Four films will receive funding from Hot Docs’ CrossCurrents Funds. The festival announced recipients for the CrossCurrents Doc Fund International Theatrical Stream and the CrossCurrents International Doc Fund Short/Experimental/Interactive Strand. Both strands bolster productions from filmmakers who identify with underrepresented communities.
The CrossCurrents theatrical stream, initiated by the Panicaro Foundation, will support two documentaries: My Missing Aunt, a South Korean production directed by Juyeon Yang and produced by Duhyun Ko and Sarah Kang, and Redlight to Limelight, an Indian production directed by Bipuljit Basu with Nilotpal Majumdar, Max Tuula, Maria Gavrilova, and Uldis Cekulis as producers. The projects receive a total of $30,000 CAD in funding.
My Missing Aunt is the fund’s first grantee from South Korea and is a personal study of Korean women viewed through the story of the director’s aunt, who committed suicide. Redlight to Limelight, meanwhile, highlights the plight of sex workers in Kolkata. Projects for the theatrical fund were selected from a pool of 25 shortlisted projects representing 11 countries.
“As ever, this round of the CrossCurrents International Doc Fund attracted an abundance of highly competitive applications, each offering a timely and compelling window onto a lesser-seen community,” said Heidi Tao Yang, Hot Docs’ Director of Funds & Labs, in a statement from the festival. “This year’s worthy grantees are vivid reminders that the struggle for women’s rights is ongoing the world over and assumes many forms.”
The two films receiving support from the CrossCurrents International Doc Fund Short/Experimental/Interactive Strand, which began in 2013 via the by the R&M Lang Foundation, are The Old Wound, an Indonesian production directed by Rika Tarigan and produced by Billy Tarigan, and In Zainab’s Heaven, a Pakistani doc directed and produced by Ali Mehdi. The films receive a combined total of $15,000 CAD in funding.
“The strength of this year’s applicants to the short/experimental/interactive stream made it impossible to select just one grantee,” added Yang. “Thanks to the generosity of the R&M Lang Foundation, we were able to choose two projects, and taken together, they exemplify the thrilling breadth of the documentary form. Whether an animated personal essay from Indonesia or a vérité portrait of an ethnic minority in Pakistan, these grantees represent the revelatory possibilities of shortform non-fiction.” Grantees for the short, experimental, and interactive strand were determined from a 14-film shortlist representing 11 counties.
Panelist for the theatrical stream were Caroline Birks (board member of the Panicaro Foundation), filmmakers Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing (Midwives) and Samir Ljuma (Honeyland), and Julian Carrington, Hot Docs’ Distribution Manager & Industry Funds Programmer. Grantees for International Doc Fund, meanwhile, were selected by Carrington along with filmmakers Robert Lang (The Shadow of Gold) and Sara Elgamel (A Piece of Me). These two CrossCurrents funds have granted over $350,000 CAD in support to documentaries since their inception.