NEW YORK, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- JustFilms, the Ford Foundation's film and digital storytelling initiative, is proud to have supported four films selected for this year's Tribeca Film Festival—the New York–based celebration of independent filmmaking.
The films screening at the Tribeca Film Festival with financial and creative support from JustFilms are:
A Ballerina's Tale
Directed by Nelson George
A feature documentary on African American ballerina Misty Copeland that examines her prodigious rise and her potentially career-ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.
Directed by David Holbrooke
The remarkable story of the life and legacy of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose singular career spans 50 years of American foreign policy—from Vietnam to Afghanistan.
The Trials of Constance Baker Motley
Directed by Rick Rodgers
The story of Constance Baker Motley, a civil rights leader who met prejudice and danger with elegance and humor and went on to become the first black woman named to a federal judgeship.
Among the Believers
Directed by Hemal Trivedi
Firebrand cleric Maulana Aziz, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, is waging jihad against the Pakistani government, and two of his young students' lives hang in the balance.
In addition, a series of projects to be presented at the TFI Interactive Summit in New York this weekend were supported by the TFI New Media Fund, a Ford-funded program which uses new media platforms and modern storytelling techniques to engage audiences around issues of inequality and social justice.
The TFI New Media Fund has granted over $1.7 million to support 26 projects since 2011, including 15 storytelling hackathons, new technologies like the virtual reality used in Nonny de la Peña's Use of Force, and definition-defying projects like Priya's Shakti, an augmented reality comic book and exhibition challenging gender-based violence in India.
The Interactive Summit, which is now in its fourth year, brings together directors, artists, activists, journalists, developers, and gamers to celebrate and creative storytelling and explore cutting-edge modes of creating immersive, compelling narrative experiences.
"Artists and filmmakers are developing new ways to express the complexities of existence, exposing us to new narratives that undermine complacency and challenge us to think more, and do more," said Cara Mertes, director of JustFilms. "As a social justice organization, we know the power of art—to give a voice to the vulnerable, to tell the stories that were previously hidden or silenced, and to inspire us to take action for the greater good."
Launched in 2011, JustFilms was established to support filmmakers and artists from around the world using creative visual storytelling to highlight issues of justice, rights, and equity; and drive social change. The five-year, $50 million commitment has helped lift up quality films and digital projects tackling urgent social justice issues in innovative and inspiring ways.
In recognition of the Ford Foundation's bold commitment to independent filmmakers, the Tribeca Film Institute named Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, a 2015 Innovative Disruptor for his audacious leadership supporting art as a tool for social change.
"Freedom of expression is a powerful ally of equality, inclusion, and change," said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. "We are proud to support these artists and filmmakers in realizing their visions, and thankful for their incredible work to help us fulfill our own vision—of a society that is more engaged, more aware, and more just."
That commitment to the transformative power of arts and culture was further underlined this month with launch of The Art of Change, a yearlong exploration of culture, the arts, and creativity to create a dialogue with artists, scholars, activists, filmmakers and cultural leaders on the interplay of art and social justice.
To view the films the Ford Foundation has supported over its history, visit the foundation's film collection.
Follow us on Twitter: @fordfoundation / #justfilms
SOURCE Ford Foundation