NEW YORK – Catapult Film Fund, which provides among the earliest and largest initial grants to filmmakers in the United States, today announced its Spring 2013 grants to six new documentary film projects.

Catapult Film Fund has quickly emerged as a successful incubator and go-to early funder for independent films. Catapult Film Fund occupies a unique space in the film funding community: it provides development funding and strategic consultation to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes.

Catapult opened its fifth funding round earlier this year and received 245 applications. Since its founding in 2010, Catapult has supported 30 projects and has committed over $500,000 to filmmakers getting their projects off the ground, and with occasional additional production support for grantees.

Grantees have included Oscar-winner Freida Mock's Anita, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this year; Call Me Kuchu, which took top prizes at Berlinale and opens in theaters in June; as well as The Genius of Marian and The Kill Team, which just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Remote Area Medical, which had its world premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April and was awarded the NPT Human Spirit Award at the Nashville Film Festival.

In his review of The Genius of Marian for Indiewire's Thompson on Hollywood, film critic John Anderson writes: "It’s a remarkable film, not only for the obvious affection with which it was made, but as art." In her review of The Kill Team for Variety, film critic Ronnie Scheib writes: "Many will regard this chilling war-is-hell expose as must-see viewing."

Lisa Kleiner Chanoff and Bonni Cohen founded Catapult Film Fund in November 2010. Based in San Francisco, Catapult provides development funding to documentary filmmakers. The fund's mission is to come in with early support, at a time when funding is hard to find, to enable filmmakers to develop their projects to the next level. Catapult is interested in powerful storytelling across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives.

“We are so proud of the remarkable films we supported early on that are now making their way into the world," said Catapult Film Fund co-founder Lisa Kleiner Chanoff. "Look no further than the Tribeca Film Festival this week where two of our early grant recipients introduced their completed films to acclaim."

"We seek out creative, artful, compelling and innovative storytelling," said co-founder Bonni Cohen. "And in this new round we have the opportunity to give a boost to a range of films, from individual portraits to stories with global implications."

The Spring 2013 grantees announced today are: 

Director Jason Kohn
Diamond, Silver and Gold weaves together the stories of the race to produce the first truly synthetic life-form with the budding and struggling industry of manufactured synthetic diamonds.  It's a film that asks the fundamental question, from where does value come? 

FINDING 52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale in the World
Director Joshua Zeman
An emotional quest to find the elusive 52-Hertz Whale. Scientists believe this whale has spent its life in complete solitude, calling out at 52 Hz -- a frequency that no other whale can hear -- and never once receiving a response. The film explores the phenomenon of this whale’s tragic plight and sheds light on its connection to the growing epidemic of loneliness in our interconnected world.

Directors Kristina Goolsby & Ashley York
Hello, I have Cancer is an intimate, mixed media documentary project that follows Tig Notaro, a 42-year-old Los Angeles based comedian, who just days after being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in both breasts changed the course of her career with a satirical stand-up set that became legendary overnight. This documentary explores Tig’s extraordinary journey as her career ignites and as her life unfolds in grand and unexpected ways, while continuing to battle a life-threatening illness and trying to have a baby all at the same time.

Director Ivy Meeropol
Indian Point will show the complex issues surrounding domestic nuclear energy generation in a brand new way – from the inside out.  With unprecedented access, this feature documentary follows plant managers, engineers and other employees as they go about their critical work ensuring that “nothing goes wrong” during each twelve hour shift at the plant.  Parallel to this story are the people working outside of the plant - anti-nuclear activists, energy company executives, environmentalists and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials, including the controversial ex-chairman - with their own agendas regarding the future of the plant.  In this way, Indian Point will give voice to all the essential points of view in this most essential debate of our time – how do we safely fuel our future?

Director Kristi Jacobson
Out of Mind is a compelling journey into an often invisible part of the American justice system, the use of isolation and segregation in US prisons. Going beyond the rhetoric the film explores this divisive issue, commonly known as solitary confinement, through the experiences of those on both sides of the bars. 

Director Shimon Dotan
The Settlers is a documentary feature exploring the Israeli settlement-enterprise in the West Bank. It will unveil the dramatic origins of the settlements, the transformative changes they have imposed on the Israeli and Palestinian societies, and the forces, internal and external, that drive them.


For more information on Catapult Film Fund, please visit
Press contact: Adam J. Segal / / (202) 422-4673