Rough Cut Retreat: A Catapult Film Fund & True/False Film Fest Collaboration

At the height of summer, when filmmakers are neck-deep in the editing process, the Rough Cut Retreat offers a one-of-a-kind mentorship experience. Launched in 2016, RCR unites nonfiction filmmakers and mentors in a creative, supportive, and engaged atmosphere. Rough Cut Retreat offers filmmakers & their projects thoughtful feedback to help move films from a rough cut to a final cut with an eye on winter festival deadlines. This year, the retreat will convene at the Carey Institute for Global Good’s sprawling, 100-acre campus. It encourages a free-wheeling environment where filmmaker's visions are supported by mentors hand-picked for their editorial strength and generosity of spirit. Both True/False and Catapult are dedicated to supporting documentary work whose content and aesthetics push boundaries, and that provoke dynamic discussion.


Timeline & Specifics

  • Rough Cut Retreat will take place July 22nd-26th at the Carey Institute in Rensselaerville, NY, in the Catskill Mountains just outside Albany.

  • 5 feature films will be chosen to participate, and 2 members from each filmmaking team attend

  • 5 mentors, in addition to True/False and Catapult hosts, will be present at the event

  • Domestic travel, lodging and food will be booked and covered for filmmaking teams, a modest travel stipend will be made available to teams traveling internationally

Submissions Information

  • Call For Entries runs from February 15th through March 25th, 2018

  • For consideration, fill out the application form below in full. Submissions should include two paragraphs describing your film and an online screener link of 5-10 minutes that best represents the project. Longer entries will be considered at the jurors' discretion. Note that the first 10 minutes of all entries will always be watched.

  • Only projects with a realistic projection of an actual rough cut by July will be considered.

  • Projects will be notified of decision on or by May 25th, 2018

  • If selected, a screener link of the film's rough cut must be submitted by July 13th and a digital file (quicktime .mov, .mp4. or equivalent suitable for projection) must be provided by July 20th.

Questions? Email

Past Rough Cut Retreat Projects include:


Amal, dir. Mohamed Siam (IDFA)

América, dir. Chase Whiteside & Erick Stoll (True/False)

Pigeon Kings, dir. Milena Pastreich

The Punch, dir. Andre Hörmann

Voices of the Sea: A Cuban Odyssey, dir. Kim Hopkins (True/False)


Ask the Sexpert, dir. Vaishali Sinha (Hot Docs) 

For Ahkeem, dir. Jeremy Levine & Landon Van Soest (Berlin, Tribeca)

Distant Constellation, dir. Shevaun Mizrahi (True/False)

Quest, dir. Jonathan Olshefski (Sundance)

When God Sleeps, dir. Till Schauder (Tribeca).



*Please note, submission confirmations are sent manually. If you don't receive notice within 24 hours, feel free to send us an email to be sure we received your submission.