At the height of summer, when filmmakers are neck-deep in the editing process, Rough Cut Retreat offers a one-of-a-kind mentorship experience. Launched in 2016, RCR unites nonfiction filmmakers and mentors in a creative, supportive, and engaged atmosphere. The retreat acts as a focus group for filmmakers to diagnose what is and isn’t working in their film. After months in an edit suite, filmmakers often lose perspective; this is a key moment for fresh eyes in a safe space. When selecting projects, True/False and Catapult prioritize work that displays an ambitious, idiosyncratic approach to nonfiction storytelling. Chosen mentors are professionals who embody creativity and generosity of spirit.
The 2019 retreat will convene at the Carey Institute for Global Good’s sprawling, 100-acre campus from August 4 – 8.
Travel & Retreat Specifics
5 feature films will be chosen to participate, a maximum of 2 members from each filmmaking team can attend.
5 mentors, in addition to T/F and Catapult hosts, will be present at the event.
Domestic travel, lodging and food will be booked and covered for filmmaking teams, a modest travel stipend will be made available to teams traveling internationally.
Applications will be accepted from March 8 – April 5, 2019.
For consideration, fill out the application form by clicking the “APPLY NOW” button below. Submissions should include two paragraphs describing your film and an online screener link of 5-10 minutes that best represents the project. Longer entries will be considered at the jurors’ discretion. Note that the first 10 minutes of all entries will always be watched.
Only projects with a realistic projection of an actual rough cut by August will be considered.
Projects will be notified of decision on or by June 1, 2019.
If selected, a screener link of the film’s rough cut must be submitted by July 20, 2019 and a digital file (quicktime .mov, .mp4. or equivalent suitable for projection) must be provided by July 31, 2019.
Location: Carey Institute for Global Good, Rensselaerville, NY / July 22 – 26.
Mentors: Erin Casper (editor, Detropia, T/F 2013), Rachel Grady (co-director, 12th & Delaware), Josh Penn (producer, Beasts Of The Southern Wild), Aaron Wickenden (editor, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, T/F 2018), and Roger Ross Williams (director, Life Animated, T/F 2015).
- Mo Scarpelli
Catapult grantee Anbessa explores the rich inner world of a lion-hearted, ten-year-old boy in Ethiopia as he weathers the tides of change that threaten to usurp his community and country. Premiere: Berlinale 2019
Queen of the Battling Butterfly Brigade
- Daniel Hymanson
Queen of the Battling Butterfly Brigade is a film about aging, ecstasy, and finding the infinite in the infinitesimal.
- Agnieszka Zwiefka
Catapult grantee Scars follows a former female fighter and radical ideologue of the Tamil Tigers, in a post-civil war Sri Lanka. When she leaves her quiet countryside life to find her fellow comrades, she faces her own dark past and the trauma of war.
- Elizabeth Lo
Stray sees the world through the eyes of three street dogs in Turkey, a nation in a profound state of flux. The film finds dignity in both the dogs and the marginalized people around them.
Truth or Consequences
- Hannah Jayanti
Truth or Consequences is about the eponymous, small desert town in New Mexico banking on the world’s first commercial spaceport. This dusty no man’s land and its longtime residents are both eager for and weary of big changes.
Location: Gedney Farm, New Marlborough, MA / July 23 – 27
Mentors: Amanda Branson-Gill (producer, The Unknown Known), David Teague (editor, Life Animated; Cutie & the Boxer), Chris Hegedus (director, The War Room), Mark Becker (Director/Producer, Art & Craft; Pressure Cooker), and Pete Nicks (director, The Force).
- Mohamed Siam
Catapult grantee Amal follows an Egyptian teenager, from the age of 14 till the age of 20 while she’s searching for her identity within a constantly changing country. Premiere: IDFA 2017
- Chase Whiteside & Erick Stoll
América is about a dreamer who reunites with his brothers to take care of their ninety-three year old grandmother, América in southwest Mexico. Premiere: True/False 2018
- André Hörmann
Catapult grantee Ringside takes us into the heart of a high- stakes family drama playing out in a remote Cuban fishing village Premiere: Berlinale 2019
- Milena Pastreich
Pigeon Kings tracks a peculiar subculture of pigeon competitions in So. Central LA presided over by the godfather Keith London.
Voices of the Sea
- Kim Hopkins
Voices of the Sea takes us into the heart of a high- stakes family drama playing out in a remote Cuban fishing village. Premiere: True/False 2018
Location: Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA / August 7 – 11
Mentors: Nels Bangerter (editor, Cameraperson), Rachel Boynton (director, Big Men,), Pedro Kos (editor, The Square), Dan Krauss (director, The Kill Team), and Kristine Samuelson (director, Tokyo Waka).
Ask the Sexpert
- Vaishali Sinha
Catapult Grantee Ask the Sexpert. A long time sex advice columnist gains popularity against the backdrop of a ban on comprehensive sex education in schools in several states in India. Premiere: Hot Docs 2017
- Shevaun Mizrahi
Premiere: True/False 2017
- Jeffrey Levine & Landon Van Soest
Premiere: Berlinale 2017
- Jonathan Olshefski
Premiere: Sundance 2017
When God Sleeps
- Till Shrauder
Catapult grantee When God Sleeps depicts the journey of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi who is forced into hiding after hardline clerics issue a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song that focuses on the oppression of women, sexism and human rights abuses. Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival 2017
About Accessibility at Carey: The Conference Center at the Carey Institute for Global Good is dedicated to providing exceptional service to all of our guests. We have an established accommodation process to support an inclusive environment regardless of any permanent or temporary disability, medical condition or other specific requirement. We are committed to complying with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability, as defined by the ADA, who have made the us aware of his or her disability, provided that such accommodations do not constitute an undue hardship on our organization. For more information and specifics about accessibility, please contact The Carey Institute.