The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced the recipients selected for the 2010 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund which provides finishing finances to domestic and international documentary filmmakers with feature-length films that document pressing social issues of immediate and historical significance. In the third year of the fund, seven projects have been selected from 390 submissions from 23 countries to receive a total of $100,000, to be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI).

The projects were selected by a committee consisting of Diana Barrett, Liz Garbus, Simon Kilmurry, Trevor Neilson, and Mariane Pearl who chose the recipients from finalists previously selected by TFI. The projects that will receive funding are:

–          African Deep (Rachel Boynton)

–          Donor 150 (Jerry Rothwell)

–          MOVING WINDMILLS: The William Kamkwamba Story (Tom Rielly)

–          The Mosou Sisters (Marlo Poras & Yu Ying Wu Chou)

–          The Redemption of General Butt Naked (Daniele Anastasion & Eric Strauss)

–          The Warlord’s Wife (Victoria Stevenson)

–          Welcome to Shelbyville (Kim Snyder)

“The Gucci Fund is bravely supporting some of the most compelling and important documentaries being made today,” said jury member Simon Kilmurry. “These films all bear the hallmarks of excellence in storytelling and urgency of issue. Whether they are from home or from around the world, these films put a human face on the issues through the artistry of some of our finest documentary filmmakers.”

“These filmmakers passion to uncover stories that highlight global and controversial issues, is extremely inspiring,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Chairman of the Board, Tribeca Film Institute. “Gucci continues to recognize the importance documentary filmmaking has on society. Together we are proud to support these filmmakers and believe their films will create a global conversation about these subject matters.”

Films funded examine larger issues through intimate stories about: a small town in the South that is forced to reconcile past prejudices before it can deal with immediate immigration concerns; the first generation of donor-conceived children searching for their biological fathers; the economic struggle of two sisters in China; the controversial transformation of a British woman into a Sudanese warlord’s wife; the tumultuous search for oil off of West Africa’s coast; a self-taught Malawian teenager who builds a windmill from scrap metal that subsequently powers his village; and a man who transforms himself from a warlord into a Christian evangelist. The grantees and projects selected are:

African Deep, Directed and Produced by Rachel Boynton. – (USA) African Deep is a riveting adventure about the heated quest for oil in the deep waters off West Africa’s coast. Shot over the course of four years, at a time of rising demand for energy and increasing competition for resources worldwide, the film takes you inside the gargantuan efforts and ambitions surrounding our planet’s most important resource.

Donor 150, Directed by Jerry Rothwell. Produced by Hilary Durman and Al Morrow. – (UK) Donor 150 is a twenty-first century tale of identity and genetic inheritance and perhaps the family of the future. For the first time in history a generation of children born through artificial insemination are old enough to search for their biological fathers. Donor 150 follows two young people as they first decide and then travel to meet  their father for the first time, and as they navigate the increasingly complex maze of new and constantly evolving family relationships.

The Mosou Sisters Directed and Produced by Marlo Poras & Yu Ying Wu Chou. – (USA) The Mosou Sisters follows two spirited daughters from China’s last remaining matriarchal society who are thrust into the worldwide economic downturn when they lose the only jobs they’ve ever known.

MOVING WINDMILLS: The William Kamkwamba Story Directed by Tom Reilly. Produced by Ben W. Nabors. – (USA) MOVING WINDMILLS: The William Kamkwamba Story dates to 2001 when William Kamkwamba dropped out of school due to a devastating famine. Through self-education, he saw a picture of a windmill in a textbook. Using found materials, William built a windmill that powered his village and changed his life, using imagination and ingenuity to inspire a family, a village, and a nation.

The Redemption of General Butt Naked Directed and Produced by Daniele Anastasion and Eric Strauss.  – (USA) The Redemption of General Butt Naked tells the incredible true story of Joshua Milton Blahyi, a brutal African warlord turned Christian evangelist. The film follows Blahyi’s crusade to redeem his past as he attempts to rebuild the shattered lives of those he commanded and brutalized during the civil war in Liberia.

The Warlord’s Wife Directed by Victoria Stevenson, Produced by Nicole Stott. – (UK) The Warlord’s Wife depicts the story of Emma McCune who travelled to Africa as an aid worker, fuelled by humanitarian ideals, yet at the time of her death she was married to a Sudanese warlord, stood accused of trading oil for arms, was a suspected spy, and a marked woman. The film charts the process by which a naïve British convent girl became complicit in the complex politics and violent heart of Africa’s longest civil war.

Welcome to Shelbyville Directed and Produced by Kim Snyder, Co-Produced by Gywn Welles. – (USA) Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. Set in America’s rural south on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, a town deals with issues of immigrant integration and reckons with its segregated past.

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