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
March 8, 2018
ITVS-funded filmmaker Erika Cohn to discuss the unexpected joy in meeting Judge Kholoud and the project that became The Judge.
February 27, 2018
How do you know if documentary film makes a difference in the world? If you’re a social scientist, you evaluate it.That’s what the Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program did in one of the most extensive studies ever to look at the impact of documentary film in a global development setting (173 pages with attachments, for those counting). The recently…
January 23, 2018
For the second consecutive year, an ITVS-funded film will contend for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards.