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Ford Foundation Announces $4.2M In Grants To Social Justice-Themed Docs, Including Sundance Premieres ‘Union’ And ‘The Battle for Laikipia’

EXCLUSIVE: The Ford Foundation is coming through for documentary filmmakers in a big way.

Today, the nonprofit philanthropic institution announced its latest round of grants under the foundation’s JustFilms division — $4.2 million that will go to support “59 innovative film projects centered on social justice globally and in the United States.”

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Among the recipients are Union, the film directed by Stephen Maing and Brett Story that just held its world premiere at Sundance, and fellow Sundance premiere The Battle for Laikipia, directed by Daphne Matziaraki and Peter Murimi. Union, about the battle to unionize an Amazon facility on Staten Island, New York, is in U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance. The Battle for Laikipia, in World Cinema Documentary Competition at the festival, examines “a generations-old conflict between Indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in Laikipia, Kenya, a wildlife conservation haven.” Roger Ross Williams and Toni Kamau are among the producers of Laikipia.

'Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project'
‘Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project’

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, also will receive funding through the grants announced today. Among other grantees is Mario, which is about to make its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands. [See the full list of grantees below]. The grants are made through the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms division, part of the foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression program.

This year’s round of grants “support works that reinforce Ford’s mission to reduce inequality around the world and help people live their lives with dignity,” according to a release. “JustFilm’s grants support content that spans Ford’s key strategic areas such as natural resources and climate change, gender justice, disability inclusion and racial and ethnic justice. These films explore themes of social justice including but not limited to: women’s rights (particularly at the intersection of land rights and reproductive justice), environment/natural resources, Latin American history and culture, disability justice and accessibility, U.S. education system, LGBTQIA+ rights, criminal justice system and more.”

Jon-Sesrie Goff, program officer for the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, said, “Our grantees represent a diverse tapestry of narratives, reflecting deeply ingrained societal concerns and cultural legacies shaping our collective consciousness. Each documentary helps to illuminate the multifaceted experiences that define our present era. In a world increasingly filled with misinformation and polarization, it’s critical to support artistic works that help to counter this and offer nuanced views of our society.”

Grantee #WhileBlack, directed by Sidney Fussell and Samatha Knowles, examines citizen journalists who filmed the shocking deaths of George Floyd and Philando Castile and others at the hands of police. “Millions have seen their horrifying videos, but few realize how witnesses must fight against online trolls, surveillance firms working with police, and exploitative social media platforms that turn their pain into profit.”

John Leguizamo in 'American Historia'
John Leguizamo in ‘American Historia’

Films by David France, Kimberly Reed, and a John Leguizamo project are among other prominent grantees.

The grants fill an important gap in current landscape of documentary filmmaking. Many recent social justice-oriented documentaries have encountered significant difficulty earning distribution as distributors and streaming platforms favor “can’t miss” projects like celebrity bios, true crime, and cult films and series. “Many films failed to sell rights post-festivals,” the Ford Foundation noted in its release, “and only a small percentage reported selling worldwide rights, illustrating the challenges of securing comprehensive distribution deals.”

Ford Foundation JustFilms logo
Ford Foundation JustFilms logo

“The moment we are in calls for sophisticated responses to counter the challenges we’re seeing across the industry. It requires arts, documentary film, and journalism to include the experiences and leadership of people with lived experience and for these fields to adapt and innovate,” said Chi-hui Yang, director of Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. “Safeguarding independent voices within nonfiction storytelling allows us to uphold democratic values and foster cultural empowerment amidst the increasing challenges facing the independent film world, including access and distribution.”

Below are the full list of documentary film projects supported by JustFilms in the new round of grantmaking:

#WhileBlack

Directors: Sidney Fussell, Samatha Knowles

Producers: Ann Shin, Geeta Gandbhir

Witnesses who filmed the deaths of George Floyd, Philando Castile, and others, step forward in this ground-breaking documentary about the citizen journalist videos that have ignited global movements. Millions have seen their horrifying videos, but few realize how witnesses must fight against online trolls, surveillance firms working with police, and exploitative social media platforms that turn their pain into profit.

A Town Called Victoria

Director: Li Lu

Producers: Anthony Pedone, Li Lu

When the local mosque is burned to the ground in an apparent hate crime, the town of Victoria must overcome its age-old political, racial, and economic divides to find a collective way forward.

