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IDFA, Tribeca Film Institute, and RYOT Films announce finalists for IF/Then Global Pitch at IDFA 2019


During the 32nd edition of IDFA, six filmmaking teams will compete for a $25,000 USD production grant and year-round mentorship through Tribeca Film Institute’s IF/Then Shorts Program.

Together with Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Verizon Media’s RYOT Films, IDFA is pleased to present the six finalists selected to pitch at the much-anticipated IF/Then Global Pitch at IDFA 2019. With a focus on climate change, the competitive shorts pitch will see the selected project teams pitch their short documentaries before an international jury of industry luminaries. The winning project team will receive a production grant of USD $25,000 from RYOT Films and will have the opportunity to participate in TFI’s IF/Then Shorts Program, providing year-round mentorship and career development.

The selection covers a wide geographical diversity, with filmmaking teams hailing from South Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the UK. Running throughout the six short projects is a common thread: creative documentary storytelling that explores first-hand how the climate crisis directly impacts people and communities around the globe.

The IF/Then Global Pitch is open to all accredited guests, and will take place on November 26 at IDFA 2019.

“From a great diversity of submissions, the final shortlist is a truly global slate that reflects the global nature of the crisis that humanity will face in years to come,” said IDFA Programmer Sarah Dawson. “The selected films present not only the scale of the problem and the urgency of change, but also what’s at stake, or what we stand to lose: the more delicate, beautiful, and particular aspects of life on earth.

“While communities around the world are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change,” said Amy Hobby, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Institute, “the filmmakers selected for this pitch are doing the essential work of bringing their local stories around these issues to international audiences.”

“The six projects chosen represent the wide-ranging and far reaching impacts of our current climate crisis,” noted Hayley Pappas, Head of RYOT Films. “They are artful, global, and simultaneously personal stories that champion regional storytelling. We’re thrilled to be able to support and excited to see these films come to life.”

The selected projects are as follows:


Buried Dead Mountain
Director: Primrin Puarat
Producer: Sirada Bunsermvicha
A constantly expanding dumpsite in Chonburi has grown as tall as a mountain. Composed of over 3 million tons of waste, its notorious stench stretches across several kilometers. While Chonburi was positioned as a central base to drive the Thai economy, its development brings an environmental catastrophe in its wake.


Vena Aquática
Director: Amada Torruella
Producer: Seth Gadsden
El Salvador
The lives of three fisherwomen intertwine as they tackle the environmental degradation of their homeland from climate change, water mismanagement and human displacement.

Cemetery of Green Souls
Director: Polen Ly
A mother joins her small indigenous tribe to fight against commercial loggings in their ancestral forest, enduring countless risks and violence in process.

Mountain Man
Director: Arun Bhattarai
One of Bhutan’s first glaciologists hikes for days through dangerous terrain, risking his life to measure the rapidly receding glaciers of the Himalayas.

A View from the Edge
Director: Chloe White
Producer: Jodie Taylor
A striking meditation on loss and impermanence, through the personal cost of coastal erosion. Told by residents of various cliff-edge towns across the United Kingdom, as they lose their beloved homes to the sea.

The Third Season
Director: Stephanie Saxemard
Producer: Zephrine Royer
The life of a young boy in Dominica who searches for normalcy after Hurricane Maria.

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