(Columbia, Missouri/San Francisco, California) – True/False Film Fest and Catapult Film Fund today announced the films and mentors for their seventh annual Rough Cut Retreat, a gathering that offers up-and-coming filmmakers a uniquely engaged creative atmosphere in the final stages of editing. This year’s retreat will take place at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York and is presented with support from the Chicago Media Project, who share Catapult and True/False’s passion for bold and creative new nonfiction filmmaking.
The 2022 RCR supported films (and attending members of the film team) are Break the Game (dir. Jane Wagner, edit. Stephanie Andreou), Hummingbirds (dirs. Estefanía Contreras & Silvia Castaños), Joonam (dir. Sierra Urich), The Noble Half (dir. Khaula Malik, edit. Hena Ashraf), Untitled Michael Premo Project (dir. Michael Premo, prod. Rachel Falcone).
Mentors are chosen for their deep expertise in crafting world-class films as well as their generosity of spirit. This year’s group includes director Rita Baghdadi (Sirens, My Country No More), editor Carla Gutierrez (RBG, Pray Away), film exec Simon Kilmurry (POV, IDA), editor David Teague (Cutie and the Boxer, Life Animated), and editor/producer/director Lynn True (Summer Pasture, In Transit).
Rough Cut Retreat was born out of Catapult and True/False’s shared vision of supporting filmmakers who lack significant institutional support and feedback networks. RCR champions work whose content and aesthetics push boundaries and provoke dynamic discussion, providing feedback and guidance at a critical moment in the post-production process.
Each year, five filmmaking teams are matched with mentors that have been hand-picked for their editorial insights and ability to aid filmmakers in realizing their vision. Over an intense four days of screenings and discussion they receive critical, supportive feedback, helping to move films from rough to fine cut with an eye on winter festival deadlines.
The 2022 projects are:
Break the Game (dir. Jane Wagner, edit. Stephanie Andreou) Alone in her studio apartment, Narcissa Wright live streams every minute of her quest to be the world’s fastest Legend of Zelda player. But when her isolated digital existence begins to crack, Narcissa must decide her fate: will she embrace love and adventure in the real world, or will she be seduced again by the glow of the computer screen?
Hummingbirds (dirs. Estefanía Contreras & Silvia Castaños) In this late-night summer self portrait, Silvia Castaños and Estefanía Contreras make magic of everyday moments coming of age on the Texas-Mexico border.
Joonam (dir. Sierra Urich) Joonam follows Sierra, an artist and filmmaker, searching for her family’s unreachable past in Iran. While excavating the formative memories of her mother and grandmother, Sierra unearths the forces behind her fractured Iranian identity and a new quest to define her own version of her heritage.
The Noble Half (dir. Khaula Malik, edit. Hena Ashraf) The Noble Half (working title) follows the daily lives of three trans women — Bubbli, Eshaa, and Sharmeeli — in Pakistan, where they are known as khwaja-seras. Creating a mosaic from moments in these women’s lives, the film explores how they must constantly negotiate who they are based on where they are, revealing the tangled nature of gender, wealth, and colonialism. The Noble Half is a prismatic image of Pakistan and the khwaja-sera community few audiences have seen before.
Untitled Michael Premo Project (dir. Michael Premo, prod. Rachel Falcone)
The 2022 mentors are:
Director Rita Baghdadi (Sirens, My Country No More) is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her work has been supported by Sundance, Tribeca, HBO, Netflix, Technicolor, Film Independent and the International Documentary Association. Recently, Rita co-founded Lady & Bird Films alongside Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall (SUBJECT, Tribeca 2022). She is currently in development and production on several new projects.
Editor Carla Gutierrez (RBG, Pray Away) is an Emmy and Eddie nominated documentary editor and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the American Cinema Editors. She has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit Lab, and a mentor for the Firelight Producers’ Lab, The Karen Schmeer Diversity Program, and the Tribeca Film Fellows program.
Film Exec Simon Kilmurry (POV, IDA) is an award winning documentary producer, executive producer, and consultant. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, the Television Academy, and has served on the board of jurors of the Peabody Awards since 2016. He is a board member of Jewish Story Partners and an advisor to The Redford Center and Firelight Media and has served on film festival juries around the world.
Editor David Teague (Cutie and the Boxer, Life Animated) is an award winning documentary film editor and screenwriter. He has been an editing mentor with the IFP/Gotham Documentary Labs, the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship, the Tribeca Film Institute Doc Program, the Brown Girls Doc Mafia Feedback Loop Program, the Catapult & True/False Rough Cut Retreat, and the Sundance Institute CNEX Documentary Lab in China.
Editor/Producer/Director Lynn True (Summer Pasture, In Transit) is a documentary producer, director, and editor, and co-founder of True Walker Productions. Her films have received Independent Spirit, Cinema Eye, and Gotham Award nominations, as well as being awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
This year’s Rough Cut Retreat will take place July 24-28 at the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville, New York.
For more information about the retreat, please visit https://truefalse.org/rough-cut-retreat/
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 2-5, 2023 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
Co-Founder, True/False Film Fest
Co-Director and Chief Program Officer, Catapult Film Fund