American Historia

Director: Ben DeJesus

Producers: Ben DeJesus, John Leguizamo, Sandie Pedlow, Donald Thoms, Lesley Norman

Join actor John Leguizamo on a quest to uncover Latino and Latina heroes and their often-overlooked contributions, delving into both well-known and lesser-known stories of Latino history, from the grand Ancient Empires to the present.

Artificial Horizon

Director: Elizabeth M. Webb

Producers: Hello Benjamin Films: Solomon Turner, Maggie Corona-Goldstein, DaManuel Richardson

“Artificial Horizon” chronicles the complex and layered racial and natural histories of a tract of former plantation land in eastern Alabama, an origin point for the filmmaker’s family members who continue to live on both sides of—and sometimes crossing—the “color line.”

A Short Film About Tanya Gersh, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Justice Itself & A Short Film About Sandi Bachom, Unlikely Nazi Hunter

Director: David France

Producer: Paul McGuire

A Short Film About Tanya Gersh, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Justice Itself: For 7 years, a victim of violent anti-Semitic harassment flips the script on her tormentor, chasing a notorious White supremacy figure through the Dark Web in pursuit of justice.

A Short Film About Sandi Bachom, Unlikely Nazi-Hunter: One of the most recognized frontline journalists tracking extremism in America is a garrulous 80-year-old woman, with a deeply personal motivation to make a positive mark.

Bartolo

Director: Leandro Fabrizi Rios

Producers: Neyda Martinez, Carol Colmenares

Tucked into the rural coffee-growing mountainside of remote western Puerto Rico is a tiny hamlet, Bartolo. It is home to an isolated agricultural community of just 12 families, landless and chronically impoverished, and longing for a new start following catastrophic climate events. The community seizes on a chance for a new beginning when a veteran organizer from outside of Bartolo comes to town with a radical new plan.

Blacked Out Dreams

Director: Adeleke Omitowoju

Producer: Steven Pargett

“Blacked Out Dreams” is a film about how rapid school closures and a water crisis force three normal kids to live in very abnormal conditions. The film follows two siblings over two years as they navigate towards graduating from the last remaining public high school in a city divided by race and plagued by poverty.

Butterfly Effect

Director: Liang Zhao

Producers: Jia Zhao, Liang Zhao

In the current Anthropocene era, capital-driven human activities have disrupted the delicate balance and harmony that the Earth has developed over millions of years. The film, from a non-Western perspective, follows the lives of indigenous people from the Arctic to the South Pacific, observing their resilience and struggles in the face of adversity, weaving a tapestry that inspires reflection and change.

Criminal

Director: Robe Imbriano

Producer: Robe Imbriano, Dominique Bravo, Reginald Williams

An animated musical documentary short about life and death in a county jail.  Lyrics by Stew, music by Heidi Rodewald and Stew.  Animation by Tom Curtis.

Fire Through Dry Grass

Directors: Alexis Neophytides, Andres “Jay” Molina

Producers: Jennilie Brewster, Alexis Neophytides

On a tiny island in NYC, a group of Black and brown disabled artists fight Covid and the city to protect the lives of 500 vulnerable nursing home residents.

For Venida, For Kalief

Director: Sisa Bueno

Producer: Sisa Bueno

For Venida, For Kalief is a lyrical journey of criminal justice reform in New York City via the poetry of Venida Browder, whose words echo a movement for the legacy of her transcendent son, Kalief Browder.

Going To Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster

Producers: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson

Going to Mars takes us through the mind-scape of legendary poet, Nikki Giovanni. Her voice guides us across time and outer space, dreams and remembrances, and across decades of American history, as we reimagine her most iconic work with visual lyricism fit for a poet. The film’s cinematic intergalactic journey ventures beyond Nikki’s own lifetime, to Middle Passage and Mars, always keeping hold of possibility and the potential of Black liberation.

Her Socialist Smile

Director: John Gianvito

Producer: John Gianvito

A documentary essay on the political imagination of iconic humanitarian, author, and advocate for the blind Helen Keller. World famous for having learned how to read and communicate through the finger alphabet, indelibly dramatized in William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker, Helen Keller (1880-1968) remained for the course of her 87 years the most revered blind-deaf woman on the planet.  Largely omitted or minimized within the voluminous literature her life generated was the fact that Keller had been a committed believer in the principles of Socialism. The product of years of research, Her Socialist Smile resurrects the radical Keller, and serves as a rousing reminder that Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was philosophically inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled.

