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 from July 22-26.
Catapult Film Fund and True/False are thrilled to announce the 2018 projects that will participate in Rough Cut Retreat 2018. Catapult and True/False are dedicated to supporting work whose content and aesthetics push boundaries and that provoke dynamic discussion. Rough Cut Retreat provides filmmakers with dedicated time to focus on post-production and receive invaluable feedback from other filmmakers. The 2018 project contingent includes:
Anbessa (dir. Mo Scarpelli) explores the rich inner world of a lion-hearted, ten-year-old boy in Ethiopia as he weathers the tides of change that threaten to usurp his community and country.
Queen of the Battling Butterfly Brigade (dir. Daniel Hymanson) is a film about aging, ecstasy, and finding the infinite in the infinitesimal.
Scars (dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka) follows a former female fighter and radical ideologue of the Tamil Tigers, in a post-civil war Sri Lanka. When she leaves her quiet countryside life to find her fellow comrades, she faces her own dark past and the trauma of war.
Stray (dir. Elizabeth Lo) sees the world through the eyes of three street dogs in Turkey, a nation in a profound state of flux. The film finds dignity in both the dogs and the marginalized people around them.
Truth or Consequences (dir. Hannah Jayanti) is about the eponymous, small desert town in New Mexico banking on the world’s first commercial spaceport. This dusty no man’s land and its longtime residents are both eager for and weary of big changes.
These five filmmakers with in-progress projects are paired up with invited mentors to take their rough cut to a fine cut with an eye toward fall festival deadlines. Mentors are hand-picked for their editorial strength and generosity of spirit. This year's mentor cohort includes:
Josh Penn is an Oscar-nominated producer whose films include the four-time Academy Award nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Contemporary Color, and, most recently, Monsters and Men. He also executive-produced Patti Cake$ and co-produced SXSW-winning The Great Invisible.
Rachel Grady, along with co-director Heidi Ewing runs Loki Films and has made six feature-length films, including Jesus Camp, The Boys of Baraka, 12th & Delaware, Detropia, and Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You. Their most recent is One of Us about the enormously insular world of Hasidic Judaism.
Erin Casper is a New-York-based editor who has worked on films including American Promise. Her other credits include Detropia (as Associate Editor), and Our School. Erin was the inaugural recipient for the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship and an editing fellow at the Sundance Documentary Edit Lab.
Roger Ross Williams is known for directing Life Animated, God Loves Uganda and Music by Prudence; He is the first African American to win an Academy Award for directing and producing a film, short or feature. Prior to that, Roger was an acclaimed television journalist and producer for over 15 years.
Aaron Wickenden is an editor and cinematographer whose films include The Interrupters, Finding Vivian Maier and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. His close collaboration with Morgan Neville includes Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Best of Enemies. In 2015, Aaron co-directed his first feature film, Almost There.
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).