EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”
Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.
As we near the annual Academy Awards, you may be anxious to watch the films nominated for the coveted golden statuette. And while some of them are available to stream now, a fair few are harder to find. But you can still watch the next best thing: movies or shows vaguely related to the Oscar-nominated movies! We have that and more in this week’s Pop Culture Imports, in which I offer you a chance to see Honeyland, the first movie ever nominated in the Best Documentary and Best International Feature categories and deservedly so, as well as next-best recommendations for those eager to see Céline Sciamma’s lush romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire or to watch Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece Parasite again. Instead I have for you Sciamma’s Tomboy and a tremendous K-drama starring Parasite‘s rich dad Lee Sun-kyun as a poor dad struggling against socioeconomic pressures. Those and a few more are streaming now.
So let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.Best Foreign Movies and TV Streaming Now Honeyland – Hulu
Director: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Cast: Hatidze Muratova
Honeyland has the rare honor of being nominated for both best documentary and best international feature — a first for any film. But this meditative Macedonian documentary that follows the life of Hatidze Muratova, a lone beekeeper who lives peacefully with her bedridden mother in a remote mountainous village until a rowdy nomadic family moves in next door, fully deserves that double nomination. Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, who shot the film over the course of three years and compiled more than 400 hours worth of footage, Honeyland hardly feels like a documentary but rather like a piece of cinema verité, as if Kotevska and Stefanov had stumbled upon this beautiful, untouched corner of the world. Originally intended as a government-supported documentary, Honeyland pays its due attention to the effects of climate change and how the fast pace of civilization can damage the world’s depleting resources, but ends up being a sad and lovely little fable of a lonely woman whose greatest struggle is with the ravages of time.
Watch This If You Like: The Gleaners and I, The Trader, bees!Tomboy – Criterion Channel
Genre: Coming-of-age drama
Director: Céline Sciamma
Cast: Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy, Jeanne Disson.
Céline Sciamma‘s Portrait of a Lady on Fire may be completely shut out of the Oscars this year, but as the ravishing lesbian romance finally goes wide in U.S. theaters this...