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Press Release - Gucci Documentary Finishing Fund Recipients

The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced the first recipients of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Finishing Fund today. Seven projects were selected from a pool of 450 applicants from 28 countries to receive a total of $80,000, to be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute.
FROM: Tribeca Enterprises

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[New York, NY - August 13, 2007] - – The Tribeca Film Institute and Gucci announced the first recipients of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Finishing Fund today.  Seven projects were selected from a pool of 450 applicants from 28 countries to receive a total of $80,000, to be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Fund provides grants and post production guidance to independent filmmakers in need of finances to complete feature length documentaries that promote social change and illuminate issues in need of comprehensive coverage currently missing from mainstream media.

A committee comprised of filmmakers John Battsek, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alex Gibney, Jacquie Jones, Rory Kennedy, Diego Luna, Albert Maysles, and Diane Weyermann selected the Fund’s recipients from 12 finalists selected by the Tribeca Film Institute.  The selected filmmakers receiving grants by project are: Andrew Berends (Delta Boys), Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman (If a Tree Falls), Beadie Finzi (Vida Ballet), Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom (Sons of Perdition), Ian Olds (The Fixer), Laura Poitras (Release), and Martin Syjuco and Michael Collins (Give Up Tomorrow).

“All of the selected films are distinguished by their intimate access to their subjects, and the attention to detail being shown in crafting their stories. It’s a terrific group and we are delighted to welcome these filmmakers into the Tribeca fold,” said Brian Newman, CEO of Tribeca Film Institute.

"First and foremost all of the jurors were overwhelmed by the strength of all the projects we were asked to consider, so the task of making our actual selections was really tough,” said selection committee member John Battsek.  “Ultimately we went for the projects that moved us most and that we felt either provided a fresh perspective on a story or just felt like the story was too important to ignore.”

"The genre of documentary film is needed now more than ever,” said Daniella Vitale, President of Gucci America. “As a company we are committed to helping these filmmakers bring broader attention to their subject matter.  We continue to be inspired by both the extraordinary filmmakers and our relationship with TFI."

The seven selected projects are:

The Fixer by Ian Olds focuses on the relationship between an Afghan translator, Ajmal Naqshbandi, and his American client, the war journalist, Christian Parenti. What begins as an intimate portrait of two colleagues at work turns dark when Taliban fighters in Southern Afghanistan kidnap Ajmal and an Italian journalist during a dangerous trip to interview a high-level commander. What follows is the tragic story of one man forgotten in the crossfire set against a failing state slowly losing the faith of its people.


Release by Laura Poitras is the second documentary in a trilogy titled The New American Century about America post 9/11. Filmed in Yemen, Release follows the stories of men released from Guantanamo Bay prison and returning home. The first film in the trilogy, My Country, My Country, documented the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The final film will focus on domestic surveillance in the United States.


Sons of Perdition by Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom is a rare, inside look at polygamist teens who have become religious refugees in mainstream America. The film reveals the hidden world of polygamy through the eyes of five exiled teens and the dictatorial prophet who has banished them from their families, community, and religious salvation. With unprecedented access, SONS OF PERDITION captures the raw, daily struggle of polygamy’s lost children and their extraordinary quest to survive, succeed and belong.


Delta Boysby Andrew Berends is an unprecedented intimate look at the daily lives, culture, hardships and mindset of the young rebel men who have taken up arms on the brutal Niger Delta. Their stated goal – to localize control of Nigeria’s oil, to secure reparations for environmental destruction caused by foreign oil companies, and to obtain amnesty for themselves.


Give Up Tomorrow by Martin Syjuco and Michael Collins tells the story of Paco Larrañaga, who was sentenced to death at age 19 for the alleged kidnapping of two sisters in a sensational mistrial in the Philippines in 1998. Charting the ordeal of Paco’s ten years in prison, the film is a moving and poetic investigative documentary that reveals the human cost of endemic corruption in a country still recovering from years of colonial rule and the democratic instability of the Marcos era.


If a Tree Falls by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman is a rare, behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorist threat.”  Following the story of convicted ELF member, Daniel McGowan, the film asks urgent and timely questions about environmentalism and terrorism.


Vida Ballet by Beadie Finzi defies the idea that ballet is an art form steeped in the history of the wealthy white elite as it captures the dreams of two black children from the Favela in Brazil, who, despite constant prejudice and doubt, are both determined to beat the odds and follow their dreams to use dancing as an escape rarely found in their tough day-to-day lives.


About the Tribeca Film Institute


The Tribeca Film Institute creates innovative programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community.

Programs developed and run by the Institute include: Tribeca All Access, Tribeca Talks, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Partnership, and The Tribeca Film Institute Youth Programs which include Tribeca Film Fellows, Tribeca Teaches, Summer Arts Institute Filmmaking Workshop, Tribeca Youth Screening Series and Our City, My Story. For more information visit

About Gucci


Founded in Florence in 1921, Gucci is one of the world's leading luxury brands. It designs, manufactures and markets leather goods (handbags, small leather goods, and luggage), shoes, ready-to-wear, silk, timepieces and jewelry. The products are sold exclusively through directly-operated stores and through exclusive Gucci franchisee stores, duty-free boutiques, department stores and specialty stores around the world. Gucci brand eyewear and fragrances are manufactured and distributed under license by global industry leaders for these two categories. In 2006 Gucci posted another record year, with revenues amounting to 2,100.9 million Euro. The exclusive network of DOS reached 219 stores at the end of 2006. Gucci is part of Gucci Group N.V., owned by PPR, a global player in Retail and Luxury Goods. Shares in PPR are traded on the Euronext Paris (#121485, PRTP.PA, PPFP).



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