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
January 4, 2018
Seasoned documentarians turn cameras on themselves to share their transracial adoption story in The F Word.
December 6, 2017
From UK to Virginia, ITVS funded filmmakers come from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. The moment when a filmmaker’s journey across oceans and wild plains takes them to a community fighting to continue the traditions of their ancestors is where bold stories are born. How would that experience forever leave its mark on the filmmakers and how…
November 1, 2017
From New York City streets to the back roads of rural America, capturing a story sometimes involves embarking on a journey that can take you thousands of miles from home, meeting people along the way and perhaps discovering an America that most people don’t see. ITVS-funded filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz set himself to tell the story of those people who bring wine…