'Union'
‘Union’

Union

Directors: Steve Maing, Brett Story

Producers: Samantha Curley, Mars Verrone

An intimate portrait of the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), a group of current and former Amazon workers taking on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionize.

'The Battle for Laikipia'
‘The Battle for Laikipia’

The Battle for Laikipia

Directors: Daphne Matziaraki, Pete Murimi

Producers: Toni Kamau, Daphne Matziaraki, Roger Ross Williams (Executive Producer), Geoff Martz (Executive Producer)

Climate change and unresolved historical injustices raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between Indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in a wildlife conservation haven.

Life After

Director: Reid Davenport

Producer: Colleen Cassingham

Life After interrogates the contradictory political ideologies surrounding death and disability, while coalescing the missing voices of the disabled community in the contemporary debate around medically assisted suicide.

Lights of Passage

Director: Yeelen Cohen

Producers: Guetty Felin, Kira Simon Kennedy, Kirsten Johnson (Executive Producer)

Lights of Passage is a personal documentary odyssey, a cinematic baptism, and an homage to cultural preservation through ancestral storytelling practices. The story orbits two filmmakers at opposite ends of their careers, separated by oceans, but cosmically connected through a name and film.

The Memory of Butterflies

Director: Tatiana Fuentes Sadowsky

Producer: Isabel Madueño Medina

The Memory of Butterflies is a first-person cinematic essay using propaganda images from the rubber boom in the Amazon to tell the story of two Indigenous, Omarino and Aredomi. The film attempts to reconstruct, speculatively and subjectively, the fates of these characters, who became the faces of the rubber industry’s “civilizing” propaganda.

Nine

Directors: Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine

Producers: Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine

Nine is a feature documentary about the moving relationship between Gerald Hankerson, a Black 53-year old community leader in Seattle, and his father figure Henry Grisby. Their bond, forged across generations and decades, gives both men the power to push back against an oppressive criminal justice system., After being sent to prison at 18 for the rest of his life, Gerald Hankerson met Henry Grisby who raised him into the man he is today. Using the lessons Henry taught him, Gerald made history by organizing his way out of prison. Now, Gerald is on a mission to bring his 83-year old “Pops” home.

Patrice: The Movie

Director: Ted Passon

Producers: Kyla Harris, Innbo Shim, Emily Spivack

In her late 50’s Patrice has finally found the love of her life, Garry, who, like her is disabled. They want nothing more than to get married, but if they do – or were even to move in together – the benefits they need to survive would be cut. A rom-com about the next phase of marriage equality.

Plot of Land

Directors: Sue Mobley, Jordy Yager, Nick Jenisch

Producers: Sue Mobley, Nick Jenisch

Plot of Land is a podcast mini-series from Monument Lab that explores how race, class, land, and power have been used to build and maintain unfair systems that harm nearly everyone and how choices made by people in the distant past have created vast inequities in the present. We believe that to build a just future for everyone, we must radically change our approach to policy and practice. Join us as we remap and rethink land ownership today.

Powwow People

Director: Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga)

Producers: Adam Piron (Kiowa/Mohawk), Gina Bluebird-Stacona (Lakota)

Told through Hopinka’s distinct artistic style and lens of personal lived experience, the film is a meditation on the nebulous places of community and survivance that are powwows, poetically depicting Native American singers and dancers as they live their lives, maintain their cultural traditions, and prepare for an upcoming powwow; one organized, hosted, and documented through the production of this film.

Principios (Principles)

Director: Susana Erenberg

Producers: Laboratorio de Litigio Estructura, A.C., Abril Schmucler

Principles is the intimate portrait of Juan Méndez, a lawyer who, after experiencing torture at the hands of the Argentine police, became an important promoter and defender of dignity and human rights, working internationally for the prevention and abolition of torture.

