2016 NYC Film, Video, and Digital Production Grantees and Finalists

The following grants were made through the Jerome Foundation's New York City Film, Video, and Digital Production program in 2016:


DAVID GARRETT BYARS was awarded $25,000 in support of the documentary Malheur. Bitter antagonism between right-wing militia and the federal government has boiled over into rebellion and bloodshed. Malheur follows this insurrection, from inception to demise, and the elements that made it possible.

CAMILLE DE GALBERT was awarded $20,000 in support of Margot, which follows the inner journey of a young woman struggling to reconnect with reality as she delves through layers of her subconscious and key moments from her childhood taking a unique approach to the narrative form by twisting it around the finger of poetic surrealism.

JULIANE DRESSNER was awarded $25,000 in support of the documentary Stepping Up (working title). Enoch, Christine and Karoline dream of being the first in their families to go to college and are determined to bring their peers with them. As peer college counselors in struggling schools, they have taken it upon themselves to close the achievement gap, guiding their friends through the college process, even as they are applying themselves.

JIM FINN was awarded $25,000 in support of the experimental project Red Wuthering Heights, a 60- to 70-minute video that looks like a fictional episode of a Soviet television program made during the slow collapse of the communist system. The program will be made up of three parts: the narrator’s talking head with 80’s video effects, handmade 16mm film scenes created to look like damaged fragments of an early Soviet cinema Wuthering Heights film adaptation and additional video portraits of the British moors and miniatures that were especially made for the program to supplement the missing film footage.

LILY FRANCES HENDERSON was awarded $25,000 in support of the documentary About a Mountain. In the aftermath of a boy's suicide, a writer attempts to help his grieving parents find a reason for his death, while the city of Las Vegas fights to protect itself from nuclear catastrophe.

GABRIELLA KESSLER was awarded $30,000 in support of Prison Show, a documentary about a small local Texas radio station with a call in show for prisoners and their families that unveils the tentacular reach of the US penal system, whose grip goes far beyond prisons, and from which it is impossible to escape.

ASH MAYFAIR (PHUONG ANH NGUYEN) was awarded $25,000 in support of the narrative project Between the Shadow and the Soul. In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14 year-old May is given away in an arranged marriage and becomes the third wife to her older husband, a man brought up to believe that power is about control. In this tale of lost love and hidden desire inspired by a true story, we see through the eyes of a girl forced to grow too quickly into a woman.

ANDREA PALLAORO was awarded $30,000 in support of Monica, Monica is the intimate observation of a 52-year-old transgendered woman who returns to her Kansas hometown to take care of her dying mother, who is in the advanced stages of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, and whom Monica has not seen in over 35 years, since being kicked out of her own home as a teen.

DEMPSEY RICE was awarded $15,000 in support of The Animated Mind of Oliver Sacks, a documentary film that brings to life ten years of extraordinary conversations with author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D., painting a portrait of his pursuits and his uniquely agile mind.

FERN SILVA was awarded $25,000 in support of Sacred Sights, an experimental film based around the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. As lava continues to flow from the earth’s core on the island of Hawaii–posing an imminent danger–an existential crisis mounts for native Hawaiians: astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on the burial grounds of their most sacred and revered ancestors.

SONEJUHI SINHA was awarded $15,000 in support of Love Comes Later, a suspenseful drama about a young South Asian woman, Riz, who enters America illegally, desperate to start her life over. In order to survive she starts working at a middle of the road motel in New Jersey, where the lives of immigrant women, drug dealers and loan sharks collide. 

KIRSTEN TAN was awarded $25,000 in support of the narrative project Popeye (working title). On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a redemptive journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together–only to discover the truth about himself and the life he callously left behind.



FLAVIO ALVES was selected as a finalist for the project The Garden Left Behind, a narrative film that traces the relationship between Tina, a young transwoman, and Eliana, her grandmother, as they navigate Tina's transition and struggle to build a life for themselves as undocumented immigrants in New York City.

JOEY CARDUCCI was selected as a finalist for Coming Outtakes, a 16mm experimental film where a queer experimental feminist filmmaker decides to transition from female to male and attempts to contextualize it, challenge it and justify it, to himself and everyone else by coming out to Barbara Hammer on film.

SARAH J CHRISTMAN was selected as a finalist for Swarm Season, a feature length film combining documentary and speculative fiction to reexamine the relationship between human beings and the natural environment in the past, present and future set against the backdrop of social and environmental uprising on the Big Island of Hawaii.

ANDRE FUAD DEGAS was selected as a finalist for the narrative project Crossing the LineCrossing the Line is the story of Khadijah, a Muslim High School female track runner, who defies gender and cultural expectations when she falls for a non-Muslim all American Football player.

HARRIET HIRSHORN was selected as a finalist for Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS, a documentary telling the story of the inspiring women spearheading the global AIDS movement and revealing how women have shaped grassroots movements in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa, saving innumerable lives in the process.

BILL KERSEY was selected as a finalist for White Cactus, a feature-length personal documentary about the daughter of a New Jersey-based Columbian drug cartel kingpin and her quest to uncover the truth about her father's past and her own childhood.

JORDAN LORD was selected as a finalist for the documentary Shared ResourcesShared Resources is a film about the director’s father, who worked as a debt collector for more than 30 years and lost his job just two years before retirement.  The film will follow the family’s attempts to repay debts (including the director’s student loan debts) and to find income to meet current needs.

FERNANDO ORTEGA was selected as a finalist for Marakame, the story of Don Antonio Carrillo, his incredible way of life, and the inspiring transformation he underwent to become a marakame, a well-respected Wirrarika shaman high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, where the indigenous Wirrarika (commonly known as Huichol) have maintained their connection to nature and ancestral traditions for thousands of years.

COLE SMOTHERS was selected as a finalist for Sanctuary of Butterflies, the story of a pioneering musician’s journey across Mexico to explore the rapidly fading heritage of ancestral music.

REZWAN SHAHRIAR SUMIT was selected as a finalist for the narrative project The Salt in Our Waters. Rudro (32), a city sculptor, moves to a remote fishing island for his next inspiration & finds himself facing a strange decree - 'making human forms is a sin'. As a storm builds, he is forced to choose between his sculptures & his subjects.

ERICA TREMBLAY was selected as a finalist for To Return a Man, a feature documentary which explores the cycle of domestic violence and the definition of healthy masculinity within Native communities through the lens of Calvin, a young Lakota man on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota as he embarks on a tribe-mandated re-education program that pushes him to redefine what it means to be a man in an increasingly complex world.

STEPHEN WINTER was selected as a finalist for Clementine, the story of four optimistic young black friends in Lafayette, Louisiana who struggle to launch positive lives in the face of poverty and despair, and get caught up in mysterious events that erupt into macabre murders, seemingly motivated by racial self-hate.


Guidelines and more information about the new Artist Fellowship program are now available. The application deadline is Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 4 pm Central / 5 pm Eastern Time.

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