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Peep the 6 films selected by this year’s Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund

It’s hard for documentary filmmakers, let alone female documentary filmmakers to get funding for projects. For 11 years the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, however, has sought to change this narrative.

With the support of the Oath Foundation, the grantees of the fund will receive production and post-production finances, in addition to year-round guidance from the Tribeca Film Institute.

The Oath Foundation selects two projects to distribute, in the hope that with maximum reach, these projects will catalyze social change. Here is the list of the 2018 grant recipients.

Rachel Lears

Based in Brooklyn, Rachel Lears is a filmmaker, writer and musician.

She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology, an MA in ethnomusicology and a Graduate Certificate in Culture and Media from New York University, and a BA in music from Yale University. In between projects, Lears works as a cinematographer, director/ producer, and consultant.

Her first feature, Birds of Passage, offers an intimate look of the Uruguayan music culture by following the lives of two Uruguayan songwriters, Ernesto and Yisela.

Lear’s other documentary, The Hand That Feeds centers around the struggle and resistance of a group of undocumented immigrant food service workers who rise up to demand better working conditions and wages at a New York restaurant chain-owned
by powerful investors.

Film: Knock Down The House

Lear’s latest documentary, Knock Down the House follows the stories of four insurgent first-time women candidates running for Congress.

Challenging their respective incumbents, as well as a political system riddled with corporate corruption, each of these women take matters into their own hands, starting political campaigns with a vehement resolve to create fundamental change.

Hnin Ei Hlaing (Snow)

Snow studied at the Yangon Film School in Myanmar and the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

She works as a director, producer, editor and sound recordist.


Film: Midwives

Against the political backdrop of Muslim persecution and the ethnic divide in Myanmar, Snow’s powerful documentary centers on the lives of two midwives, one Buddhist and one Muslim who work together in a makeshift medical clinic.

Marialuisa Ernst

Marialuisa Ernst is an award-winning South-American filmmaker and performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York.

After earning a BA in film at the University of Bolivia, Ernst went on to train as an interdisciplinary artist at the University of Arts, Sciences and Communications in Santiago, Chile.

Over the course of her 20-year long career, Ernst has exhibited her work at over 30 international film festivals.

A Place of Absence

Film: A Place of Absence

A Place of Absence combines a variety of documentary styles from cinema vérité, personal essay, as well as moments of lyrical performance.

The narrative follows a  group of Central-American women who undertake an epic bus journey throughout Mexico in search for their children who have disappeared on their journey’s to the U.S.

As the film unfolds, Ernst draws parallels with her own family’s experience with her uncle’s disappearance under Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976 – 1983).

Jennifer Redfearn

Jennifer Redfearn is an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker.

Her film Sun Come Up that portrayed the displacement of a small island community as a result of rising sea levels. It was screened in theaters across the U.S., including the IFC Center in New York and the Sundance Cinema in West Hollywood.

In addition, Redfearn has directed and produced television documentaries for PBS, CNN, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the BBC.


Film: Reentry (Working Title)

The state of Ohio, like many states across the U.S., is combatting the opioid crisis and high incarceration rates for women.

Redfearn’s latest documentary follows the stories of three women as they prepare to leave prison, attempt to rebuild their lives and return to their local communities after serving time for drug-related charges.

Cecilia Aldarondo

Cecilia Aldarondo is a New York-based filmmaker and critic, who holds an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths College, and a PhD in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the University of Minnesota. She is Assistant Professor of Film at Skidmore College.

Cecilia Aldarondo’s feature documentary, Memories of a Penitent, is a riveting family drama riddled with secrets and mystery surrounding the death of the filmmaker’s uncle. The documentary debuted at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

Film: Untitled Puerto Rico Documentary

Her latest feature documentary explores life in the aftermath of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico.

Deirdre Fishel

Fishel is a producer/director of documentaries and dramas that have premiered in competition at Sundance, SXSW, AFI, and Full Frame and been broadcast in 35 countries worldwide.

For 25 years, Fishel has been writing and directing dramas and documentaries that align with her mission to create work that challenges mainstream stereotypes and offer realistic, complex, and nuanced stories that center around the lives of women.

Her most recent documentary CARE, which looks at the poignant but hidden world of home elder care. In 2000, Fishel founded the production company, Minds Eye Productions. Fishel is the Director of the BFA program in Film/Video at City College.

Women in Blue

Film: Women in Blue

In the wake of a high-profile police shooting of a white woman, the female police chief of the Minneapolis Police Department is forced to resign.

Unable to carry on her reformist agenda, three women police officers continue to carry out the former chief’s mission and the fight to transform the MPD and restore community trust.

Exploring the relationship between power, gender, and violence in an urban police department, Fishel’s documentary offers a rare look at a police department through the eyes of women.