Queer Futures

Directors: Sasha Wortzel, Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Lindsey Dryden, Sasha Wortzel, Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Lindsey Dryden

Producers: Colleen Cassingham, Jessica Devaney, Colleen Cassingham, Jess Devaney

Four short documentaries articulate future visions for queer life that offer liberation, joy, and connection. Just as queer lives subvert normative expectations of behavior, identity, and expression, these films expand the boundaries of nonfiction narrative forms and aesthetics — presenting new ways of seeing the queer experience lived out loud. The “Queer Futures” series centers joy and connection to radically imagine future visions of queer life. Four short films explore fat beauty and liberation, gender-affirming healthcare, nonbinary ballroom culture, and the anonymous connections of a decades-old LGBTQ hotline.

Untitled Policing Documentary

Directors: Charles Burnett, Nicole Lucas Haimes

Producers: Nicole Lucas Haimes, Lori Cheatle (Executive Producer)

Centered on an explosive confessional told from behind the thin blue line, this film examines police crime and the personal and political consequences of law enforcement wrongdoing on officers and their victims.

Raised by Wolves

Director: Dana Coester

Producer: Joel Beeson, Dana Coester

Raised By Wolves peers into online youth culture in Appalachia, revealing the risks of radicalization through exposure to weaponized misinformation and far right extremism in social media and online gaming spaces, documenting the escalation of violence as it unfolds in real time – and close to home. A series of personal stories of affected community members unfolds against the backdrop of an opioid traumatized, post-industrial landscape, as experts unpack the systemic nature of a problem rooted in our times, our tech and our history.

River of Grass

Director: Sasha Wortzel

Producer: Danielle Varga

River of Grass unfolds as a voyage through the past, present, and precarious future of the iconic and imperiled Florida Everglades; told through the writings of the late environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and those who today call the region home.

Saund vs. Cochran

Director: Mridu Chandra

Producer: Mridu Chandra

Saund vs. Cochran is a feature-length documentary about our first Asian American congressman (Dalip Singh Saund), the exceptional woman he ran against (Jacqueline Cochran Odlum), and the American electorate who voted for him in 1956.

Scarlet Girls

Director: Paula Cury Melo

Producers: Paula Cury Melo, Samuel DiDonato, Natalia Imaz

Scarlet Girls explores the challenges of womanhood in the Dominican Republic, where abortion is criminalized. Through intimate stories and evocative imagery, the film delves into the struggles of forced motherhood and the stigma around abortions, crafting a thought-provoking depiction of women’s battle for control over their bodies.

Silent Treatment: Deaf Incarcerated People Fighting for Equality

Directors: Ryan Pagan, Rahsaan “New York” Thomas

Producers: Sian Heder, Adamu Chan, Rahsaan “New York” Thomas, Ryan Pagan, Brian Asey

The disproportionate murders of Deaf People and their exclusion from rehabilitative programs spark a lawsuit that leads to transfers of 11 Deaf men to a California State Prison with a Norway model, where they find ways outside the courtroom to achieve equality and inclusion.

Sun Ra and the Roots of Afrofuturism *(w.t.)

Director: Christine Turner

Producer: Stanley Nelson (Executive Producer)

Sun Ra and the Roots of Afrofuturism explores jazz pioneer, Sun Ra’s, experience as a Black man growing up in Jim Crow America, the musical and philosophical currents that shaped him, and how, 30 years after his death, he has come to be seen as a founding father of Afrofuturism.

The Chemistry of Racism

Director: Penelope Jagessar Chaffer

Producer: Penelope Jagessar Chaffer

The Chemistry of Racism is an environmental social justice triptych that explores the phenomena of the systemic and often deliberate poisoning and exploitation of the black and colored body by America’s patriarchal systems.

The Conspiracy to Murder Medgar Evers

Directors: Joy-Ann Reid and Jason Reid

Producers: Susan Schaefer, Joy-Ann Reid (Executive Producer), Jason Reid (Executive Producer), Gabrielle Tenenbaum (Executive Producer), and Tom Yellin (Executive Producer)

The Conspiracy to Murder Medgar Evers takes us inside America’s first nationally known civil rights assassination. It’s a crime reaching beyond the named assassin to the Klan, and into the highest rungs of Mississippi power. It’s a story of violence, justice, race, love and Myrlie Evers’ enduring quest for the truth.

