Projects

Catapult Film Fund is pleased to support an outstanding group of documentary projects. Since November of 2010 we have been providing early funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell. Explore our projects, follow their progress and support our filmmakers.

Tashi and the Monk

Directors:
Andrew Hinton & Johnny Burke (Director)

Seven years ago Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok, trained under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to share Tibetan Buddhism with the West, felt called to leave a life as a spiritual teacher in the US and return to … Read More >

The Reagan Years

Director:
Pacho Velez

Told entirely through a largely-unseen trove of archival footage,The Reagan Years will capture the pageantry, pathos, and charisma that followed the 40th President from Hollywood to the nation’s capital. This film is about a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of … Read More >

Untitled Missouri Documentary

Director:
Rebecca Cammisa

This film is an environmental justice story of two communities near St. Louis who are mobilizing themselves to get answers. One community is adjacent to an out-of-control, underground landfill fire that is moving towards a legacy nuclear waste site, and … Read More >


When God Sleeps

Director:
Till Schauder

WHEN GOD SLEEPS depicts the journey of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi who is forced into hiding after hardline clerics offer a $100,000 reward for his murder.

Charm City

Director:
Marilyn Ness

CHARM CITY will go inside one embattled community in Baltimore where both cops and citizens want the same thing: to have their lives matter, to stop living in fear, to be respected, and to be judged for who they are … Read More >

The City of the Sun

Director:
Rati Oneli

Three remarkable stories intersect in a half deserted ghost town run by an international mining corporation. A young father struggles to cure his son’s asthma and repay his debts; a young minter turned actor has to choose between his passion … Read More >


Emmanuel

Director:
Davy Rothbart

Emmanuel follows three siblings in inner-city Washington. D.C. over the course of 15 years, focusing on the youngest child, Emmanuel Durant, Jr., from age 9 to his tragic death as a victim of gun violence at age 19. It’s a … Read More >

Freedom to Marry

Director:
Eddie Rosenstein

FREEDOM TO MARRY follows Wolfson, Bonauto, DeBoer and Rowse on their dramatic journey as they prepare for arguments, brace for the decision, and receive the stunning results. Through this case, we explore the strategy and campaign that has brought America … Read More >

Murders that Matter

Director:
Marco Williams

“Each year roughly 5,000 blacks are murdered—74% of the time the murderer is another black person”. Murders that Matter documents three initiatives of Temple University Hospital to combat violence in Philadelphia’s most violent black neighborhood in order to call attention … Read More >


The Holly

Director:
Julian Rubinstein

Survivors

Directors:
Banker White & Arthur Pratt

Through the lens of Sierra Leonean filmmaker Arthur Pratt, Survivors presents an unforgettable portrait of Sierra Leone’s heroes as they confront Ebola in the most acute public health emergency of modern times.  Lives are torn apart as the disease, in … Read More >

Sarah

Director:
Tracy Droz Tragos

The first five years in the life of A.J. and his 16-year-old mother, Sarah, growing up on the edge of poverty in rural America. Perhaps Sarah’s story was written before she became a mother, or perhaps she will chart her … Read More >


Left On Purpose

Directors:
Justin Schein (Director) & Eden Wurmfeld (Producer)

“VISHNER–Mayer. Forced into this life on February 13, 1949. Left on purpose on August 22, 2013.” So reads the New York Times obituary that legendary anti-war Yippie activist Mayer Vishner left to be posted after his death. Left On Purpose … Read More >

THE PUNCH

Directors:
Andre Hörmann (Director) & INGMAR TROST (Producer)

THE PUNCH looks at one of Chicago’s more troubled South Side neighborhoods from the point of view of two young boxers and their families.  Kenny Jr. and Destyne Jr. started out as the most talented teenage boxers in Chicago, but … Read More >

Unlocking the Cage

Directors:
Chris Hegedus (Director) & D A Pennebaker (Director)

UNLOCKING THE CAGE follows attorney Steve Wise as he mounts what is perhaps the most revolutionary lawsuit for animal rights: the first lawsuits demanding legal personhood for four chimpanzees in New York State.


Young Men & Fire

Directors:
Alex Jablonski (Co-director /Producer) & Kahlil Hudson (Co-director /Producer)

Unfolding over the course of one fire season in the American West, Young Men & Fire is a feature length documentary currently in production. The film follows three young men — all part of a single wildland firefighting crew — as they wrestle … Read More >

Block Seven

Director:
Jordie Montevecchi

The most remarkable democracy on earth takes place in the most unlikely place. In Peru’s notorious prison, Lurigancho, the inmates of Block Seven are running their own political elections, this is their story.

