The finalists for 2020 Film &TV Funding Award, given by UK-based doc funding organisation The Whickers, have been announced. Each will present their projects at The Whickers Virtual Pitch on Wednesday 10th June during the online Sheffield Doc/Fest. The winner will receive £80,000 towards the making of their film, and a runner-up will be awarded £15,000.
The finalists are:
Director: Vivek Chaudhary
Project: I, Poppy
Farming opium poppies gave a lower-caste mother social status and the financial means to educate her son. Their loving relationship is tested when the son leads an activism campaign, which puts the mother’s opium farming license in trouble.
Directors: Rajan Kathet and Sunir Pandey
Project: No Winter Holidays
Two women in their seventies once shared the same husband. Now they must forget the past and work together to guard an empty, snowed-in Himalayan village for the whole winter.
Director: Akuol de Mabior
As South Sudan hangs in the balance of a tenuous peace agreement, Akuol’s mother, Nyandeng prepares to become one of the country’s five vice-presidents. Her mission is to safeguard her late husband John Garang’s vision for South Sudan’s people, their country, and their family.
Director: Dan Faber
Project: The Dam
Peruvian farmer Saúl Lliuya sues German giant RWE in a David and Goliath case. It’s an international story of climate justice that could change of the course of legal and financial history and, with it, the world.
Director: Lizzie MacKenzie
Project: The Hermit of Treig
What causes a person to consider stepping away from society, to lead a life of isolation, far from the modern world? This is a tender and intimate film about an elderly hermit in the Highlands of Scotland who opens his life to director Lizzie MacKenzie, whilst he comes to terms with his increasingly frail body and questions whether he will be able to live out his last years in the wilderness he calls home.
Visions du Réel 2020
The award’s 2018 winner will world-premiere in Vision du Réel’s Grande Angle section. Directed by the Sascha Schöberl Mirror, Mirror on the Wall is a portrait of Chinese plastic surgeon and self-proclaimed artist, Dr Han, who seizes the spotlight for never-seen-before performances. It is a described as a “modern tale about vanity and self-glorification as well as an extreme investigation into humanity set against the backdrop of China today”.