Announcing the Fellowship Winners

We were honored to receive nearly a hundred applications. Initially, we had planned to announce one winner. The number of worthy applicants and the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in led us to re-evaluate our potential. We decided that our sponsors’ generosity allowed us to grant awards to three sets of filmmakers and projects.

A total of $20,000, personal mentorships with leading filmmakers Gary Hustwit, David Sampliner, and Gretchen Hildebran (learn more about the mentors here), and other opportunities for career and project advancement are presented to:

  • Braulio Jatar and Anaïs Michel for their moving depiction of Venezuelan refugees trying to rebuild their lives in Cùcuta (working title);
  • Angelos Rallis for his heart-rending portrait of an orphaned girl in Bangladesh searching for her birth father in Mighty Afrin (working title);
  • Tom Laffay for his stirring work about the identity and spirituality of the Siona indigenous people in Colombia in Tigre Eléctrico (working title).

Learn more about each of the Fellows and their projects on our Fellows page here.

We are proud to support these brave and ambitious filmmakers and to help them move forward with their projects in a time of much uncertainty. We can’t wait to see these films and see them shared with the world.

It has been more than a year since we lost Andy. We miss his friendship, his partnership, his laughter, and his work. We are moved to see his legacy embodied in this year’s Fellows.

The Andrew Berends Film Fellowship would like to thank all of our generous donors, both individuals and foundations, as well as our friends at IFP, VICE, D-Word, Pure Non-Fiction and the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. Special thanks to Fellowship Board members Aaron Soffin, Michiel Pilgram, Brenden Hussey, Maria Ibrahimova, and Jason Gardner.

Even as we announce this year’s winners, we are beginning to plan for next year’s Fellowship. Please consider contributing to the Fellowship through our fiscal sponsor here.

Download Full Press Release