The six-winning Redford Center Grantees for 2016 are:

Brainiacs – Directed by Laura Nix

What’s it like to grow up during the end of the world? Three precocious high-school scientists from around the globe are vying to become finalists at the world’s most prestigious science fair, ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair. While navigating the drama of adolescence, these creative disruptors propose cutting-edge solutions to the world’s climate crisis, competing for the grand prize against the brightest young minds on the planet. 

Laura Nix directed “The Yes Men Are Revolting”, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2014, and the Berlinale 2015. Her other feature directing credits include “The Light In Her Eyes”, a documentary about a Quran school for girls in Syria which premiered at IDFA and was broadcast on POV, “Whether You Like It or Not: The Story of Hedwig” for New Line Cinema, and her award-winning fiction film “The Politics of Fur”. Her work has received support from the Bertha Foundation, BritDoc, Cal Humanities, the COBO Fund, the Danish Film Institute, and the Sundance Documentary Fund.

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THE COVERUP - Directed by Malina Fagan and Lynn Pelletier

This powerful exposé uncovers hidden truths about the toxic chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and personal care products (soaps, baby shampoos, sunscreens, etc.) and explores the harmful effects they are having on human health, coral reefs and marine life. This solution-oriented film will empower consumers and companies alike and challenge our government to protect the public.

Malina Fagan is an investigative documentary filmmaker whose films about health, the environment and human empowerment have premiered in IMAX at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, aired on PBS, and been selected at film festivals across the country, winning awards for their cinematography and storytelling. (Highlights include an ASC Award for “Forest Keepers”, a CINE Golden Eagle Award for “Learning to Live”, and Best Short Doc at the Downtown Film Festival in LA.) She holds a BFA in Film Production from Chapman University, where she participated in the highly selective “Destination Africa” and “Community Voices” documentary film programs.

Lynn Pelletier is a health practitioner of over 34 years and long time resident of the Big Island of Hawai'i. Her commitment to raising awareness of environmental toxins and disease prevention, along with her background in chemistry and biology, makes her an invaluable resource in researching and developing THE COVERUP. She has been a story consultant on short documentaries ranging in topic from indigenous culture to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Lynn and Malina are a dynamic mother-daughter duo, and THE COVERUP will be their debut feature film.

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HOW WE GROW – Directed by Haley Thompson & Tomas Zuccareno

A film about ambitious young farmers, ranchers and chefs building community around locally grown food in the Roaring Fork Valley of Western Colorado.

Haley Thompson was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She is a graduate of Emerson College and has built her career as a trailer editor and producer, working for some of the top film advertising agencies in LA and NYC. The local food movement of the Roaring Fork Valley inspired her to move back home and make “HOW WE GROW,” her debut feature film.

Tomas Zuccareno grew up on a small family farm in New Hampshire. He is an award-winning photographer and longtime local of the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. His clients include The National Geographic Society, Powder Magazine, Aspen Ski Co., ESPN and many more in the snow sports industry. He is a passionate humanist and environmentalist. “HOW WE GROW” will be his debut feature film.

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Hwangsa – Directed by Claire Sanford

A documentary feature about dust and our relationship to the air we breathe. Told from the point of view of a Canadian cinematographer with an intimate relationship to nature, the film traces dust found on the shores of Western Canada back to its origins in China’s Gobi Desert where storm clouds of yellow dust evaporate the skylines, swallowing up everything in sight.

Claire Sanford is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who focuses on visually stunning, human-centered stories exploring environmental and social justice themes. Originally from a small island on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, Claire grew up immersed in nature and became versed in the quiet art of observation. She earned her BFA in Film Production from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. In 2014, Claire was selected as a fellow of the prestigious Hot Docs Accelerator mentorship program. She is currently based in Montreal where she works as a cinematographer, producer and director on projects across North America, Europe and Asia.

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Nobody Loves Me – Directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman

In a time of rapidly dwindling global biodiversity, the animals that are earmarked for protection efforts are often those considered by humans to be the most adorable. But what happens to those many curious species under the sun that are just plain … ugly? Should only the cute survive?

Jeff Reichert is a filmmaker, critic and distributor who lives in Brooklyn, NY. His award-winning films include Gerrymandering (Tribeca 2010), Remote Area Medical (Full Frame 2013), “This Time Next Year” (Tribeca 2014) and the short Kombit" (Sundance 2014). He is currently a co-producer on Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s “The Best Thing Going.” He the co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the NEA-sponsored online film journal Reverse Shot, which is the in-house publication of Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY and has written for numerous publications including Film Comment, Filmmaker Magazine, Huffington Post and Indiewire.

Farihah Zaman is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, critic, and programmer who is currently the Production Manager for Field of Vision, the visual journalism unit founded by Charlotte Cook, A.J. Schnack and Laura Poitras. Her diverse background in the film industry includes working as the Acquisitions Manager at indie distribution company Magnolia Pictures, and serving as the the Program Manager of The Flaherty Seminar, organizing their historic, contentious annual event and launching a monthly screening series at Anthology Film Archives. Her first feature film is the award-winning documentary “Remote Area Medical,” which was followed by the short “Kombit" (2014 Sundance Film Festival) and second feature “This Time Next Year” (2014 Tribeca Film Festival). She currently writes for Reverse Shot, Huffington Post, Filmmaker Magazine, and AV Club, among others.

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AKICITA – Directed by Cody Lucich

In the shadow of the largest Native American political occupation since Wounded Knee 1973 uncertainty fills the air, as thousands of earth guardians descend on Standing Rock, North Dakota. It has become a catalyst for new life changes and rediscovery, as people from all four corners of the globe congregate on an international stage.

Cody Lucich is a Native American filmmaker who has worked professionally out of Los Angeles for the past 14 years. Cody is an award winning internationally published Editor, Director and DP. Best known for Camjackers (2006), which won best-edited film Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Behind The Wheel (2008). He has 15 years experience editing, and 14 years experience shooting and directing. Cody has shot and edited projects for such companies as Nike, Toyota, Disney, Baskin Robbins, Neutrogena, Best Buy, JVC, Peta, TJ Max, Madeleine Thompson, Joe's Jeans, Vice HBO and many more. Known for his highly stylized editing and color corrects with a vision for creating mood in both production and post. Born in 1980, Cody Lucich is a member of the Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe from northern California. He currently lives in Santa Monica, CA and is the father of three young children. He is a freelance film and video director, editor, and DP. He has big hopes of returning to the communities where he was raised and working on films that are close to his heart and the Native stories of where he grew up. Cody will oversee the entire project from beginning to end. 

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