8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS - Amanda Bailly
Sham, Yaman and Lulu in Lesbos, Greece, September 2015 (Amanda Bailly) (8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS – Amanda Bailly)

Amanda Bailly’s film 8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS and co-directors Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller’s film SWEETHEART DEAL have been awarded filmmaking grants  in the 2016 True Productions + SIFF $50,000 Documentary Filmmakers Grant program.

True Productions founder Dwayne Clark, and his wife Terese Clark, have generously pledged to underwrite an annual $50,0000 grant for three years, this being the second year. “We are committed to producing true stories and both these documentaries touch our hearts. Both my wife and I are children of immigrants and we understand the plight of the immigrant. But we are especially touched by those seeking refuge from violence. In addition, when it comes to the topic of heroin addiction, we see Seattle and nearby communities struggling with solutions. We hope by supporting SWEETHEART DEAL, that we can keep the problem top of mind and perhaps spark more conversations around prevention,” said Dwayne Clark.

“I am so grateful to True Productions + SIFF for investing in the story of this single Syrian mother and her children, who had no other option but to travel in a raft across the sea with smugglers,” director Amanda Bailly said. “It is through human stories like this one that I hope our country can understand what it means to close our doors to the millions of people in need of refuge.”

8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS is the story of one woman’s personal revolution in the context of one of the greatest human rights crises of our time. The film weaves between the intimate story of a fierce single mother of two from Syria, and an immersive experience of their eight-day journey to safety.

Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller’s film SWEETHEART DEAL, produced by Peggy Case, follows the lives of four women whose lives are ruled by heroin, and there is no help in sight – except from a ponytailed eccentric living in a Winnebago parked on Seattle’s notorious Aurora Avenue.

“When Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell made STREETWISE back in 1984, they chose Seattle because it was considered America’s most livable city. They wanted to show that if the issue of homeless kids could be a problem in wholesome Seattle, it had to be a problem everywhere. The same holds true today for heroin addiction,” director Elisa Levine said. “This incredible support from True Productions + SIFF comes at a crucial point in our post-production process. We so look forward to sharing SWEETHEART DEAL with SIFF audiences when it is completed.”

“Continuing with our second consecutive year, we are thrilled to have selected two powerful documentaries for the True Productions + SIFF Documentary Filmmaking Grant,” said Interim Artistic Director Beth Barrett. “8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS and SWEETHEART DEAL have tackled the issues of immigration and heroin addiction with such grace and thoughtfulness, and thanks to the dedication of Dwayne and Teresa Clark and True Productions, both films will be equipped with the necessary tools for launching into the festival and exhibition world.”

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