Night School

Director:
Andrew Cohn

Night School is a feature-length, verite documentary about adult education in the context of America’s new 21st century economy. The film closely follows three students over the course of an entire school year, as they attempt to improve their lives … Read More >


Gil-Scott Heron

Director:
Orlando Bagwell

© Chuck Stewart Pieces of Man is the story of a brilliant writer and recording artist who used his music to awaken public thinking and invite activism on a range of social issues from gun control to drug addiction to … Read More >

Dream Away

Directors:
Marouan Omara & Johanna Domke

The situation in Egypt three years after the revolution reveals itself in the surreal world of Sharm El Sheikh, where young people seek work in the tourist industry putting their lives, dreams and hopes at stakes for western life-style with … Read More >

The Oslo Diaries

Directors:
Mor Loushy & Daniel Sivan

Once upon a time, Israel and Palestine almost made peace. Both nations came close: they could feel it, touch it. But, then at the eleventh hour it all collapsed. The result is an ongoing violent reality that the world continues … Read More >


Pleistocene Park

Director:
Luke Gridwold-Tergis

In the mid 90’s eccentric Russian scientist Sergey Zimov made the startling discovery that melting arctic permafrost threatened to release huge amounts of Co2 into the atmosphere, potentially creating a feedback loop that will lead to runaway climate change. Impatient … Read More >

XY Chelsea

Director:
Tim Travers Hawkins

Soldier, trans woman and prisoner – Chelsea Manning has launched an appeal against the US Military, challenging a 35 year sentence given after she leaked almost 700,000 US military and diplomatic documents. She is also undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy, transitioning … Read More >

Scars

Director:
Agnieszka Zwiefka

Vetrichelvi is a former LTTE terrorist, a handicapped victim of war and a writer. Her name means Mrs Victory and she is about to go on a mission – to find her former comrades and write a book about untold … Read More >


Those That Breathe

Director:
Kitra Cahana and Ed Ou

Set in the Canadian Arctic, THOSE THAT BREATHE is the powerful and intimate story of an Inuit community struggling to hold on to their culture as their homeland is being destroyed by rising sea temperatures. Where nature and identity are … Read More >

The Quiet Zone

Director:
Katie Dellamaggiore

The Quiet Zone investigates Green Bank, West Virginia — a tiny town that’s home to the world’s most powerful radio telescope, making cell phones and other digital disturbances verboten. Weaving together the lives of its inhabitants with the telescope’s search for extraterrestrial life, … Read More >

The Oldest Person in the World

Director:
Sam Green

The Guinness record for being the oldest person in the world changes frequently; one super old person dies and the title goes to a slightly younger super old person. The record says a great deal about who we are: about … Read More >


HOLES

Director:
Shirly Berkovitz

Danny, an ex-hitman-Syrian-Muslim turned Israeli-Jew, sets out on a investigative journey to find out the truth about his son’s murder. “Holes” tells the story of Danny Mor (55), a Jewish Israeli who lives a quiet life in Jerusalem until his … Read More >

UNTITLED ETHIOPIA FILM

Director:
Mo Scarpelli

A new development project in Ethiopia promises hope, modernly, and contradictions for those living in the midst of it.

My Interiority

Director:
Jason DaSilva

If you were an independent filmmaker and could no longer independently create—no longer see well, edit, or use the camera, but could still talk—how would you reinvent your creative identity as you battled against an ever-shortening timeline? I am living … Read More >


Ma Liang’s Time Machine

Director:
Yang Sun

When influential Chinese artist Ma Liang (a.k.a. Maleonn) realizes that his father Ma Ke, an accomplished Peking Opera director, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, he invites his father to collaborate on his most ambitious project to date—a haunting, magical, autobiographical … Read More >

The Acali Experiment

Director:
Marcus Lindeen

In 1973 five men and six women went on a dramatic raft expedition across the Atlantic Ocean for 101 days to study human aggression and sexuality. This documentary reunites them forty years later to reveal what actually happened during one … Read More >

Shot

Director:
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

A photographer’s quest to find America’s real gun experts: men, women, and children from all backgrounds throughout the country who were shot and survived. Graphic but surprisingly inspiring, the survivor’s stories bypass polarizing arguments and embody the effects of US … Read More >


Rue des Elephants

Director:
Todd McGrain

Filmed in the Central African rainforest against the backdrop of a violent civil conflict, Rue des Elephants captures two critical years in the lives of one of the last wild herds of Forest Elephants. When 26 elephants are killed by … Read More >

Caring for Kathryn

Director:
Adam Isenberg

24-hour, in-home care for Kathryn–a mother and wife in New York in the late stages of ALS–has nearly bankrupted her family and left their relations entangled in resentment and guilt. Looking out from Kathryn’s view, this film explores the unresolved … Read More >

Wild, Wild Country

Directors:
Chapman Way & Maclain Way

A story of building the American dream. An exploration of religious minority groups, wealth, free-love, liberal tolerance, and the fragility of American institutions.


