Catapult Film Fund and True/False Film Fest today announced the selected films and mentors for their eighth annual Rough Cut Retreat, a summer gathering that immerses underserved filmmakers and industry mentors in a deeply creative retreat space. This year’s retreat will take place July 23-27 at Shire in the Woods in McGrath, Minnesota and is presented with support from CMP who share Catapult and True/False’s passion for bold and creative new nonfiction filmmaking.
The 2023 RCR supported films (and attending members of the film teams) are Agent of Happiness (directors Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbó), How to Build a Library (co-director Christopher King and editor Michael Onyiego), Mai American (director Kevin Truong), There Was, There Was Not (director Emily Mkrtichian), and Untitled Residential School Documentary (directors Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie).
Mentors are chosen for their ability to guide filmmakers through the final stages of filmmaking, as well as their deep generosity of spirit. This year’s group includes director Steven Bognar (American Factory), editor Fiona Otway (Iraq in Fragments), director Yoruba Richen (The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks), editor David Teague (Life, Animated), and director Stephanie Wang-Breal (Blowin’ Up).
Rough Cut Retreat was born out of Catapult and True/False’s shared vision of supporting filmmakers who lack significant institutional support and feedback networks. These directors often work without access to informed critical feedback about their work, and RCR exists to counteract that marginalization, championing work that pushes boundaries both in its content and aesthetics. The retreat aims to provoke dynamic discussion, providing feedback and guidance at a critical moment in the post-production process.
Each year, five filmmaking teams are matched with mentors that have been hand-picked for their editorial insights and ability to aid filmmakers in realizing their vision. Over an intense four days of screenings and discussion they receive critical, supportive feedback, helping to move films from rough to fine cut with an eye on winter festival deadlines.
Previous RCR projects include: 2023 Sundance premiere Joonam (director Sierra Urich, 2022 RCR participant), 2023 Berlinale premiere Hummingbirds (directors Estefanía Contreras and Silvia Castaños, 2022 RCR participant) Documentary Director Special Jury Mention 2023 Tribeca Film Festival Break the Game (director Jane M. Wagner, 2022 RCR participant) 2022 Emmy Award Winner Mayor (director David Osit, 2019 RCR participant), and 2022 Oscar nominated Ascension (director Jessica Kingdon, 2021 RCR participant).
Read about the projects HERE