The Disruptors

Director: Yoruba Richen

Producers: Carter Stewart, Josh Weinstock, Xan Parker, Dawn Porter (Executive Producer)

The Disruptors follows America’s most prominent Black female progressive prosecutors as they battle unprecedented adversity while trying to transform the criminal justice system with few allies except each other.

The First Plantation

Director: Jason Fitzroy Jeffers

Producers: Darcy McKinnon, Romola Lucas

Barbados is the birthplace of many things: possibly rum, definitely Rihanna, and sadly, many of the modalities and codifications of and around plantation slavery which spread throughout the wider Caribbean and the southern United States, setting the stage for much of what we know of white supremacy as we know it today. “The First Plantation” is a deeply personal and spiritual investigation into this often-overlooked legacy as the international debate around reparations for the descendants of transatlantic slavery intensifies.

The Futurists

Directors: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín

Producers: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín, Bob Moore

The Futurists is a sci-fi documentary about real-life Latinx visionaries who are creating the world of tomorrow. It follows the journey of Quemuel Arroyo, the first-ever Chief Accessibility Officer of NYC’s transit authority, to transform the aging system into one that is accessible for all.

The Gender Project

Director: Kimberly Reed

Producers: Kimberly Reed, Louise Rosen, Robin Honan

What defines biological sex — science or society? Through immersion in the lives of people who defy simplistic gender labels, the Gender Project uses bold cinematic language to confront the dichotomy of gender, exploding binary myths with scientific, historical, and cultural revelations.  From the molecular level up, persistent binary notions of gender and the biology of sex are blown apart to reveal the true complexity of the human organism and the astonishing spectrum within us.

The Heart Grows Old in Autumn

Directors: Michael Steves, Rafi Jahan

Producer: Lucas San Juan

A multi-generational tale following the first community of Rohingya refugees in America, living in a Chicago neighborhood. The Rohingya are survivors of a genocide in Myanmar. Spanning three generations, the first Rohingya-Americans try to rebuild their lives, as they experience their American story.

The Monster

Directors: Nadine Pequeneza, Ricardo Acosta

Producers: Nadine Pequeneza, Ricardo Acosta

[Description withheld].

Red Thread

Director: Tchaiko Omawale

Producers: Tchaiko Omawale, Iyabo Kwayana

An oral history documentary collage about the contributions of women to the Caribbean independence project. It weaves together layers of cinematic landscapes of the flora and fauna of the Caribbean, archival cultural artifacts and the oral histories of the Elders and their international comrades who are family and family friends to the filmmakers.

The Riot Report

Director: Michelle Ferrari

Producers: Connie Honeycutt, Michelle Ferrari, Jelani Cobb

When inner cities across America erupted in violence in 1967, LBJ appointed the Kerner Commission to find out: What happened? Why did it happen? How can we stop it from happening again? The Commission’s final report would offer a shockingly unvarnished assessment of race relations that still resonates today.

The Sandbox

Director: Kenya-Jade Pinto

Producers: Shasha Nakhai, Kenya-Jade Pinto

Your future is being written in the sand.

The Wind’s Thirst

Director: Alejandro Valbuena

Producer: Alejandro Valbuena

In this creative documentary, three courageous indigenous leaders—Tita, Misael & Jazmine—battle against a relentless assault orchestrated by massive coal mining and wind farming operations, extremist evangelicals, and paramilitary violence. Unveiling the untold resistance of the Wayuu people, the film sheds light on their struggle against an undisclosed genocide.

Time Hunter

Directors: Daniel Chein, Mushiva

Producers: Daniel Chein, David Felix Sutcliffe

A revolutionary agent is dispatched to steal technology from his colonial oppressors to use against them. Can he help his people without losing himself in the maze of the diaspora.

Travel Notes of a Gullah Geechee Girl

Director: Julie Dash

Producers: Patricia Williams Lessane, Juanita Anderson, Julie Dash (Executive Producer), and Rachel Watanabe-Batton (Executive Producer)

In a search of her authentic self, a South Carolina Geechee girl wakes up in Paris, realizing she’s just another starving writer living at the Beat Hotel; after a failed marriage, and work as a Moon Goddess with the Sun Ra Arkestra, her bestselling cookbook effectively changes how the world talks about women, race, and food.

