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Doc Society Climate Story Fund awards $645,000 to nine new grantees advancing climate justice through storytelling

Fund has awarded $1.9 million to 27 projects since 2020

New York, NY (September 8, 2022) — Doc Society’s Climate Story Fund announced today nine new projects receiving grants that harness storytelling to advance climate justice and protect biodiversity. These nine projects from across the globe have been awarded a total of $645,000.

This is the Climate Story Fund’s second cohort, which includes a range of formats such as a musical drama, an investigative podcast and documentaries. The Fund prioritizes storytellers working in and from underrepresented communities on the forefront of the climate crisis, providing critical support during production and through impact campaigns. By focusing on narratives that offer powerful solutions to the Climate crisis and also resonate deeply with new audiences, the Climate Story Fund seeks to broaden critical conversations toward collective action.

“There is not one story that will facilitate the climate action we’re looking for. And we know there’s so much more than the stereotypes and singular narratives we tend to see in the mainstream. We need multitudes that are just as diverse as the communities we need to mobilize and the ecosystems we need to protect,” said Doc Society Director Megha Agrawal Sood. “We know there are incredible creative stories out there that are working with local movement leaders to activate communities globally and push the conversation forward. This list of grantees is just a small sample of what is being created.”

The 2022 grantees include:

Can I Live? – Musical Drama (United Kingdom)
Fehinti Balogun (Creator), Tim Bell (Producer), Nur Khairiyah(Impact Producer)

Damages – Investigative Podcast (Australia, Ecuador, Guyana, United States)
Amy Westervelt (Host, Producer)

HotSpot – Docuseries (Southern Africa)
Anita Khanna (Producer, Impact Producer), Franco Clerc, Rehad Desai, Sara Gouveia, Mohau Memeza, Jacqueline van Meygaarden (Directors)

Interspecies – Feature Documentary (Global)
Lucy Walker (Director), Aimara Reques (Producer), David Rosier (Producer), Julian Cautherley (Co Producer)

Laikipia
 – Feature Documentary (Kenya)
Daphne Matziaraki (Director), Pete Murimi (Director), Toni Kamau (Producer), Maya Craig (DP, Co-producer)

Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust – Broadcast Documentary (United States)
Ann Kaneko (Director, Producer), Jin Yoo-Kim (Producer, Impact Producer)

Nocturnes  Feature Documentary (India)
Anupama Srinivasan, Anirban Dutta (Director)

Offshore
 – Short Documentary (United Kingdom)
Hazel Falck (Director, Producer), Emma Hughes (Impact Producer)

Self-demarcation and Surveillance of the Sawre Muybu IT [Indigenous Territory] – Capacity building workshop and Short Documentary (Brazil)
Coletivo Audiovisual Munduruku (Director, Producer), Carolina Ribas (Impact Producer)

The Climate Story Fund was established in 2020 to deepen Doc Society’s commitment to the climate justice movement by supporting storytellers who are changing the narrative of the climate crisis. Over the past 18 months the fund has awarded $1.9 million in production and impact grants to 27 climate storytelling projects. This includes multiple formats, including Delikado(feature documentary), El Tema (web series), Ain’t Your Mama’s Heatwave(comedy special), Uýra:: The Rising Forest (feature documentary), set across geographies spanning from Latin America to Sub Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia.

Among last year’s grantees is The Territory, a feature documentary portraying the efforts of Indigenous leaders to protect an area of the Amazon Forest in Brazil from deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers. The film, directed by Alex Pritz and co-produced with the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people, provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Sheri Linden of The Hollywood Reporter praised The Territory for its “intimate access to people on several clashing sides of the situation, making for a complex, layered and thoughtful examination.” The film has received numerous awards, including the Audience Award in World Cinema Documentary and World Cinema Special Jury Award in Documentary Craft at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

“Beyond the financial support, we deeply appreciated the mentorship and support from the Doc Society team. Learning from and working with climate strategists and impact producers unlocked the potential of our story and turned it into a catalyst for real, lasting change,” The Territory director Pritz said.

Eighteen projects from previous grant cycles have completed production and have begun distribution and impact campaigns, reaching critical audiences and advancing new narratives. A number of projects are reaching audiences through free to air services on public service broadcasters such as the BBC, POV; via digital platforms like Spotify, YouTube and WhatsApp; traditional festival to theater routes; while others have been picked up by subscription streamers including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+.

The Climate Story Fund’s next global call for applications will be announced in the fall. For more information, go to: docsociety.org/climate-story.

