Introducing 2014 SFFS Documentary Film Fund Finalists

Finalist  Gennadiy  Steve Hoover, director and Danny Yourd, producer

Finalist Gennadiy Steve Hoover, director and Danny Yourd, producer

Our team is particularly drawn to projects that feature the intersection of a compelling subject and a creative aesthetic approach to the nonfiction form, and these finalists are fantastic examples of that quality
— Michele Turnure-Salleo, director of Filmmaker360

SFFS just announced the 11 finalists for the 2014 SFFS Documentary Film Fund!  Awards totaling more than $75,000 will be given to feature-length documentaries in postproduction. The SFFS Documentary Film Fund was created to support singular nonfiction film work that is distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. Winners will be announced in late March.


Anatomy of an American Dream
John Ryan Johnson, director

Antoine Hood is a charismatic 28-year-old former college basketball star and captain in the U.S. Air Force. He is a regional sales manager for Michelin and lives in a beautiful suburban house with his wife and son. For most, this is the American dream, but not for Hood, who could lose all of the above trying to play in the NBA … and he just might.


The Bolivian Case
Violeta Ayala, director

Trying to fly out of Bolivia, three Norwegian teenage girls are arrested with 22 kilograms of cocaine in their luggage, triggering a media storm that would change their lives forever.


The Dreamcatchers
Kim Longinotto, director, Teddy Leifer and Lisa Stevens, producers

The Dreamcatchers, Brenda Myers-Powell and Stephanie Daniels-Wilson, are two former prostitutes who use their inside knowledge to help women who are selling sex on the streets of Chicago, and to prevent very young girls from doing the same. This film reveals the true devastation of sexual exploitation: how it affects the women, their families and the communities where they live.


Steve Hoover, director and Danny Yourd, producer

Gennadiy Mohkenko is an ex-firefighter who, since the fall of the Soviet Union, has been rescuing drug-addicted kids from the streets of Mariupol, Ukraine. Today, there aren’t many kids left, and the war has moved from the streets into homes, but he continues throwing his seemingly endless energy into it. Will he and his family have to pay a price for his devotion?


In Country
Mike Attie and Meghan O'Hara, codirectors

War is hell. Why would anyone want to spend their weekends there? In Country takes you deep into the world of Vietnam War reenacting. Fantasy and reality collide as combat veterans from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan try to relive a war that most people want to forget.


The Joneses
Moby Longinotto, director and Aviva Wishnow, producer

The Joneses is a portrait of Jheri, a 73-year-old transgender trailer park matriarch, who lives in bible belt Mississippi. Reconciled with her family after years of estrangement, and now living with two of her sons, Jheri embarks on a new path to reveal her true self to her grandchildren. Will their family bonds survive? 


Mythical Creatures
David Charles, director

Sundance New Frontier Lab project Mythical Creatures is the story of internationally acclaimed artist Gary Baseman. Baseman’s work uncovers the deepest and darkest secrets of his parents’ holocaust experiences in the Ukraine, reimagining them through his art and dream reality. His hybrid approach uses animation, stop motion, performance art and installation to bring the holocaust story to a diverse and new generation.


Rodents of Unusual Size
Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, codirectors

Rodents of Unusual Size is an offbeat environmental documentary about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world who are defending their communities, culture and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.


Romeo Is Bleeding
Jason Zeldes, director and Michael Klein, producer

Donte Clark's poetic voice was honed on the violent street corners of a struggling city. Yet rather than succumb to the pressures of Richmond, CA, Clark uses his artistic perspective to save his city from itself.


Street Fighting Man
Andrew James, director, Sara Archambault and Katie Tibaldi, producers

In a new America where the promise of education, safety and shelter are in jeopardy, three Detroit men fight to build something lasting for themselves and future generations.


Bill Ross and Turner Ross, codirectors

Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico are border towns and the vision of the modern frontier. Cowboys and lawmen share the country while international business and multicultural bonds flourish. But when darkness descends, two men in Eagle Pass face a new reality that threatens their way of life.

The SFFS Documentary Film Fund has an excellent track record for championing compelling films that have gone on to earn great acclaim. Previous DFF winners include Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer, which won Sundance’s Directing Award for documentary, was distributed theatrically by RADiUS-TWC and has been nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature; Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s American Promise, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won the festival’s Special Jury Prize in the documentary category; and Shaul Schwarz’s Narco Cultura, which premiered to strong reviews at Sundance 2013.