All We’ve Lost

Director:
Preston Randolph

An aging mother, despite continuous denial, battles the State of Montana to free her son from prison while discovering their story has inspired historic change.

Amal

Director:
Mohamed Siam

Post adolescence meets post revolution. When violence became a language in the Egyptian streets, anger became Amal’s destiny and destination. —— A coming of age story in the post-revolution Egypt following a young girl over 4 years from the age … Read More >

Beyond the End of the World

Director:
Anne Barliant

Beyond the End of the World is a feature length documentary about Sarajevo’s first international film festival, held in 1993 during the height of Europe’s longest modern siege. Today the group of intrepid artists who hosted this seemingly impossible event … Read More >


Bolar and Bones

Director:
Jeremy Xido

In the wake of the dramatic 2013 court case United States of America vs One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton, Dr. Bolor Minjin, one of Mongolia’s first female paleontologists, travels from her new home in New York City back to the Gobi … Read More >

How to Rob Banks for Dummies

Director:
Maxim Pozdorovkin

After several bank robberies carried out in the name of art (and money), video artist and former MIT professor Joseph Gibbons leaves prison, re-enters the art world, and tries to go straight for the very first time.

We Want Harold!

Director:
Joe Winston

Barack Obama moved to Chicago in 1985, in part, because of a man he’d never met: Harold Washington. Obama would later tell the Congressional Black Caucus: “For those of you who recall that era and recall Chicago at that time, … Read More >


Mad as Hell

Directors:
Jason Cohn (Director) & Camille Servan-Schreiber (Producer)

Mad as Hell! tells the story of Howard Jarvis and his landmark California ballot measure, Proposition 13, which launched a “permanent” national tax revolt and fundamentally altered the course of American politics to the current day.

THE SETTLERS

Director:
Director, Shimon Dotan

If the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians really lies at the hub of the Middle East conflict, then the dispute over the future of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank lies at the very core of that conflict. … Read More >

Indian Point

Director:
Director, Ivy Meeropol

INDIAN POINT will explore the current controversy over the safe harnessing of nuclear power for the domestic market by looking at the long standing regulatory struggles concerning the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, an aging nuclear reactor situated along New … Read More >


Finding 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale in the World

Director:
Director, Joshua Zeman

An emotional quest to find the elusive 52-Hertz Whale. Scientists believe this whale has spent its life in complete solitude, calling out at 52 Hz — a frequency that no other whale can hear — and never once receiving a … Read More >

Diamond, Silver and Gold

Director:
Director, Jason Kohn

Diamond, Silver and Gold weaves together the stories of the race to produce the first truly synthetic life-form with the budding and struggling industry of manufactured synthetic diamonds.  It’s a film that asks the fundamental question, from where does value come?

Solitary

Director:
Kristi Jacobson

SOLITARY is a compelling journey into an often invisible part of the American justice system, the use of isolation and segregation in US prisons. Going beyond the rhetoric the film explores this divisive issue, commonly known as solitary confinement, through the experiences of … Read More >


Tig

Directors:
Ashley York & Kristina Goolsby

TIG is an intimate, mixed media documentary project that follows Tig Notaro, a 42-year-old Los Angeles based comedian, who just days after being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in both breasts changed the course of her career with a … Read More >

Always in Season

Director:
Jacqueline Olive

Always in Season is a documentary feature that presents the emotional journeys of relatives of lynching victims, perpetrators and others across the United States who are confronting the truth about lynchings that happened in their communities in order to repair … Read More >

Weiner

Director:
Joshua Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

Sexts, lies, and Carlos Danger: watch the wildest political meltdown in recent history as it unfolds. It’s 2013 and Anthony Weiner — still reeling from the sex scandal that ended his political career two years earlier — is back in the spotlight as he mounts an audacious comeback … Read More >


MUDFLOW

Director:
Cynthia Wade

MUDFLOW is the story of a giant, spewing, hot toxic mudflow in East Java, Indonesia, caused by poorly executed drilling by a giant corporation. This eruption is one of the largest man-made disasters of recent times, yet relatively unknown beyond … Read More >