WHO

ABOUT DOC SOCIETY
Doc Society is a non-profit founded in the UK in 2005, committed to enabling great documentary films and connecting them to audiences globally. As an art form, we believe that documentary has a near unrivaled capacity to inspire, educate and change people’s understanding of their lives and societies. We bring people together to unleash the transformational power of independent documentary film. We support artist-driven films with social purpose and help to create a more connected and sustainable media ecosystem globally. A commitment to anti-racism, economic & climate justice is embedded in and informs all we do and is mandated into our mission.

Doc Society is supported by the Ford Foundation, as well as other American and European foundations across our programmes. At the very center lies our regranting portfolios, supporting hundreds of award winning documentary films all over the world with development, production and distribution funds. To date we have helped to fund more than 450 award winning documentary films including: CITIZENFOUR, An Insignificant Man, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Edge Of Democracy, The Look Of Silence, The White Helmets, Whose Streets, Virunga, Softie, Roll Red Roll and The Silence of Others - distributing over $18 million to artists and storytellers around the world.

ABOUT THE GRANTEES

Can I Live? - Musical Drama (United Kingdom)
Fehinti Balogun (Creator), Tim Bell (Producer), Nur Khairiyah(Impact Producer)
Logline: As Fehinti Balogun weaves his story with spoken word, rap, theater, animation and the scientific facts, he charts a course through the fundamental issues underpinning the climate emergency, identifying the intimate relationship between the environmental crisis & the global struggle for social justice, and sharing how, as a young Black British man, he has found his place in the climate movement.

Damages - Investigative Podcast (Australia, Ecuador, Guyana, United States)
Amy Westervelt (Host, Producer)
Logline: Law & Order, climate-style podcast from the creators of Drilled. There are nearly 200 court cases all over the world looking to hold governments and corporations accountable for the greatest crime ever committed: the climate crisis.

HotSpot - Docuseries (Southern Africa)
Anita Khanna (Producer, Impact Producer), Franco Clerc, Rehad Desai, Sara Gouveia, Mohau Memeza, Jacqueline van Meygaarden (Directors)
Logline: As fossil fuel companies ramp up extraction in the less regulated Global South, activists in Southern Africa are calling for radical solutions to limit escalating heating. The series profiles people at the forefront of overlapping social and climate crises in a global hotspot, where the lives of millions depend on what activists can motivate their governments to do.

Interspecies - Feature Documentary (Global)
Lucy Walker (Director), Aimara Reques (Producer), David Rosier (Producer), Julian Cautherley (Co Producer)
Logline: Interspecies is a sci-fi documentary in which humans dramatically demonstrate and passionately argue that plants have as much by way of brainpower as they do beauty. What if they were actually communicating with us? If they were, what do they have to tell us?

Laikipia - Feature Documentary (Kenya)
Daphne Matziaraki (Director), Pete Murimi (Director), Toni Kamau (Producer), Maya Craig (DP, Co-producer)
Logline: Climate change and unresolved historical injustices raise the stakes in a generations-old conflict between indigenous pastoralists and white landowners in the wildlife conservation haven of Laikipia, Kenya.

Manzanar, Diverted : When Water Becomes Dust (United States)
Ann Kaneko (Director, Producer), Jin Yoo-Kim (Producer, Impact Producer)
Logline: At the foot of the majestic snow-capped Sierras, Manzanar, the WWII concentration camp, becomes the confluence for memories of Payahuunadü, the now-parched “land of flowing water.” Intergenerational women from Native American, Japanese American and rancher communities form an unexpected alliance to defend their land and water from Los Angeles.

Nocturnes - Feature Documentary (India)
Anupama Srinivasan, Anirban Dutta (Director)
Logline: In the dense forests of the Eastern Himalayas, a young woman scientist studies moths. A young man rediscovers the forest he has grown up with. The film follows their fascinating journey into the secret world of moths, inviting us to witness their beauty, their fragility in the face of rising temperatures and our own hidden connection with them.

Offshore - Short Documentary (United Kingdom)
Hazel Falck (Director, Producer), Emma Hughes (Impact Producer)
Logline: Three weeks on, three weeks off - Offshore brings together oil workers’ unique perspectives on the coming energy transition and explores what climate justice really looks like for workers and communities around the UK North Sea. The film looks at how communities have been impacted by past industrial decline, the risks workers face in an increasingly precarious industry and how they can organize for the future.

Self-demarcation and Surveillance of the Sawre Muybu IT [Indigenous Territory] - Capacity building workshop and Short Documentary (Brazil)
Coletivo Audiovisual Munduruku (Director, Producer), Carolina Ribas (Impact Producer)
Logline: Faced with the absence of the government, every year the Munduruku people carry out self-demarcation and inspection of the Sawré Muybu Territory, where warriors, chiefs, shamans and children walk the territory to revive boundaries, identify and expel invaders and take care of the rainforest, the river and the land. The project includes a capacity building workshop addressing production, legal and impact production skills.

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