Eight filmmakers from North Carolina will receive project funding this year through the “Filmed in NC” fund. The program is an initiative of the Cucalorus Film Foundation and the NC Film Office with support from Artless Media in conjunction with The Magnifying Glass. The program was launched in 2015 to increase independent production activity and to support the work of emerging artists with a special focus on supporting projects directed by Black and Latinx Filmmakers. The fund has distributed more than $50,000 to support original and singular films by artists working in North Carolina.
“We are excited about this year’s list of recipients and can’t wait to see their works,” said Guy Gaster, Director of the NC Film Office. “It is great to see that as interest in the state by many of the larger production companies continues to increase, so do the number of projects being created by filmmakers from right here in North Carolina.”
The eight projects were chosen from a record-breaking number (130!) of submissions by a panel of Cucalorus alumni including Trailblazer studio’s Eric Johnson and Sabrina Jeffcoat, founder of the Royal African Company, Ltd. The 2020 Filmed in NC fund supports four female directors and five projects from people of color. An additional eleven projects received stipends as finalists in the program.
2020 Filmed in NC awardees:
- Bree Newsome for They Tried to Bury Us, a documentary feature which highlights the evolution of the filmmaker’s activist organizing while examining how national tensions play out in contradictions between Charlotte’s desire to be the “New South” and enduring legacies of racism permeating the city’s structures.
- Stephanie Diane Ford for The Black Baptism, a short narrative following an imprisoned young woman, informed by a mysterious voice, who must pass a series of enigmatic tests or face a terrifying death.
- Desiree Winns for Serial Sisters, a short narrative about a wannabe comedian who is trained by her mother to become a serial killer.
- Holland Randolph Gallaher for May The Lord Watch: The Little Brother Story, a documentary feature which chronicles the lives of rappers Phonte, Big Pooh, and producer 9th Wonder, members of North Carolina’s preeminent rap group Little Brother.
- Taylor Sharp for Momma, a documentary feature that intimately displays a mother’s love and the quests of her three sons to grieve and honor her memory through comedy, music, and fly-fishing.
- Rodrigo Dorfman for Los Desobedientes, a documentary feature from Michoacán, Mexico to the rodeo rings of North Carolina, following an extended family on both sides of the border who believe nothing is impossible if you’re willing to break the rules.
- Katina Parker for Baba Chuck: Tribute, a documentary feature created in response to Baba Chuck’s deep and abiding love, paying homage, continuing his legacy, and forging a future for the preservation of African culture.
Shannon Silva for To Live and Die in the Shadows: Heart Surgery, Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Evolution of Ferns, a short documentary. This 16mm, experimental, stop-motion animation attempts to stabilize diaristic ramblings of the filmmaker after emergency open-heart surgery.