ASK THE SEXPERT

Director:
Vaishali Sinha

ASK THE SEXPERT is a feature documentary centered on a highly popular sex column in a daily newspaper in India. Despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humor has emboldened many to … Read More >

THE ARRIVALS

Director:
Heidi Ewing

THE ARRIVALS tells the story of two Latino men who migrated to the U.S. both for economic opportunity and to live openly as a gay couple. They operate a successful business but remain undocumented, with no clear path to legalize … Read More >


Growing Up in Oil

Directors:
Anabel Rodríguez Ríos (Director) & Sepp R. Brudermann (Producer/Editor)

Congo Mirador, a small settlement built on stilts in the middle of Lake Maracaibo, Latin America’s largest oil field, is disappearing as it is turning into a swamp. Growing Up in Oil is a detailed observation of the community of … Read More >

American Warlord

Directors:
Tony Gerber (Director/Producer) & Johnny Dwyer (Writer/Executive Producer)

In July 2003, as gun battles engulfed Monrovia during the final hours of Charles Taylor’s regime, the president’s son, Chucky, quietly arrived in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He was broke and haunted by the crimes he had committed in his … Read More >

Cameraperson

Director:
Kirsten Johnson

Drawing on footage she’s shot over the course of 25 years, documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson searches to reconcile her part in the thorny questions of permission, power, creative ambition, and human obligation that come with filming the lives of others.


The Force

Director:
Pete Nicks

THE FORCE is the second of a series of inter-connected feature documentaries exploring the relationship between public institutions and the community in Oakland, California. THE FORCE follows the innovative efforts of the Oakland Police Department at a watershed moment for … Read More >

THE MURDER AND THE JOURNALISTS

Director:
Francisco Bello

For over four decades, the gruesome MacDonald family murders have captivated the American public, the media at large, and a trio of celebrity journalists – each telling very different tales. THE MURDER AND THE JOURNALISTS challenges the true in one … Read More >

TRAPPED

Director:
Dawn Porter

In recent years, states have passed a record-breaking number of laws aimed at restricting access to abortion. If enacted, these laws will substantially reduce the number of licensed abortion clinics in the United States. TRAPPED tracks the progress of two Southern abortion clinics —Reproductive … Read More >


HAVEABABY

Directors:
Amanda Micheli (Director) & SERIN MARSHALL (Producer)

HAVEABABY follows a controversial video contest sponsored by a successful in vitro fertilization clinic in Las Vegas. For millions of Americans, IVF may be their last resort to start a family, but for those without thousands of dollars to gamble on … Read More >

One Bullet, Afghanistan

Director:
Carol Dysinger

Part two of Dysinger’s Nation Building trilogy, One Bullet, Afghanistan concerns the rule of law in a time of war. The Coalition is training a police force to keep the peace and enforce the law, while simultaneously fighting an “enemy” indistinguishable from … Read More >

The Kill Team

Director:
Dan Krauss

From Oscar®-nominated director Dan Krauss comes THE KILL TEAM, a story about a young soldier in Afghanistan who attempted to alert the military to horrific atrocities being committed by U.S. soldiers, and who then himself became a target of one of the … Read More >


Anita: Speaking Truth to Power

Director:
Freida Mock

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, a feature documentary by Academy-Award-winning director Freida Mock, tells the harrowing and inspiring story of Anita Hill, the elegant, dignified African-American woman who charged Supreme-Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment in 1991 Senate hearings. … Read More >

MOTHERLAND

Director:
Ramona Diaz

A political firestorm hit the Philippines in the form of a Reproductive Health Bill, popularly called “The RH Bill.” It pitted tradition against reform: guaranteed universal access to contraception, fertility control and maternal care, and mandated sex education in schools, … Read More >

The Path

Director:
Senain Kheshgi

In the small, dusty town of Larkana, Pakistan, seven hours drive from the bustling port city of Karachi lives a poor, uneducated barber. This old man seems just like anyone else in the village, except that he has sacrificed everything … Read More >


Art and Craft

Directors:
Jennifer Grausman & Sam Cullman

Exploring the thirty-year “career” and present-day exploits of a gifted fine art forger, ART AND CRAFT uncovers one of the most intriguing cases of deception in art history—just at the very moment his fakes are revealed to the public. A story of … Read More >

COLD RUSH

Director:
May Abdalla

COLD RUSH is set at the front line of the fast changing Arctic. As the UN decides how to divide up state sovereignty into the High North we travel into the lives of American entrepreneurs, Danish scientists and Russian priests … Read More >

Remote Area Medical

Directors:
Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman

A debate over healthcare has been raging nationwide, but what’s been lost in the discussion of mandates, payers, pre-existing conditions and deficits are the American citizens who live every day without proper access to healthcare, afraid of injury and suffering … Read More >


