JUNE | 2018

• Spring Highlights  

• 2018 Grantees

• 2018 Rough Cut Retreat

• SFFILM/Catapult            Fellowship Grantees

• Awards & Festival

• Newly Streaming &    Airing  

Born to be Second, director Fan Jian
Catapult is pleased to announce the first of our 2018 grantees. This cohort is one of three that will be announced this year; projects are selected as part of an ongoing rolling call. From personal stories of four young and homeless ballet dancers, to a cinematic portrait of monstrous dust storms that rise from the deserts of Western China, 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. We are proud to be supporting this unique and diverse set of stories. Read more about our recent grantees below and on our website.

We’re gearing up for the annual Rough Cut Retreat, in conjunction with our partners at the True/False Film Festival. At the retreat, we'll unite five film projects with five mentors over five days in the beautiful Catskill Mountains. Amidst a supportive atmosphere, filmmakers will have the goal of evolving their film projects from rough cut to fine cut. Read more about the mentors and projects below.  

On the festival circuit, we are pleased to see Catapult-supported projects continue to be well received. Three Catapult-supported films premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival to packed theaters and standing ovations and six Catapult-grantees shared their projects in Toronto at the Hot Docs Forum. We were excited to see Netflix air Wild, Wild Country, HBO acquire The Oslo Diaries, and Independent Lens air True Conviction


The Catapult Film Fund Team


Our new 2018 grantees are:
Born to Be Second 
Director: Fan Jian
Producers: Richard Liang & S. Leo Chiang

After a disaster takes away their only child, a tormented couple copes with the loss of their daughter while struggling to raise the son born to replace her. Do they have any love left for him?
The Grenada Invasion
Co-Director/Producers: Daniel Junge & Greg Campbell

The Grenada Invasion gives an insider’s perspective on a pivotal yet often overlooked moment in the Cold War — the United States’ military invasion of the island nation of Grenada and its lingering after effects.
Hwangsa: Colour of the Wind
Director: Claire Stanford 
Producer: Adam Pajot Gendron

Hwangsa is a cinematic portrait of monstrous dust storms that rise from the deserts of Western China and the people that emerge from the dust along its path.
Director: David Peterson 
Producer: Mary Recine

Through the eyes of four young and homeless ballet dancers, Lift shines a spotlight on the invisible story of homelessness in America.
Director: David Osit

Mayor is a real-life political saga about a search for identity behind the battle lines of a global conflict. With startling and unprecedented access, Mayor follows a charismatic leader's quixotic quest to build the city of the future in a land paralyzed by its past.
Pray Away
Director: Kristine Stolakis
Producer: Jessica Devaney

Pray Away tells the story of the history and continuation of the reparative therapy or "pray the gay away" movement.
For more about the grantees, please visit: www.catapultfilmfund.org/films

(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.)
The Rough Cut Retreat is right around the corner! In conjunction with our partners at the True/False Film Festival, the Rough Cut Retreat unites filmmakers and mentors in a supportive and engaged atmosphere with the goal of moving projects from a rough to fine cut. This year, the retreat will convene at the Carey Institute for Global Good from July 22-26. For more info visit roughcutretreat.org.
The 2018 Mentors:

Josh Penn is an Oscar-nominated producer whose films include the four-time Academy Award nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Contemporary Color, and, most recently, Monsters and Men. He also executive-produced Patti Cake$ and co-produced SXSW-winning The Great Invisible.

Rachel Grady, along with co-director Heidi Ewing runs Loki Films and has made six feature-length films, including Jesus Camp, The Boys of Baraka, 12th & Delaware, Detropia, and Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You. Their most recent is One of Us about the enormously insular world of Hasidic Judaism.
Erin Casper is a New-York-based editor who has worked on films including American Promise. Her other credits include Detropia (as Associate Editor), and Our School. Erin was the inaugural recipient for the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship and an editing fellow at the Sundance Documentary Edit Lab.
Roger Ross Williams is known for directing Life Animated, God Loves Uganda and Music by Prudence; He is the first African American to win an Academy Award for directing and producing a film, short or feature. Prior to that, Roger was an acclaimed television journalist and producer for over 15 years.

