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The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the HBO Fellowships of the inaugural TFI Documentary Fund.  Three fellowships were awarded today,  and will receive a total of $100,000 in fellowships and grants toward their documentary projects.

TFI/HBO “Documentary Screen Test” Fellowship: awards $50,000 to emerging filmmakers in production of their first feature-length documentary along with a yearlong mentorship with an established filmmaker and a meeting with HBO Documentary Films. The recipient of the 2011 TFI/HBO “Documentary Screen Test” Fellowship is Very Semi-Serious, directed by Leah Wolchock, and produced by Davina Pardo.

Very Semi-Serious, Directed by Leah Wolchock, Produced by Davina Pardo – Very Semi-Serious takes an inside look at the colorful personalities behind the celebrated New Yorker cartoons. A stylized blend of documentary and animation, the film transforms the iconic black-and-white images into a vibrant comic world. Along the way, the film explores the evolution of the cartoonists’ humor and how it reflects the changing social and political landscape of urban life.

TFI/HBO “House I Live In” Fellowship provides $25,000 as well as professional guidance and a meeting with HBO Documentary Films towards the completion of a documentary which is focused on the filmmaker’s own personal story. The recipient of the 2011 TFI/HBO “House I Live In” Fellowship is The Genius of Marian, directed by Banker White.

The Genius of Marian, Directed by Banker White – The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as her filmmaker son documents her struggles to hang on to a sense of self. The film deals with the gradual loss of a parent–both a tragedy and gift–and explores the ways our memories shape our personal identities and our legacies.

TFI/HBO “Outside Looking In” Fellowship awards $25,000 in support of an extraordinary character-driven story which aims to take audiences into someone else’s world, and will include professional guidance from TFI staff and a meeting with HBO Documentary Films. The recipient of the 2011 TFI/HBO “Outside Looking In” Fellowship is  A Contemplation of a Very Serious Matter, directed by Vladi Alpin.

A Contemplation of a Very Serious Matter, Directed by Vladi Alpin —A Contemplation of a Very Serious Matter is a docu-adventure film that focuses on two friends that discover the tumultuous secrets behind a strange video clip that was posted on YouTube. As more and more details are revealed, the immediate consequences of this investigation start to endanger their own friendship.

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