Without Arrows, director Jonathan Olshefski
As 2019 begins, we are thrilled to announce our full slate of grantees for 2018. Catapult received applications on a rolling basis and makes granting decisions throughout the year. The 2018 slate represents the full list of grants made from January 2018 to the present. With nearly 1000 submissions received, we have been honored to learn about so many unique film projects beginning their process all across the globe.

Here at Catapult, 2019 promises to be extraordinary for documentary filmmaking. Our 2018 grantees are telling stories ranging from a longitudinal portrait of a Native American family in South Dakota, a fight for the survival of public education under racial threat in Chicago, an immersive experience of the lives of Midwestern farmers struggling to retain their livelihoods, to a personal film about three generations of Iranian-American women.  

We are proud to announce our full slate of 2018 grantees below. 


The Catapult Film Fund team


A Bunch of Amateurs
Producer/Director: Kim Hopkins
Producer: Margareta Szabo

The word “amateur” has an apologetic ring. But it comes from “amatore”, Latin for “lover”. Britain’s oldest amateur filmmaking club struggles to survive, as its members grow old amid flickering memories and hardships. In the northern industrial town of Bradford, England, a handful of diehard amateur filmmakers desperately cling to their dreams, and to each other, in this warm and funny look at shared artistic folly that speaks to the delusional dreamer in us all.
A Place to Learn 
Director: Kevin Shaw

When a successful black elementary school is threatened to be replaced by a new high school that favors the community's wealthier residents, parents, students and educators fight for the elementary school's survival. 
Colour of the Wind
Director: Claire Sanford
Producer: Adam Pajot Gendron

Colour of the Wind is a lyrical 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. Touching down in cities and towns from the deserts of western China to the shores of California, we meet characters confronted by the dust - from its most ominous form as an enormous, devastating storm in a drying desert to its tiniest incarnation as a speck studied under a microscope. 
Director: Drew Xanthopoulos
Producer: Megan Gilbride

Regarding intelligence, emotionality, language and culture, the study of whales challenges our most basic assumptions about what it is to be human. Fathom follows some of the world’s most immersed whale researchers explore their groundbreaking work and how a life among whales has shaped them personally. Interweaving the stories of the scientists with interludes laying the groundwork for their research, Fathom will show what studying other animals ultimately reveals about ourselves.
The Grenada Invasion
Director: Greg Campbell
Producer: Daniel Junge

The Grenada Invasion is a feature-length documentary about the untold story behind the only direct military action of Reagan’s presidency and the only overt U.S. engagement during the Cold War.
Ghost Wives
Director: Eva Weber

Walking the razor’s edge between true-crime documentary and stylish noir mystery, Ghost Wives tells the story of a Chinese journalist who investigates the case of a real-life serial killer - Song Tiantang, a 53-year old man, who killed six women to sell their bodies for ghost weddings, an ancient tradition in parts of rural China.
The Girl with Seven Names 
Director: Madeleine Gavin
Producers: Jana Edelbaum and
Rachel Cohen

A visceral thriller centered around one woman’s harrowing escape from North Korea. The film will span two decades and reveal a country's people who, even today, remain shrouded in mythology, mystery and repression.
Greener Pastures
Directors: Andrew Cohn and Sam Mirpoorian

Since the 1980s, American farmers haven’t dealt with a more troubling time than now. Economic despair and rising suicide rates have left farmers at a dark crossroad. Greener Pastures is a documentary film that takes an immersive dive into the lives of farmers across the Midwest, tracking four families for an entire calendar year, from fall to harvest.
Director: Sierra Urich

Joonam follows the story of one filmmaker’s search to uncover her family’s Iranian past. Diving head first into the courageous, tender, and vulnerable coming-of-age tales of her grandmother, mother, and self, the filmmaker reflects on the evolving shape of girlhood across her family’s path from Iran to America. Telling the story of three generations of daughters within the same family, the film dares to unpack the relationship between mother and daughter, Iran and America, and the immigrant experience as it ripples over time.
Director: David Petersen
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.
Razing Liberty Square
Director/Producer: Katja Esson
Producer: Ann Bennett

Razing Liberty Square follows the fight over the re-development of Miami’s Liberty Square, the first segregated public housing project in the South. By challenging the city’s plan, in one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States, the women of Liberty Square fight to defend their community against the onslaught of climate gentrification and cultural erasure by reclaiming their place in Miami’s past, present and future.
A Second Child
Director: Jian Fan
Producers: Richard Liang and
S. Leo Chiang

After an earthquake razed a Chinese city to the ground, 3500 families try to replace the children they lost in order to move on with their lives. A Second Child follows two of these families haunted by their painful past as they build towards a brighter tomorrow.
Director: Lisa Leeman
Producer: Karen Hori

In 1990, filmmaker Lisa Leeman intimately chronicled devout Christian Gary P’s  gender transition into Gabi in the groundbreaking documentary Metamorphosis (Sundance Filmmakers’ Trophy). Twenty-five years later, Leeman revisits her subject and must confront thorny questions about the filmmaker/subject relationship and the responsibilities filmmakers have to the people whose lives they film.  
Tour Guide
Director: Kimi Takesue

Tour Guide explores the legacy of the Cambodian genocide through the eyes of local tour guides as they lead foreigners to the Killing Fields and other “dark tourism” sites.
Untitled Criminal Justice / High School Project
Director: Maisie Crow
Producer: Heidi Reinberg

Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter this project is not described here.
Untitled Parkland Project
Director: Kim Snyder
Producers: Maria Cuomo Cole and 
Lori Cheatle

In the wake of the February 14, 2018 tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students ignite the largest youth movement since the 1960s to address gun violence in America.  A coming of age story at its core, their galvanizing demand for change inspires the conscience of the country.
Without Arrows 
Director: Jonathan Olshefski

Without Arrows is a longitudinal portrait of a Native American family. Three generations of the Fiddler family living on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation experience both tenderness and tragedy over the course of nearly ten years. 
One additional Catapult supported project is not at all described here due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter.

For more about the grantees, please visit: www.catapultfilmfund.org/films

IMPORTANT NOTE: 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. This is especially applies to those films submitted at the end of November. 2018.

This week five Catapult-supported films will be making their world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. We are thrilled for the filmmakers and excited to see their debuts on the big screen. Congratulations to:
 Always in Season
Director Jacqueline Olive
Producer Jessica Devaney

American Factory
Directors Julia Reichert and 
Steven Bognar 
Producers Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar, Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello

 Hail Satan? 
Director Penny Lane 
Producer Gabriel Sedgwick

Life Overtakes Me
Directors John Haptas and
Kristine Samuelson

Midnight Family
Director Luke Lorentzen
Producers Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre, Elena Fortes, and Luke Lorentzen 


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