Aaron Wickenden is an editor and cinematographer whose films include The Interrupters, Finding Vivian Maier and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. His close collaboration with Morgan Neville includes Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Best of Enemies. In 2015, Aaron co-directed his first feature film, Almost There.
The 2018 Films:

Anbessa (director Mo Scarpelli) explores the rich inner world of a lion-hearted, ten-year-old boy in Ethiopia as he weathers the tides of change that threaten to usurp his community and country.

Queen of the Battling Butterflies 
​​​​​​​(director Daniel Hymanson) celebrates the chaotic fifty-year marriage of two outspoken, idiosyncratic artists as they face the challenges of aging while staying wildly, artistically alive.

Scars (director Agnieszka Zwiefka) follows a former female fighter and radical ideologue of the Tamil Tigers, in a post-civil war Sri Lanka. When she leaves her quiet countryside life to find her fellow comrades, she faces her own dark past and the trauma of war.

Stray (director Elizabeth Lo) sees the world through the eyes of three street dogs in Turkey, a nation in a profound state of flux. The film finds dignity in both the dogs and the marginalized people around them.

Truth or Consequences (director Hannah Jayanti)  is about the eponymous, small desert town in New Mexico banking on the world’s first commercial spaceport. This dusty no man’s land and its longtime residents are both eager for and weary of big changes.

Supporting filmmakers in the early stages of development, grantees of the SFFILM/Catapult Film Fund Fellowship will receive a $10,000 grant, help from mentors whose work or artistic approach aligns with the filmmaker's goals, guidance from SFFILM and Catapult Film Fund staff, and access to SFFILM's FilmHouse residency and dynamic suite of artist development services. Congrats to the grantees!

Mixed Status
Director: Isabel Castro

The mother? Undocumented. The father? Deported. The children? One citizen, two Dreamers. Against the backdrop of shifting border immigration policy, the Arvizus, a mixed-status family in El Paso, Texas, navigate love, work, and the desire for a better life.
Philly District Attorney (Working Title)
Co-Directors/Co-Producers: Ted Passon & Yoni Brook

A band of activists, led by defense attorney Larry Krasner, takes the reins of the agency at the center of mass incarceration: the district attorney’s office. Embedded behind-closed-doors, the film captures an unprecedented criminal justice experiment as it unfolds, and asks if real reform is possible.

Untitled Dystopia Film
Director: Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Caught in a modern day dystopia, a novelist uses fiction to examine the very real brutality and absurdity of authoritarian rule.

We're pleased to see so many Catapult-supported films winning awards and screening to audiences at festivals, in theaters, and streaming. Below are just a few of the highlights. Congratulations to all the filmmakers!
All We've Lost won the Best Pitch at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is headed to the edit room.
The Raft won the top prize at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. Read about the award.
Elephant Path/Njaia Njoku had its world premiere at SF Doc Fest!

City of the Sun screened at the SFFILM International Film Festival receiving a special jury mention “for its stunning use of cinematography and sound design that immerses us in a place that is at once stark and stirring.” Read about the festival.
The Silence of Others won the Panorama Audience Award & The Peace Film Prize at Berlinale and the Grand Jury Prize at Sheffield Doc/Fest! It was picked up Cinephil and is currently screening at festivals worldwide. 
The International Documentary Association awarded their Elevate Grant to Catapult grantees Loira Limbal (Through the Night) & Jackie Olive (Always in Season). Read about the grant.
Charm City
Director: Marylin Ness
Producer: Katy Chevigny
The Feeling of Being Watched
Director: Assia Boundaoui
Producer: Jessica Devaney
Time for Ilhan
Director: Norah Shapiro
Producer: Jennifer Steinman Sternin

Directors: Cynthia Wade & Sasha Friedlander
Producers: Tracie Holder & Matthew Syrett

Wild, Wild Country made a splash of a debut on Netflix in March. Audiences binged their way through the fascinating series about the Rashnishis that took over Antalope, OR in the mid 1980's. 

When God Sleeps and True Conviction both aired on Independent Lens and are available on the PBS app

Survivors screened to sold-out theaters at the Encounters South African International Film Festival and heads to the Shanghai  International Film Festival before coming to PBS's POV this fall. 

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

Catapult Film Fund
39 Mesa Street Suite 105
San Francisco, California 94129