Catapult Film Fund Reveals 2023 Research Grant Filmmakers And Advisors Featuring Oscar Nominees And Emmy Winners

EXCLUSIVE: Catapult Film Fund today announced its newest group of film teams to earn prestigious research grants, a fortunate cohort who will receive mentorship from some of the brightest names in documentary, including Oscar nominee Sara Dosa.

This is the third year of the Research Grant program, an expansion of Catapult’s mission “to provide essential early-stage support to documentary filmmakers.” This year’s grant recipients are Sofian Khan; R.J. Lozada and Chris Filippone; Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn; Lauren Wimbush; and Fairah Zaman. 

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“The selected film teams will receive a $10,000 grant and six months of mentorship as they develop a new film concept,” Catapult said in a statement. “During the program, each film team will be paired with a dedicated advisor to provide guidance and feedback on story development.”

This year’s advisors are Dosa, who contends for an Oscar this weekend for her feature documentary Fire of Love, Emmy Award-winning director Ramona S. Diaz (A Thousand Cuts), Sundance Award-winning director Jacqueline Olive (Always in Season), Emmy Award-winning director David Osit (Mayor), and Oscar-nominated director Kris Samuelson (Life Overtakes Me).

“We’re so pleased to continue this unique program and have the privilege to invest in the labor and talent required to develop great ideas,” said Megan Gelstein, co-director and chief program officer of the nonprofit Catapult. “We see this as a kind of ‘pre-Catapult’ grant; supporting the work a filmmaker needs to do to get ready to apply to Catapult or another development funder. This work, which can take a great deal of time and incur costs, is generally unfunded. This opportunity pairs filmmakers with talented advisors in a safe, supportive, creative environment to take risks and be bold with their work.”

Catapult’s Research Grant launched in 2020, a program “designed to address issues of career sustainability and equity in the nonfiction field. For many filmmakers, the conceptualization of a new film idea is a lonely and cost-prohibitive process. Through this program, Catapult provides support at the earliest possible stage while reducing barriers to entry for diverse filmmakers.”

Previous grantees include Reid Davenport, director of I Didn’t See You There, which just won the Truer Than Fiction Award at the Independent Spirit Awards; as well as Jameka Autry, Priscilla González Sainz, Tracy Jarrett, and Edwin Martinez. The Catapult Research Grant is made possible with support from XRM Media.

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