The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation gave 23 awards this year. The two awards for filmmakers went to ITVS documentarians. Two ITVS filmmakers, Natalia Almada and Laura Poitras, have been awarded MacArthur “genius” grants, which include a no-strings-attached, five-year award of $500,000 and an enormous pat on the back from America’s intellectual community.
“You usually have to apply for something, and it’s a lot of work,” Natalia Almada, producer-director of El General (2009), told the New York Times. “It’s such freedom to think I can count on something. It’s huge. It’s validating.”
Almada, a citizen of both the U.S. and Mexico, has explored Mexican history and politics in nonlinear documentaries that push the boundaries of the form. Laura Poitras produced and directed My Country, My Country (2006), which told the behind-the-scenes story of the January 2005 elections in Iraq. Poitras has also directed The Oath (2010), filmed in Yemen and Guantanamo Bay, and co-directed Flag Wars (2003).
From our blog
August 30, 2018
Starting a new project can be daunting for even the most veteran of filmmakers. From research and development to acquiring archival footage, where does one begin? The answers may lie in ITVS’s Diversity Development Fund, which provides you seed funding for all of the above and more.Hear from our filmmakers on how the Diversity Development Fund was…
August 1, 2018
Elected in July, Gita Saedi Kiely has joined the ITVS Board of Directors. She is an accomplished leader who brings to the Board extensive experience in the documentary world.From 2012 to 2016, Saedi Kiely served as the Executive and Festival Director at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, in Missoula, MT, the premier non-fiction film destination in the…
July 11, 2018
Illuminating the human condition: it’s a theme that pervades some of the most effective documentaries. Getting there has multiple paths and as a filmmaker, you have baggage you bring. For The Judge, filmmaker Erika Cohn was a complete outsider in her story and had to build trust with strangers. Bing Liu, on the other hand, mined his own community…