August 3, 2015

The 2015 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund and AOL Charitable Foundation Award laureates

The world can be changed through perseverance, making the most of the power of our cumulated actions and communication: presenting to the world images and stories from corners of the planet and touching on issues that would otherwise remain foreign or downright unknown.

These are the lessons and best practices of tackling global social problems that shine through the publication of the 2015 edition of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund winners.

It is a grant-prize awarded by Italian fashion house Gucci and the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) to a selection of documentary productions that focus on global social problems as seen at a personal level. This subjective angle taken on major issues is, the initiators believe, an efficient, pragmatic approach to channeling the world’s attention on the social plights of our day.

And the Gucci-Tribeca Film Institute partnership, through the Documentary Fund, is exactly what was still needed for the puzzle: a platform, a springboard channel of worldwide release for these films and for letting the social drama they describe become known to the world. The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund laureates receive a total grant of 150 000 dollars, as well as a year-long program of support and guidance so that these documentaries make it to as many cinemas and reach as many spectators as possible.

This is the project’s eighth year, period over which 64 productions have shared over 1 million dollars.

2015 is, also, the year that a new similar association has been born, this time partnering the TFI with AOL. The AOL Charitable Foundation Award, at its very first edition, has chosen 4 winning documentaries.

The same as every year, the topics touched upon are varied and representative for the contemporary social landscape, as well as for the world’s continents. The jury, made up of Rachel Boynton, Common, Gia Coppola, Dylan McGee, Charlie Phillips and Debbie Zimmerman, has chosen productions set in the United States and Afghanistan, in Israel and Sierra Leone, in Pakistan and Haiti.

Survivors, for example, documents the Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak at a micro level – not from the view point of the statistics of what has come to be seen as the most acute health crisis of our time – taking a close look at the stories of the people touched by the epidemic and those of the circumstantial heroes that it brought about.

Different people, different context, a different story. The Oakland Police Project humanizes an often despised profession. The Oakland, California Police Department is navigating troubled times. It has to manage the largest number of violent crimes per police officer in the US, mass protests and public resentment, while struggling with the effects of a budgetary cut.

Here is the full list of 2015 winners of the two humanitarian-cinematographic grants. They are films to be seen and realities to be known.

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund 2015

  • ACORN and the Firestorms, directed by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard
  • Angels are Made of Light, directed by James Longley
  • Forever Pure, directed by Maya Zinshtein
  • Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman
  • Survivors, directed by Arthur Pratt and Banker White
  • The Oakland Police Project, directed by Peter Nicks

AOL Charitable Foundation Award 2015

  • Audrie and Daisy, directed by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen
  • Belly of the Beast, directed by Erika Cohn
  • A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Sharmeen Chinoy
  • The War to be Her, directed by Erin Heidenreich

The House of Gucci is running various projects of conservation and restoration of classic movies as well as cultivating cinema’s social and charitable dimensions, while also being the driving force behind the women’s right global initiative Chime for Change.


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