Every year, the Tribeca Film Institute’s Latin America Media Arts Fund helps film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America gain exposure here in the United States. Annually, the fund awards four $10,000 grants to animation, documentary and/or hybrid feature-length films in advanced development, production or post-production to ensure that the films are completed and successfully enter the U.S. marketplace.
And the foundation’s awards just got better, thanks to an expanded commitment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which will fund new fellowships and filmmaking workshops.
For the fist time, Bloomberg Philanthropies will award four Bloomberg Fellows, one from each region, a $12,000 grant and an invitation to participate in the workshop in their home country. The workshops are designed to educate, assist and support emerging filmmakers in each region with the development of their work, as well as offering pitch training to garner international funding.
“With backing from Bloomberg, Tribeca Film Institute is proud to be able to provide increased support to bring Latin America filmmakers to the forefront of their craft through grants, hands-on workshop programs and professional development,” said Ryan Harrington, Vice President, Artist Programs at TFI. “We are grateful for the generous support to help us continue to invest in diverse storytelling and projects that positively influence the dialogue of the vibrant Latin American film community.”
The makers of the following four film projects have been selected as the 2014 Bloomberg Fellows:
• Beaverland (Chile): Biologists Derek and Giorgia, a young couple, enter the hostile land of Tierra del Fuego to investigate a devastating plague of beavers sweeping the area. Directed by Antonio Luco & Nicolas Molina; Produced by Francisco Herve.
• Jonas and the Circus Without a Tent (Brazil): Jonas is 13 years old, and his life's dream is to maintain the circus he created in his backyard. While he faces this challenge, he will live the adventure of growing up. Written and Directed by Paula Gomes; Co-Written by Haroldo Borges; Produced by Marcos Bautista and Ernesto Molinero.
• Patient (Colombia): In Patient, a young woman struggles to beat her recent cancer diagnosis while her mother persistently fights the bureaucratic health care system in Colombia. Written, Produced and Directed by Jorge Caballero.
• The Mermaid and the Myth of the Eternal Return (Mexico): In a Nicaraguan fishing community, divers are getting sick. They descend to the sea looking for lobster and return to the surface with paralyzed bodies. With no other explanation, the old men in the village believe the divers have roused the anger of a mythical mermaid.
The 2014 Tribeca Institute Films Latin Media Arts Fund grantees are:
• El Charro de Toluquilla (Mexico): This film tells the story of Jaime Garcia, an HIV-positive mariachi singer and braggart who lives his life like a vintage Mexican movie character. Directed and Produced by Jose Villalobos Romero; Produced by Claudia Mendez and Sergio Morkin.
• Feral (Mexico): A series of videotapes are the only evidence of the tragic death of priest Juan Felipe. Directed by Andres E. Kaiser; Produced by Nicole Maynard Pinto, Juan Hernandez and Osvaldo Montano.
• Pizarro (Colombia): This film follows the personal quest of María José Pizarro to reconstruct her life and the life and death of her guerilla leader father in order to reconcile with him. Directed by Simon Hernandez; Produced by Christian Bitar Giraldo.
• The Belly of the Whale (Cuba): Tells the story of three Cuban families trying to rise above their socio-economic limitations and start a new chapter in their lives. Written and Directed by Horizoe Garcia; Produced by Ivonne Cotorruelo.