The Silence of Others

Directors:
Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar

After decades of silence, thousands of children stolen during – and after – Franco’s brutal dictatorship in Spain begin the search for loved ones and attempt to confront the perpetrators. Through their stories, The Silence of Others will offer a deeply personal … Read More >

Call Me Kuchu

Directors:
Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall

In an unmarked office on the outskirts of Kampala, veteran activist David Kato labors to repeal Uganda’s homophobic laws and liberate his fellow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, or “kuchus.” But David’s formidable task just became much … Read More >

The Last Season

Director:
Sara Dosa

Deep in the fog-bound woods of the Southern Oregon wilderness, global histories and transnational economies intersect.  Both allies and enemies from Southeast Asian wars come together here for the matsutake harvest—a 60-day race to find as many high-priced mushrooms as … Read More >


THE RUINS OF LIFTA

Directors:
Menachem Daum & Oren Rudavsky

THE RUINS OF LIFTA is the story of an Orthodox Jewish grandfather from Brooklyn seeking to restore the overgrown Muslim cemetery in the ruins of Lifta, a ghostly Arab village near Jerusalem destroyed in 1948. He seeks out and joins with … Read More >

E-TEAM

Directors:
Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman

The E-TEAM follows the intense and courageous work of three intrepid human rights workers on the frontlines of identifying international human rights abuses.  Dramatic and crucial, Human Rights Watch’s Emergency Team work is custom-made for a compelling documentary film with a global … Read More >

State v Shuai

Director:
Rose Rosenblatt & Marion Lipschutz

State v Shuai follows the high stakes trial of a woman, charged with murder and feticide, who attempted to commit suicide while pregnant. This lone woman is at the center of a legal maelstrom that includes her defense attorney, the opposing … Read More >


Untitled Hopi Project

Director:
Billy Luther

In the Untitled Hopi Project (working title), Luther explores the modern-day Hopi through the lens of its youth, as they navigate their lives on and off the reservation through their art, social networking, and traditions in an age of globalization.

Fred Hersch Now

Directors:
Charlotte Lagarde & Carrie Lozano

After spending two months in an AIDS-related coma, jazz pianist Fred Hersch was determined to survive and play the piano again. Capturing the making of his most ambitious piece yet, this documentary delves into the life and work of an … Read More >

The Americans

Directors:
Tia Lessin & Carl Deal

The Americans tells the story of a Pakistani immigrant family as they navigate post-9/11 New Jersey, face deportation in 2002, then struggle to adapt to a new life as Americans in Karachi. The film delves into the heart of some of … Read More >


THE OVERNIGHTERS

Director:
Jesse Moss

Broken, desperate men from across America flock to the North Dakota oil-fields to seek work and salvation.  This is America’s new frontier, a place where civilization meets savagery.  A local Pastor opens the doors of his church to help them survive, … Read More >

Freedom Fighters

Director:
Jamie Meltzer

  There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by four exonerated men, with 83 years in prison served between them. They call themselves the Freedom Fighters, and they are looking to free innocent people still behind bars. Chris … Read More >

RABBI

Director:
Sandi DuBowski

Rabbi follows the dramatic life story of Amichai Lau-Lavie whose uncle is the former Chief Rabbi of Israel and who is descended from 37 generations of rabbis to King David. Amichai is Jewish royalty, a link in a 5,771-year-old ancient chain, … Read More >


Untitled Vikram Gandhi Project

Director:
Vikram Gandhi

UNTITLED VIKRAM GANDHI PROJECT takes ‘performance’ journalism to new lengths, as he assumes another persona and goes undercover again to see the world through the eyes of those misunderstood. At the same time, Vikram explores of his own personal and … Read More >

Mosquito

Directors:
Jesse Epstein & Hannah Rosenzweig

A trio of Hungarian astrophysicists, who normally search the universe for black holes, try to stop the world’s most dangerous animal – with lasers. Mosquito follows these and other quirky, passionate mosquito warriors trying to win an age-old battle against man’s deadliest … Read More >

The Genius of Marian

Director:
Banker White

The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as her son, the filmmaker, documents her struggles to hang on to her sense of self by remembering her mother – the renowned artist Marian Williams Steel. … Read More >


La Patria (The Homeland)

Directors:
Michelle Ferrari & Rafael de la Uz

In what they hope will be the twilight of their exile, three generations of Cuban-Americans fight separate battles against the Castro regime—living their days in a Cuba of their minds, weaving dreams for the moment when Fidel breathes his last—until … Read More >