Gucci’s Tribeca Documentary Fund 2020 Recipients

The majority of the awarded projects are directed by women and explore female-led stories and narratives about environmental change

Amid one of the most trying decades in modern history, Gucci renewed its commitment to the arts and to the work of burgeoning filmmakers, through the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund. For the 13th consecutive year, the Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI) and Gucci pledged $140,000 in funding support to 11 grant recipients — all of whom dug deep into pressing issues such as climate change, racism, sexism, terrorism and immigration.

Resonating narratives of death row inmates in Texas, Islamic State members detained in Syria and Black mothers on the frontlines of the fight against police brutality were among the documentaries selected.

Since 2008, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund has provided more than $1.5 million in grants to 105 feature-length documentary films that highlight and humanize critical topics, particularly via powerful women-led narratives.

This year’s grantees were selected by a jury comprised of accomplished filmmakers, industry leaders and activists such as De’Ara Balenger (co-Founder of Maestra), Mustafa Khalili (Digital Documentaries Editor, BBC) and KiKi Layne (Actress; If Beale Street Could Talk), and Brett Story (Filmmaker, The Hottest August).

Read more about each of the 2020 Recipients and their films here:

After Sherman
Director: Jon Sesrie-Goff
Producer: Blair Dorosh-Walter, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, Jon Sesrie-Goff
After Sherman is a story about inheritance and the tension that defines our collective American history. An exploration of coastal South Carolina as a site of pride and racial trauma through Gullah cultural retention and land preservation is violently interrupted.

Director: Shaunak Sen
Co-Producer: Aman Mann
The story of Delhi’s apocalyptic air is told through an unlikely figure – the black kite, and its human entanglements.

Ain’t I A Woman
Director: Sabaah Folayan
Producer: Emily Best, Sabaah Folayan, Megan Goedewaagen
Most Americans think women and men have equal protection under the law. They don’t. Ain’t I A Woman takes a critical look at the history of American feminism while capturing the present day fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and uplift women of all races.

Black Mothers
Director: Débora Souza Silva
Producer: Débora Souza Silva, David Felix Sutcliffe
Violence. Outrage. Impunity. Repeat. Black Mothers follows the journey of two mothers working to disrupt the cycle of racist police violence within our country’s judicial system. As one mother investigates her son’s attack by local police, the other channels her grief into organizing mothers to fight for justice.

Director: Nesa Azimi
Producers: Nesa Azimi, Elise McCave, Kellen Quinn
Driver follows long-haul truck driver Desiree Wood and a dynamic community of women truckers. Taking on routine sexual violence and an industry where multibillion-dollar megacarriers conspire to make individual drivers anonymous and disposable, Desiree brings together an unlikely group of drivers to find strength, solidarity, and self-determination on the road.

Director: Jasiri, Moyo and Duke
Producer: Callie Barlow, Malla Grapengiesser, Laurence Thrush
Jasiri is a feature documentary directed from death row. Jasiri, Moyo, and Duke, three African-American men, have served a combined 55-years of solitary confinement at a maximum security prison in Texas–ground zero for death row in America. In this personal narrative, the men reflect on the value of human life as they await their execution date. Without access to educational programs, contact visits, cameras, television, or phone calls, the men devised a clandestine way to make this film. Through a network of independent cameramen, activists and filmmakers on the outside, they are able to bring their story out of prison and to the screen.

King Coal
Director, Writer: Elaine McMillion Sheldon
Producer: Molly Born
A lyrical essay from a lost paradise – woven with a series of contemporary documentary vignettes – explores how coal is imbued in the identity and human experience of Appalachians. King Coal serves as a visual reminder of why change is slow and painful.

Rojek One Day
Director: Zaynê Akyol
Producer: Zaynê Akyol, Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre, Sylvain Corbeil
Rojek One Day is an intimate conversation with some of the most important members of the Islamic State (IS), who are currently being detained in Syria. As a backdrop, a country trying to stay vigilant as it struggles to recover from years of war.

To The End
Director: Rachel Lears
Producer: Robin Blotnick, Rachel Lears, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
At this critical moment in our history, stopping the climate crisis is a question of political courage, and the clock is ticking. To the End follows the intersecting stories of four women of color who are key players in the rise of the Green New Deal—an ambitious plan to address climate change, and economic and racial justice in the process. Against the volatile backdrop of the 2020 election, the coronavirus pandemic, a deepening economic crisis, and historic protests against systemic racism, these young leaders must work together to defend their generation’s right to a future.

Director: Sura Mallouh
Producer: Sura Mallouh, Yoni Golijov, Laura Poitras
Two friends uncover a conflict that divides their already embattled community. Told from all sides, with unprecedented access to courtrooms, anonymous sources and community leaders, this observational film unfolds in real time.

Untitled Privacy Project
Director: Kate Stonehill
Producer: Steven Lake
United Kingdom
An activist is stopped, interrogated and prosecuted as a terrorist for refusing to hand over the passwords to his phone and laptop during a border stop.

“Documentary film is a vital creative tool that opens our eyes to important issues, and helps us evaluate the way we perceive and understand the world around us.”

Susan Chokachi, President and CEO of Gucci America
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