Southern Documentary Fund 2019 Grantees – Project Log Lines

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT GRANTS ($5000)

Zac Manuel, Anonymous

ANONYMOUS is a documentary that explores an expansive spectrum of Black masculinity through Black men’s and boys’ history and relationships with physical touch.

Dorian Gomez, Nuestro South Travel Diaries

Nuestro South Travel Diaries explores the historical and cultural nuances of navigating and exploring the meaning of Latinx/Southern identity. Three young travelers go on location to visit cities and towns across the Deep South in search of our place in history.

Carl Harrison Jr., Eve’s Garden 

Filmmaker Carl Harrison Jr. examines life in New Orleans’ St.Roch neighborhood through the lens of his family who’s lived there for five generations.

Abbesi Akhamie, Madie Suef

Madie Sue is an 80-year-old great-grandmother from North Carolina who has witnessed a multitude of hardships and triumphs as an African-American woman, and yet one thing has remained the same throughout the years–her faith in God and Sunday morning sermons.

Danny Mendoza, ¿Qué pasa, U.S.A.?

¿Qué pasa, U.S.A.? was a groundbreaking show – the first sitcom to be bilingual, without subtitles, and focused on the experiences of three generations of a Cuban-American immigrant family in 1970’s Miami, Florida. Made with public funds and distributed by PBS, this show became a national sensation and has a legacy that still helps define Miami today. This film is the true story of how it was made and the impact it has had in the words of those who were there and those who live with it in their hearts still today.

Sherard Duvall, Saltwata Vibes

A brother and sister, descendants of the enslaved from West Africa, are determined to find how modernizing their culture can keep it alive. Enlisting Four Gullah Geechee musicians from South Carolina and Four musicians from West Africa, they find the key – music.

Kiyoko McCrae, Within, Within

Filmmaker Kiyoko McCrae retraces her grandmother’s footsteps by returning to her hometown Tokyo, weaving a tapestry that is part memory, part speculation, blurring the lines between documentary and narrative. Blending stories of family members, poetry and animation, it is anchored by her imagining of her grandmother’s life in post-war Japan, when she was pregnant with her mother, who in turn was carrying the seed of herself, within, within. Through this journey, she aims to uncover the legacy of war and the healing power of memory.

Najma Nuriddin, You’re Muslim?

You’re Muslim? is an autobiographical documentary that weaves interviews, voiceover, and animation together as filmmaker Najma Nuriddin who is African American and Muslim, takes us on an intimate, comical, and insightful journey of her childhood,  environment, and self. 

Angela Tucker, Untitled Kristi Jacobson and Angela Tucker Film (Kristi Jacobson and Angela Tucker Co-Directors) 

Black officials in cities with significant black populations face a unique task. They are elected by everyone, to protect everyone, knowing all too well that the worst crimes and policies affect their own race. This feature-length film will explore those tensions, as well as the possibilities for real change, by following two black officials elected in Durham, North Carolina in 2018 Satana Deberry, District Attorney, and Clarence Birkhead, Sheriff of Durham County.

Darcy Mckinnon, A Fine Girl (Darcy McKinnon and Biliana Grozdanova, Co-Directors)

A FINE GIRL is a documentary short following Brandi Jarrow, a transgender woman of color in New Orleans. At 27 years old, Brandi is a successful hairstylist, a woman of faith, and a valued member of her community. She holds an active role in her community despite being a Black queer woman.

 

PRODUCTION GRANTS ($10,000)

Katie Mathews, Role Play

At America’s top party school, students confront sexual violence by creating a play, in the process revealing their own struggles with identity and becoming.

Chachi Houser and Kira Perry, Hollow Tree

Hollow Tree is a feature documentary that tells the interconnected stories of three young women coming of age in Louisiana during a time of rapid climate change. As they learn about where they live, they come to identify with the Mississippi River and the ways it has been restrained and controlled. Finally, they discover that the changes in their environment are the result of politics and power; dynamics that must be imagined anew.

Chris Haley and Brad Bennett, Unmarked

Throughout the South, there are many historic African-American and unmarked burials of the formally enslaved that are derelict and almost lost to time.

However, recently, there has been a rise in active restoration and preservation efforts by those who have a personal history or appreciation for these historic sites.

Alley Sultan, Prodigal Mary

Born and raised in a small Georgia town to a Southern Baptist preacher, Mary Alice has finally found the love of her life – Juliana. With the help of her pastor, Stan Mitchell, Mary Alice embarks on a journey of spiritual recovery, survival, and rebirth, leading her towards a lifelong dream of marrying and starting a family of her own. Prodigal Mary is a story of coming home to self, family, and faith as an LGBTQ+ Christian.

Socks on Fire, Bo McGuire

A poet composes a cinematic love letter to his grandmother as his homophobic aunt and drag-queen uncle wage war over her estate in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.

Nadine Natour, Natour’s Grocery

Natours Grocery (WT) is a short documentary film that is an uplifting, layered and often funny portrait of Arab Muslim immigrants Gehad and Sabah Natour as the success of their popular grocery store defies xenophobia in the conservative rural town where the Civil War ended.

Dorian Emerson Munroe, These Kids This City

These Kids This City is a film about the young people of Liberty City Miami and its infamous bike culture, showcased on its unofficial Martin Luther King Day holiday; where thousands flood the streets with their dirt bikes and four-wheelers riding in a form of rebellion and community. In light of a hate crime that occurred while protesting the climate gentrification of their lower-income housing and the viral video that followed, this movement has garnered national attention.

Nailah Jefferson, Commuted

In 1993, Danielle Metz, a first-time nonviolent offender, was sentenced to triple-life plus twenty years. In 2016, she was granted clemency by the Obama Administration.   Now, at 51, Danielle is looking to make meaning of her life and of the life she lost, and to fulfill the dream that kept her going for 23 years – that of a united family.  Commuted is a documentary in production directed by Nailah Jefferson.

Justin Robinson, Land of Fish & Grits

THE LAND OF FISH AND GRITS reinterprets the past and imagines the future of Southern food by centering its Black and Indigenous creators in this avant-garde series.