CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund Awards $150,000 to Eight Projects

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is pleased to announce that eight films—six features and two shorts—have received development, production and post-production grants totalling $150,000 from the CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund. The Fund, established with the support of Netflix, was announced during the 2018 Hot Docs Festival and supports a diversity of voices and perspectives with the goal of building a more vibrant, representative and sustainable industry.

The CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund is a cornerstone of the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project, generously supported by Netflix. The Project is an initiative meant to address systemic barriers and opportunity gaps that exist within the documentary film community. This fund, which has disbursed $460,000 in three years, aims to foster original storytelling from creators with unique vantage points, and is open to emerging and sophomore documentary storytellers who are Indigenous, Francophone, Deaf and/or have a disability, racialized and/or persons of colour.

Eligible projects were considered by the CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund Committee: Adriana Chartrand (institute manager, imagineNATIVE), Kadon Douglas (board chair, Reelworld Film Festival), Melanie Hadley (program director, Global Access Programs, WarnerMedia), Hot Docs (Olena Decock, industry programmer: funds & conference, and Heidi Tao Yang, acting industry programs director), Jalana Lewis (producer & lawyer), Lulu Wei (director & cinematographer)

Development Funds

Director: Carol Nguyen
Producer: Audrey-Ann Dupuis-Pierre
Production company: 9424-6899 Québec inc.
A girl visits her parents’ motherland, Vietnam, for the first time, trying to find answers to their war-torn past. Through unexpected revelations and a series of identity crises, she is forced to confront questions of belonging, home and cultural legacy.

GAWLO (feature)
Director/Producer: Aïcha Diop
Production company: Studio Tokosel Inc.
A mind-bending journey that supposes a world where modern day science and ancient West-African practices work together to unite African American slave descendants with their African history, saving its traditions from extinction.

IN THE WAKE (feature)
Director: Lyana Patrick
Producers: Jessica Hallenbeck, Tyler Hagan
Production company: Lantern Films, Experimental Forest Films
In the wake of the damming of the Nechako River and a looming court decision, two Chiefs form an unlikely alliance to rebuild their communities.

Director/Producer: Marlene Edoyan
Production company: Fauve Film Inc.
A small group of teenagers realize that their futures are suddenly full of possibility when they start to question the centuries-old patriarchal values that govern gender roles in their small rural village of Gandza in southern Georgia.

WILLIAM’S WILL (feature)
Director: Pascal Huynh
Producer: Adam Pajot Gendron
Production company: Tortuga Films
A gay man who has dreamt of adopting questions the legitimacy of the practice after meeting with an adoptee whose last wish before dying of brain cancer was to get un-adopted.

Production Funds

Director/Producer: Darlene Naponse
Producers: Jamie Manning, Justine Pimlott
Production companies: Baswewe Films, Night Market, National Film Board of Canada
Blending the natural world, an original soundtrack and contemporary movement, this film explores narrative through a non-verbal, visual approach as it documents a year of survival, sovereignty, land-based traditions, family, ceremony, and destruction of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, an Ojibway community in Northern Ontario.

Director/Producer: Yasmine Mathurin
Producer: Monica Mwangi
Production company: Independent
An animated short about a mother and her daughter moving out of their childhood home in Canada. Through documented sound recordings between them and poetic imagery, we explore their emotional and conflicting realities.


Director: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
Producers: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Lori Lozinski, David Christensen
Production company: Seen Through Woman Productions Inc., National Film Board of Canada
In 2014, the synthetic opiate Fentanyl claimed over 20 lives on the Blood Reserve, leading tribal authorities to declare a state of emergency. Working alongside Dr. Esther Tailfeathers and community members committed to healing, Dr. Tailfeathers’ daughter, filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, documents this critical moment for the Blood Tribe.

The application dates for the third round of funding will be announced in the New Year.

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