Film & TV Funding Award Finalists 2019

 

We are very happy to announce this year’s finalists for The Whickers Film & TV Funding Award – all in with the chance of winning £80,000 to produce their first feature length documentary film. Click on the images below for further details on the five outstanding projects that have been selected, and make sure to see the finalists in action at The Whickers Pitch from 12.15-1.45pm on Tuesday 11th June at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

AZ House | Anna Oliker

Life is a Musical | Patty Pajak & Karolina Pajak

My Husband, the Cyborg | Susanna Cappellaro & Claire Oakley

People's Hospital | Siyi Chen

All That Remains | Amanda Mustard

AZ House | Anna Oliker

In a Jerusalem suburb, fifteen young American drug addicts, abandoned by their ultra Orthodox Jewish families, share both pain and great hope that Eric, another recovering addict, will save them from certain death. AZ House allows a rare glimpse into the lives of these young addicts during the most trying time of their lives, as they deal not only with recovery but with exile from the insular ultra Orthodox Jewish community in which they were raised. 

Director: Anna Oliker is a filmmaker from Jerusalem, Israel. AZ House is her first film. 

Judge Mandy Chang said: “What makes this film fascinating is the way that it takes an urgent global issue – the opioid epidemic – and views it through the lens of an often closed culture, the Orthodox Jewish community. The film, set in a volatile environment in Jerusalem and following a group of complex and troubled young men characters, has all the ingredients for an emotional and compelling film, full of twists and turns.” 

 

Director: Anna Oliker
Production Company: Heymann Brothers Films

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Life is a Musical | Patty Pajak & Karolina Pajak

Life is a Musical follows the transformation into adolescence of a queer child in a small fishing village in the Canary Islands, overcoming bullying and grief by expressing himself through his own musicals and performances.

Directors: Patty Pajak and Karolina Pajak. Patty’s passion for humanity drove her to become a doctor and actress. She works with film, writing and mental health. Karolina’s passion for visual storytelling drives her in her work as a director and cinematographer for documentaries and fiction. The two sisters are based in Sweden. 

Judge Oli Harbottle said: Life is a Musical is a joyous look at a child in a small fishing village embracing his inner dancing queen and overcoming local prejudice with the support of a close-knit group of colourful characters. The project’s intimate access and original approach made it stand out as a film which could both engage and entertain a global audience.” 

 

Directors: Patty Pajak and Karolina Pajak 
Production company: Ginestra Films 

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My Husband, the Cyborg | Claire Oakley & Susanna Cappellaro

In September 2016, Susanna Cappellaro, an actress living in London, was told by her husband, Scott Cohen, that he was going to become a cyborg. Soon after this, she started filming his journey and the impact it was having on their relationship, all the while questioning technology, love and what it is to be human.

Directors: Claire Oakley and Susanna Cappellaro.
Claire Oakley is a self-taught writer and director with an MA in English Literature. Her award-winning short films have played at more than 50 festivals worldwide and her debut feature Make Up is currently in post-production.
Susanna Cappellaro is an Italian writer and actor based in London with a background in styling and music journalism. She appeared in films such as Berberian Sound Studio and In Fabric by Peter Strickland, Dark Shadows by Tim Burton and starring in Papagajka by Emma Rozanski, which premiered at SXSW in 2016. 

Judge Jane Mote said: “This is an extraordinary story where the director has bravely put herself at the heart of the action using an iPhone to keep the intimacy of contact with the main subject – her husband. I genuinely don’t know which way this is going to go but it is on the edge of the sorts of choices that will face relationships of the future as technology starts to become quite literally hardwired into bodies.”  

 

Directors: Claire Oakley & Susanna Cappellaro 
Production Company: Rubber Stamp Films

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People's Hospital | Siyi Chen

People’s Hospital tells the story of a female doctor from a small-town Chinese hospital, who is secretly contemplating quitting after devoting 27 years to saving lives. That doctor is the director’s mother. And the hospital is – in the director’s words – her childhood ‘daycare centre’. Armed with a camera, the director returns from the US to her home country of China to make sense of her mother’s career crisis, not expecting to encounter a fractured healthcare system and her own family’s battle with cancer. 

Director: Siyi Chen is an emerging Chinese documentary filmmaker and journalist. She received a B.A. in World History and Foreign Languages from Peking University (Beijing) and a M.A. in News and Documentary from New York University.

Judge Lucila Moctezuma said: People’s Hospital captivated us for the director’s ability to go from the very personal, as she explores her own relationship with her mother and to hospitals in China, to the broader issue of the evolution of the healthcare system in her country – with the added touch of a sense of humour.

 

Director: Siyi Chen

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All That Remains | Amanda Mustard

Amanda, a photojournalist, returns home to turn her investigative lens on the serial sexual abuse committed by her grandfather. Through the accounts of both perpetrator and his victims, she pursues a high-stakes journey to examine the systemic injustices and culture of silence in pursuit of truth and healing for her family.

Director: Amanda Mustard is an award-winning American photographer and journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Judge Patrick Hurley said: “Amanda’s film deals with one of the most harrowing and perplexing of subjects from such a proximate position to a perpetrator, her grandfather. We found her director’s statement to be highly genuine and sincere.”

Director: Amanda Mustard

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