The 15th Annual Tallgrass International Film Festival presented by Consolidated Equities Trust (October 18-22) today announced the three films that will compete in its new DOX Spotlight Section. DOX Spotlight is sponsored by Greteman Group.
The female-helmed documentaries include Madeleine Gavin’s CITY OF JOY, Skye Borgman’s FOREVER ‘B’ and Robin Berghaus’ STUMPED.
“Our hope is that this recognition helps to celebrate the women in the documentary trenches and inspire future female documentarians to record the accomplishments, the issues and real life from a woman’s perspective," said Gretchen Mitchell, Tallgrass co-Director of Programming.
Sonia Greteman, President and Creative Director of Greteman Group added, “Our agency’s all about storytelling. Amazing stories will rise out of this new, women-directed documentary competition, and our sponsorship signals our belief in amplifying women’s voices. And ensuring more people hear them."
In order to be eligible for DOX Spotlight consideration, the documentaries are required to be feature length, directed by women, with no traditional distribution deal at the time of the film festival in October. There are no stipulations regarding budget or country. Finalists were selected by the Tallgrass Film Festival programming committee and will be juried by a (previously announced) panel of three industry professionals including Beth Barrett (Artistic Director, Seattle International Film Festival), Maisie Crow (award-winning Documentary Filmmaker) and Debra Zimmerman (Women Make Movies.) The winning film will be showcased at the DOX Spotlight on the evening of Thursday, October 19th. All finalists will screen as official selections and all three films are eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary and a $2,500 cash prize.
Stubbornly Independent since 2003, the 15th annual Tallgrass Film Festival takes place October 18-22, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas.
About the Films and Filmmakers
CITY OF JOY
Director: Madeleine Gavin
Country: USA, Running Time: 74min
In Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, an area waging one of the longest conflicts in history and ravaged by sexual violence – we discover The City of Joy. This ultimately uplifting film centers around Jane, a student in the first class at a center where women who have suffered unimaginable abuse come together to create a revolutionary community of leaders.
Madeleine Gavin works in both documentary and narrative film, primarily as an editor. She was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Rebecca Cammisa's Academy Award nominated documentary, WHICH WAY HOME and has edited several Sundance and Independent Spirit Award-winning films. She recently completed work on WILDE WEDDING starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich and on STRANGE WEATHER starring Holly Hunter, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. Madeleine has taught in the writing program at NYU and currently teaches in the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University.
CITY OF JOY is her directorial debut.
Director: Skye Borgman
Country: USA, Running Time: 91min
On October 17th, 1974, in the quiet town of Pocatello Idaho, 12-year-old Jan Broberg was kidnapped by her family's best friend and neighbor. 18 months later, out on bail and awaiting trial for kidnapping, Robert Berchtold (Brother 'B' to Jan and her family) abducted Jan a second time, triggering a nationwide FBI manhunt. Through threats and brainwashing, Brother ‘B’ successfully turns Jan against her own family, while simultaneously manipulating her parents who paved the way for Jan’s abduction, in plain sight.
Skye Borgman is an award winning director and cinematographer who shoots narrative and documentary films all over the world. She received an MFA from USC's Film Production program, and has been working as a cinematographer for over 15 years. Skye has shot over 50 films and documentaries, traveled to over 60 countries and lived on three continents. She has filmed rock-stars, prime ministers, drug addicts, Academy award winners and anarchist chocolate makers. Skye has worked with prestigious clients such as: Disney, Princess Cruise Lines, National Geographic, Guess, USC, Kaseya and Solid State Logic
Director: Robin Berghaus
Country: USA, Running Time: 72min
When filmmaker Will Lautzenheiser’s limbs are amputated, his life is derailed and he turns to stand-up comedy as a therapeutic and creative outlet. Meanwhile, a world-famous medical team is performing transplants that restore bodies to unprecedented levels. Despite grave risks, Will agrees to undergo an experimental double-arm transplant in the hope of reclaiming his independence.
Robin Berghaus has directed, produced, filmed and edited more than 100 short documentaries and commercials. Her partners include Arcos Films, Mental Health Channel, Spectrum Media, Boston University, Captains of Industry, Dorel Juvenile Group and ArtsBoston. Her award-winning projects have screened at international film festivals and on news websites. She founded Berghaus Productions to direct and produce independent documentaries, educational videos and commercials.