Andrew Cohn’s Night School aired on PBS. Ask the Sexpert, directed by Vaishali Sinha, took home the award for Best Documentary Feature from the New Orleans Film Festival. See below for more about these films and how to watch them. 

In September, Catapult co-founder Lisa Chanoff was at the Camden International Film Festival where she participated the North Points Institute pitch session panel. It was great to be part of such a dynamic group, learn about new films, and meet the filmmakers. Catapult is a sponsor of SFFILM's Doc Stories festival opening tonight at the Castro Theatre. Say hello if you plan to attend!


The Catapult Film Fund Team

We are proud to be supporting eight new films! Our most recent grantees are:
Director/Producers: Mark Becker & Aaron Schock
Instant Life tells the story of Yolanda Signorelli von Braunhut, the heiress to the Amazing Live Sea-Monkeys fortune, who is engaged in a David and Goliath legal battle with the toy corporation Big Time Toys to regain control over her husband’s iconic aquatic novelty. Now dispossessed of her sole source of income, Signorelli von Braunhut lives alone without electricity or running water on the Sea-Monkeys estate along the Potomac River where she struggles to restore the novelty’s reputation by regaining ownership of the Sea Monkeys and re-introducing the secret Sea-Monkeys formula to the world.
Director: Dan Sturman
Producers: Dylan Nelson & Gary Gilbert
The Leignitz Plot investigates a story dating back to the Holocaust: that a mysterious Nazi stole priceless stamp collections from concentration camp victims and then buried the stolen stamps somewhere in Poland. The filmmakers set out to confirm the story, recover the stamps, and return them to their rightful owners.
Directors: Kristine Samuelson & John Haptas
Life Overtakes Me tells the story of traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair that they withdraw into a coma-like state. In Sweden, over 400 refugee children have been afflicted with this life-threatening psychosomatic illness, and the film will accompany two of them and their families on their frightening odyssey through “resignation syndrome”.
Director: Kelly Duane de la Vega
Producer: Jessica Anthony
Mississippi Red looks at American feminism through the lens of race, religion and the political establishment as a pair of bipartisan allies fight to pass an equal pay bill in one of the most conservative states in the union.
Director: Lyric R. Cabral
Producer: Jessica Devaney
What happened when unarmed Black teen Michael Brown was fatally shot by White police officer Darren Wilson?
Director/Producers: Jyllian Gunther & Adam Kahan
Producer: Kali Holloway
Sunset and the Mockingbird is the love story of jazz legend Junior Mance and his wife, manager and soulmate Gloria Mance. As he loses his identity to dementia, she must reckon with her own.
Director: Loira Limbal
In today’s economy, many Americans work longer hours across multiple jobs to make ends meet. The result is an unexpected phenomenon: the flourishing of 24-hour daycare centers.
Director: Keven McAlester
A mystery that forces viewers to examine their accepted views of crime, punishment, and justice—and whether these views shift from absolute to relative when a system designed to protect us all protects the seemingly wrong person.
For a full list of all Catapult Film Fund grantees please visit www.catapultfilmfund.org

(Please assume that if you have submitted an application, but have not yet heard from us, that your project is still under consideration by our review team.)

Congratulations to Catapult grantees who received support from fellow funders! 
The Sundance Institute awarded grants to 10 Catapult-supported films and filmmakers:

        THE GOLD RUSH PROJECT, Jon Else & Camille Servan-Schreiber
        THE GUT, Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

        CRIP CAMP, Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham, & Sara Bolder
        UNTITLED OHIO FACTORY FILM, Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert

        ALWAYS IN SEASON, Jacqueline Olive
        THE FORCE, Peter Nicks
        YOUNG MEN AND FIRE, Alex Jablonski & Kahlil Hudson

        Spotlight on Storytellers
        Lyric Cabral, THE RASHOMON EFFECT
        Jason DaSilva, MY INTERIORITY

The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund gave production and development funds to 11 films, including two Catapult-funded films:
        CHARM CITY, Marilyn Ness, Katy Chevigny, & Julie Goldman
        THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, Assia Boundaoui & Jessica Devaney

The SFFILM Documentary Film Fund awarded filmmakers in the post-production phase. Among the six recipients of this award are two Catapult-supported films:

        THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, Assia Boundaoui & Jessica Devaney
        MIDNIGHT FAMILY, Luke Lorentzen & Kellen Quinn

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund gave grants to "...projects that highlight and humanize critical domestic and international social issues." Included is Catapult grantee:

        THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED, Assia Boundaoui & Jessica Devaney

We're pleased to see so many Catapult supported films winning awards and screening to audiences at festivals, in theaters, on TV, and streaming. Below are just a few highlights. Congratulations to all the filmmakers! 
Applause to Ask the Sexpert, winner of the Best Documentary Feature by the New Orleans Film Festival! Director Vaishali Sinha continues on a busy festival schedule with recent screenings at both the Mumbai and Cambridge Film Festivals. Read more about their award.
Dan Krauss’ Oscar nominated short Extremis was also nominated for two Emmys including: Outstanding Short and Outstanding Editing by Jeff Gilbert. Currently streaming on Netflix, Extremis plunges viewers into the harrowing decision-making process faced by physicians, patients and families in urgent end-of-life cases.
Indiewire’s “Best Documentaries of the 21st Century” recognizes films that have shaped how we view the world. Congratulations to Catapult grantees Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson & Mariyln Ness) and Weiner (Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg) for inclusion in this outstanding line up! Read the full article.
Vox created a list of the best documentaries of 2017 that “...may even be life-changing.” Among the list are Catapult grantees The Force (Peter Nicks) and The Reagan Show (Pacho Velez & Sierra Pettengill). Read the full article.
Having won numerous awards including the 2017 Directing Award at Sundance, Peter Nicks’ highly anticipated The Force was released theatrically! Visit their site to find in a theatre near you.
The actor-turned-40th President of the United States mastered the made-for-tv politics we know all too well today. Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill’s The Reagan Show aired in early September on CNN films, complete with encore screenings. Created entirely of archival footage, you can now watch this fascinating documentary through Amazon and itunes
The adult subjects of Night School, by filmmaker Andrew Cohn, fight an uphill battle as they juggle work, family, and high school in a district of Indianapolis with the lowest graduation rates in the country. Eye-opening and filled with spirit, Night School is also available to download through Amazon and itunes.   
After a great festival run, you can now catch Amanda Michelli’s Vegas Baby on Netflix! A contest for in vitro fertilization? For many women and couples, it’s their only chance for a biological child. Following hopeful parents from around the country, the film explores what infertility means to so many couples, individuals, and families.   

Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to help story-driven and cinematic documentary films get off the ground.

Catapult Film Fund
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