United States of Urvashi

Director: Nancy Kates

Producers: Rajal Pitroda, Deepa Donde (Executive Producer), Ashley Tindall (Archival Producer)

An intimate portrait of the late activist and LGBTQ leader Urvashi Vaid, examining her 40-year career as a public intellectual and agitator. The film explores her history through the lens of personal relationships: her decades-long intimate partnership with comedian Kate Clinton, her extended South Asian clan, and her chosen queer family.

Unlearned

Director: CJ Hunt

Producers: Jeremy Blum, Darcy McKinnon

“Unlearned” investigates how the battle over history curriculum is changing America’s public schools.

Unseen

Directors: Set Hernandez

Producers: Set Hernandez, Day Al-Mohamed, Félix Endara

Executive Producer: Diane Quon

Most people dream of a better future. Pedro, an aspiring social worker, is no different. But as a blind, undocumented immigrant, Pedro faces political restrictions to obtain his college degree, secure a job in his field, and support his family. As he finally graduates, uncertainty looms over Pedro. What starts as a journey to provide mental health care for his community ultimately transforms into Pedro’s path towards his own healing. Through experimental cinematography and sound, “unseen” reimagines the accessibility of cinema, while exploring the intersections of immigration, disability, and mental health.

Untitled Cairo, IL Project

Directors: Lisa Marie Malloy, JP Sniadecki & Ray Whitaker

Producers: Karin Chien, Theresa Delsoin

Untitled Cairo, IL Project is a collectively-authored film that emerges from the vibrant community spirit of Cairo, IL, a former industrial and agricultural empire at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers that was a nexus for civil rights movements in the 1960s. Through intimate depictions, this film celebrates the joy and resurgence of this overlooked town.

Untitled Dwarfism Project

Director: Julie Forrest Wyman

Producers: Lindsey Dryden, Jonna McKone, Julie Forrest Wyman

A new drug promises to make Little People taller, threatening the community it claims to serve. Meanwhile, director Julie Wyman confronts her own dwarfism diagnosis. As Little People grapple with the choice to give up difference, the film asks: is it possible to see and be seen differently?

Untitled Ping Chong Documentary

Directors: Melanie Vi Levy & Ben Wu

Producers: Melanie Vi Levy, Ben Wu, and Jamie Dobie (Executive Producer)

A feature-length documentary exploring the life and work of pioneering American theater director Ping Chong. Blending experimental and performance art elements with non-fiction storytelling, the film will offer an up close and personal portrait of a renegade artist as he creates the final culminating work of his 50-year career.

Water for Life

Director: Will Parrinello

Producers: Rick Tejada-Flores, Maria Jose Calderon, Will Parrinello

As mining and hydroelectric projects threaten vital water supplies in Latin America, “Water For Life” follows three community leaders as they face death threats and murder to save their precious resources.

Way of Life

Director: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

Producers: Jennifer Maytorena Taylor

As battles over bodily autonomy and privacy rapidly intensify across the country, the vérité feature documentary film “Way of Life” explores the lives of diverse Montanans fighting to define and defend the freedom to live as they choose.

Widow Champion

Director: Zippy Kimundu

Producers: Zippy Kimundu, Heather Courtney

Thrown out of her home and off her land by her in-laws, a Kenyan widow becomes a fighter for women’s land rights in a deeply patriarchal community. “Widow Champion” Rhoda leads other women to fight for what is rightfully theirs, her story exposing the rift between modern and traditional beliefs.

Wilfred Buck

Directors: Lisa Jackson

Producers: Producers: Lisa Jackson, Lauren Grant, Alicia Smith (NFB) Executive Producers: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, David Christensen (NFB), Janice Dawe, Kathy Avrich-Johnson

Wilfred Buck is a hybrid feature documentary that moves between a harrowing past and the present of this Cree star expert and ceremonial leader. This deeply personal, poetic and occasionally irreverent journey unpacks Indigenous methodologies, how they’ve survived colonization, and provokes the question: what types of knowledge do we value?

Yintah

Directors: Jen Wickham, Michael Toledano, Brenda Michell

Producers: Jen Wickham, Michael Toledano, Brenda Michell

Through intimate access cultivated over years of relationship-building, Yintah is a documentary that witnesses an Indigenous nation’s fight for sovereignty. It is the story of the Wet’suwet’en women reoccupying their traditional land and resisting the companies and colonial state that are set on exploiting it.

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