July 15, 2021


(Columbia, Missouri/San Francisco, California) – Catapult Film Fund and True/False Film Fest today announced the supported films and mentors for their sixth annual Rough Cut Retreat, a workshop that offers a uniquely engaged creative atmosphere for nonfiction films in the final stages of editing. This year’s retreat will take place in early August at Bell Valley Retreat in Boonville, California and is presented in partnership with the Chicago Media Project, who share Catapult and True/False’s passion for supporting bold and creative new nonfiction filmmaking.

The 2021 RCR supported films (and attending members of the film team) are Commuted (dir. Nailah Jefferson, edit. Rubin Daniels), Concrete Land (dir. Asmahan Bkerat), La Bonga (dirs. Sebastián Pinzón Silva & Canela Reyes), The Tuba Thieves (dir. Alison O’Daniel, edit. Zack Khalil), & Untitled Amazon Project (dir. Alex Pritz, edit. Carlos Rojas).

Mentors are chosen for their deep expertise in crafting world-class films as well as their generosity of spirit. This year’s group includes editor Nels Bangerter (Cameraperson, Dick Johnson is Dead), film exec Jihan Robinson (Casting JonBenet, A Thousand Cuts), editor David Teague (Cutie and the Boxer, Life Animated), and director/editor Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Call Me Kuchu, Through the Night).

Rough Cut Retreat was born out of Catapult and True/False’s shared vision of supporting work whose content and aesthetics push boundaries and provoke dynamic discussion. With a focus on emerging 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 united with mentors that have been hand-picked for their editorial insights and ability to gently help filmmakers realize their vision. Over an intense four days of screenings and discussion they receive critical, supportive feedback, helping to move films from rough cut to fine cut with an eye on winter festival deadlines.


The 2021 projects are: 

Commuted (dir. Nailah Jefferson, prod. Darcy McKinnon, edit. Rubin Daniels) Part lyrical memoir and part verité documentary, Commuted is an intimate look at the familial impacts of incarceration and the hope of one mother to regain the family and life that she nearly lost.

Concrete Land (dir. Asmahan Bkerat, prod. Sahar Yousefi, edit. Kamal El Mallakh) Living in makeshift tents, on land they don’t own, three generations of a Palestinian Bedouin family are forced to make a choice when suburban construction creeps up on them – to continue to be Bedouins with their pet sheep Badrya, or abandon their lifestyle and move to the city. 

La Bonga (dirs. Sebastián Pinzón Silva & Canela Reyes, prod. Gabriella Garcia-Pardo)
On April 5th, 2001, the village of La Bonga received a death threat that triggered the entire community to flee, leaving everything behind. Twenty years later, hundreds of people embark on a symbolic journey through the jungles of the Colombian Caribbean to resurrect their town for a night of celebration.  

The Tuba Thieves (dir. Alison O’Daniel, prod. Rachel Nederveld, edit. Zack Khalil) From 2011-2013 tubas were stolen from Los Angeles high schools. The Tuba Thieves is not about thieves or missing tubas. Instead, it asks what it means to listen.

Untitled Amazon Project (dir. Alex Pritz, edit. Carlos Rojas) When a group of Brazilian farmers take control of a new area of the Amazon rainforest, a conflict erupts at the forest’s edge.


The 2021 mentors include:

Editor Nels Bangerter (Cameraperson, Let the Fire Burn, Dick Johnson is Dead, The Hottest August) is an award-winning documentary film editor known for finding original and effective approaches to form and structure. He has contributed as an advisor to projects for the Sundance Labs, Firelight Media, Film Independent, BAVC, and SFFILM.

Producer Jihan Robinson (Casting JonBenet, Love Fraud, The Fight, Mucho Mucho Amor, A Thousand Cuts) is an Emmy-nominated independent producer and executive who has held positions at HBO Documentary Films and Netflix. She is currently vice president of alternative programming at Freeform and vice president of documentaries at Onyx Collective, a new content brand created to curate a slate of premium entertainment from creators of color.

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

Director/Editor Malika Zouhali-Worrall (Call Me Kuchu, Thank You For Playing, Strange Grace: The Art of Amyra Leon, Through the Night) is an Emmy Award-winning British/Afro-Arab filmmaker who has made films for ARTE, Topic, and Vice. Malika is a 2019 Chicken & Egg Awardee, a 2020 Sundance Momentum Fellow, and a 2020 William Greaves Award recipient.

This year’s Rough Cut Retreat will take place August 1-5 at Bell Valley Retreat in Boonville, California.

For more information about the retreat, see the RCR page, here.
Film stills and Filmmaker headshots can be found in our press kit, here


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

True/False Film Fest will take place March 3-6, 2022 in downtown Columbia, Missouri. For more information, please visit

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


For More Information Contact:

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

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