Rough Cut Retreat

A Catapult Film Fund & True/False Film Fest Collaboration

With support from the Chicago Media Project

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. After months in an edit suite, filmmakers often lose perspective; this is a key moment for fresh eyes in a safe space – a focus group for filmmakers to diagnose what is and isn’t working with their film. When selecting projects, True/False and Catapult prioritize work that displays an ambitious, idiosyncratic approach to nonfiction storytelling. We especially encourage emerging filmmakers and those who do not have established feedback networks to apply. Additionally, preference will be given to projects that have not already received significant institutional support. Chosen mentors are professionals who embody creativity and generosity of spirit.

Timeline & Specifics

Submissions Information

The call for entries will be open through April 30th, 2021.

See photos and read more about Bell Valley Retreat

Accessibility/ADA information: Bell Valley Retreat has accessible roads, parking areas, bathrooms, cottages, rooms, tents, and meeting areas. If you have specific questions or requests, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are committed to making all events accessible for everyone who attends. This is an ongoing effort, and we welcome your feedback so that we can continually improve our services and create the most inclusive experience possible.

Questions? Email RCR coordinator: lindsey@truefalse.org

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2020

Virtual Retreat / July 25 – 31

Mentors: Don Bernier (editor: Athlete A, Always in Season), Bonni Cohen (producer/director: Athlete A, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Audrie & Daisy), Omar Mullick (director/cinematographer: These Birds Walk), Rahdi Taylor (producer: Time), David Teague (editor: Cutie and the Boxer, Freeheld, Spaceship Earth)

Bitterbrush

Bitterbrush

  • Emelie Mahdavian

Catapult grantee A portrait of friendship, life transitions, and hard work, as two young women navigate an isolated and beautiful landscape of the American West.

The In Between

The In Between

  • Robie Flores

This interwoven coming-of-age story chronicles the ordinary and extraordinary moments of growing up on the U.S./Mexico border.

North By Current

North By Current

  • Angelo Madsen Minax

A deep personal history of the complex relationships shared between mothers and their children, this film creatively reframes narratives about incarceration, addiction, trans embodiment, and ruralness.

Untitled PRC Project

Untitled PRC Project

  • Jessica Kingdon

This multi-faceted portrait takes us inside the growing behemoth that is the nominally communist yet hyper-capitalist People’s Republic of China – and questions what it actually means to live the so-called “Chinese Dream.”

Razing Liberty Square

Razing Liberty Square

  • Katja Esson

Catapult grantee After years of neglect, residents of Miami’s oldest public housing project learn about an urban revitalization project and brace themselves to fight a new form of racial injustice: climate gentrification.

 

2019

Carey Institute for Global Good, Rensselaerville, NY / August 4 – 8.

Mentors:

Bonni Cohen (producer/director: Athlete A, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Audrie & Daisy) Toby Shimin ​(editor: Buck, How to Dance in Ohio, Ernie & Joe), David Teague​ (editor/producer ​Life Animated, Cutie and the Boxer, Freeheld, Knock Down the House), Jean Tsien (editor/producer: Scottsboro: An American Tragedy, Malcolm X: Make It Plain, Travis, Solar Mamas; Something Within Me, Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & Sing,​ and ​Miss Sharon Jones!​)

Socks on Fire

Socks on Fire

  • Bo McGuire

Socks on Fire is a transgenerational docudrama couched in the familial battle between a homophobic aunt and drag-queen uncle over an Alabama grandmother’s estate.

Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival 2020

Unapologetic

Unapologetic

  • Ashley O’Shay

During the height of the Movement for Black Lives in Chicago, Unapologetic captures a community of millennial organizers confronting an administration complicit in state violence against its Black residents, through the intimate stories of two Black queer women, Janaé and Bella.

Premiere: Blackstar Film Festival 2020

Feels Good Man

Feels Good Man

  • Arthur Jones

Feels Good Man explores the current cultural moment and political climate through the lens of the Internet’s dankest meme.

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2020

What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind

  • Iliana Sosa

What We Leave Behind follows the director’s 89-year-old grandfather on his monthly 17-hour bus ride from Primo de Verdad (a rural town in northern Mexico) to El Paso, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico to reunite with family separated by borders.

 

2018

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), Roger Ross Williams (director: Life Animated, T/F 2015).

Queen of the Battling Butterfly Brigade

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.

Stray

Stray

  • 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

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.

 

2017

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).

Amal

Amal

  • 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

América

América

  • 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

Pigeon Kings

Pigeon Kings

  • 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

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

 

2016

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

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

Distant Constellation

Distant Constellation

  • Shevaun Mizrahi

Premiere: True/False 2017

For Ahkeem

For Ahkeem

  • Jeffrey Levine & Landon Van Soest

Premiere: Berlinale 2017

Quest

Quest

  • Jonathan Olshefski

Premiere: Sundance 2017

When God Sleeps

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.