2020 Rough Cut Retreat Participants - True/False Film Fest 2020 Rough Cut Retreat Participants - True/False Film Fest

July 13, 2020

2020 Rough Cut Retreat Participants


(Columbia, Missouri/San Francisco, California) – Catapult Film Fund and True/False Film Fest are presenting the fifth year of Rough Cut Retreat, a workshop that unites filmmakers and mentors in a creative and engaged atmosphere. Due to the global pandemic, this year’s retreat has been re-imagined as a 100% virtual experience, dubbed “Assistance from a Distance.” This week-long event will approach the online model with a radically innovative spirit – creating a virtual retreat with the same sense of creative community, camaraderie, and constructive criticism for which the RCR has become known. Catapult and True/False are pleased to once again partner with the Chicago Media Project, who share a passion for supporting bold and creative new nonfiction filmmaking.

Rough Cut Retreat was borne out of Catapult and True/False’s shared mission of supporting work whose content and aesthetics push boundaries and provoke dynamic discussion. With a focus on filmmakers who lack traditional support networks, Rough Cut Retreat provides feedback and guidance at a critical moment in the post-production process. 

Each year, five filmmakers are paired up with mentors that have been hand-picked for their editorial insights and generosity of spirit to provide critical, supportive feedback, helping to move films from rough cut to fine cut with an eye on winter festival deadlines.

The 2020 projects are: 

Bitterbrush (dir. Emelie Mahdavian, prod. Su Kim) A portrait of friendship, life transitions, and hard work, as two young women navigate an isolated and beautiful landscape of the American West.

The In Between (dir. Robie Flores, prod. Alejandro Flores/Kellen Quinn) This interwoven coming-of-age story chronicles the ordinary and extraordinary moments of growing up on the U.S./Mexico border.

North By Current (dir. Angelo Madsen Minax, prod. Felix Endara) A deep personal history of the complex relationships shared between mothers and their children, this film creatively reframes narratives about incarceration, addiction, trans embodiment, and ruralness.

Razing Liberty Square (dir. Katja Esson, prod. Ann Bennett) After years of neglect, residents of Miami’s oldest public housing project learn about an urban revitalization project and brace themselves to fight a new form of racial injustice: climate gentrification. 

Untitled PRC Project (dir. Jessica Kingdon, prod. Kira Simon-Kennedy/Nathan Truesdell) This multi-faceted portrait takes us inside the growing behemoth that is the nominally communist yet hyper-capitalist People’s Republic of China – and questions what it actually means to live the so-called “Chinese Dream.” 2020 PRISM Artist

The 2020 mentors are:

Producer/Director Bonni Cohen (Athlete A, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Audrie & Daisy,) is a co-founder of Actual Films and Catapult Film Fund and has produced and directed an array of award-winning films.

Editor David Teague (Cutie and the Boxer, Freeheld, Spaceship Earth) is an Emmy-winning documentary film editor and writer who has served as a mentor at the IFP Documentary Labs, the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship and the Tribeca Film Institute Doc Program.

Editor Don Bernier (Athlete A, Always in Season) is an Emmy-nominated documentary film editor currently serving on the SFFILM Makers Mentor Advisory Board as well as being a BAVC MediaMaker Mentor.

Producer Rahdi Taylor (Time) is the Head of Artists in Residence at Concordia Studio after spending 10 years at Sundance Institute as Associate Director and then Film Fund Director for the Sundance Documentary Fund.

Director/Cinematographer Omar Mullick (These Birds Walk) is one of the most sought-after field reporters for work in the Middle East and South Asia and was a member of the inaugural cohort of Sundance’s Art of Nonfiction project as well as co-directing These Birds Walk.

This year’s Rough Cut Retreat will take place July 25-31 as a freshly reconceived virtual event. Replete with scavenger hunts, spa nights, immersive theater, escape rooms and mixology lessons from film industry luminaries, the re-imagined RCR will experiment with how community, trust, and immersiveness can be created for remote events.

For more information about the retreat, please visit roughcutretreat.org


David Wilson (Co-Founder, True/False Film Fest) [email protected]

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff (Co-Founder, Catapult Film Fund) [email protected]


Catapult Film Fund provides early funding and mentorship to documentary filmmakers telling powerful, artful stories. For more information, please visit catapultfilmfind.org

True/False Film Fest will take place March 4-7, 2021 in downtown Columbia, Missouri. For more information, please visit truefalse.org.

Chicago Media Project is a member-based philanthropic community of documentary film lovers who believe in the power of media to bring about social change. For more information, please visit chicagomediaproject.org