nextPix "firstPix" winners for 2001-2017 are shown below. Each work represents a unique and individual attempt at "humanistic media" -- and whether it be a documentary, narrative feature or work of animation, each displays significant courage, insight and creativity. Some firstPix projects have even gone on to be full-fledged nextPix co-productions. To date, nextPix has provided over 125K in funding to the filmmakers listed below over and above our own productions. In addition, many firstPix films also received substantial in-kind services related to distribution, sales (including representation at major festival markets), production and promotional assistance. To find out about our new firstPix crowd funding initiative [click here].

 

 

2017

 

 

 

railway children

PLAIN FICTION (Dir. Cyrus Duff; written by Edward Columbia)

In Plain Fiction, young author Simon Knight writes his debut novel. But, when the novel inspires a horrible crime in real life, Simon falls into ignominy as quickly as he rose to fame. Overwhelmed by guilt and fear, Simon takes refuge in a mysterious old hotel, where he hopes to write his comeback book. Dreaming and waking begin to blur, and the boundaries between fiction and reality fall away as Plain Fiction becomes a meditation on the social responsibility of the artist.

Visit Kickstarter here

 

 

railway children

THIS LITTLE LAND OF MINES (Dir. Erin McGoff)

Unknown to most, Laos was and remains the most bombed country in the world, with the US having dropped roughly 270 million bombs on that small country during the Vietnam era. This Little Land of Mines documents how the Laotians still struggle with this dangerous legacy decades after the last bomb was dropped.

Visit Indiegogo here

 

 

2016

 

 

 

railway children

UNAPOLOGETIC (Dir. Ashley Mills)

Unapologetic is a feature-length documentary that explores the triumphs and necessary forfeits of three young Black women organizing for Black liberation in Chicago, IL.

Visit Indiegogo here

 

 

railway children

THE GRASSHOPPER (Dir. Brad Bischoff)

Ray apparently lives the high life with his wife Lisa. But as events unfold in a tragic way, The Grasshopper reveals itself as a powerful statement about the American Dream gone wrong.

Visit Kickstarter here

 

 

railway children

RAILWAY CHILDREN (Dir. Prithvi Konanur)

Raju, a 10-year old runaway, steps into an unknown, never seen before world on the railway platform. The boy falls into the hands of a gang involved in the illegal 'platform business'. Based on true accounts of India's runaway child population.

Visit website here

 

 

2015

 

made in india

SOLACE (Dir. Tchaiko Omawale)

Solace is a coming of age drama about an idealistic teenage girl who finds solace in her friendship with the troubled girl next door.

Visit kickstarter here

 

 

made in india

MURMURS (Dir. Graeme Cole)

Murmurs probes the meaning of intimacy and trust and does not shy away from exposing the ridiculousness of human beings (especially when we’re trying to look our best). Created under the mentorship of Bela Tarr and the Film Factory.

Visit Indiegogo here

 

 

2014

 

made in india

NINE STORY MOUNTAIN (Prod. Chelsi Bullard, Dir. Augusta Thomson)

Nine Story Mountain charts the path of three western researchers, from Lhasa to Mount Kailash, Tibet, in summer 2012, on a journey to explore pilgrimage practices across the Tibetan plateau. Together, they set out to unearth the secrets of a mountain and landscape that have magnetized millions of people for centuries.

Visit website

 

 

made in india

YOMEDDINE (Dir. Abu Bakr Shawky)

After the death of his wife, Beshay and his apprentice Shika travel on a donkey cart southwards to search for what remains of Beshay's family. They hope to find out why his father never came back for him after dropping him off at the gates of a leper colony when he was a little child.

Visit Kickstarter Page

 

 

made in india

JOSEPHINE DOE (Dir. Ryan Michael, Written by Erin Cipolletti)

Josephine Doe is about an isolated young woman named Claire living in a small town. After the death of her father, she begins a deep and meaningful friendship with a stranger—Josephine. As her family returns to her hometown to manage the death of a patriarch, Josephine is her one emotional lifeline and inspiration to stay strong. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Josephine is not a real person but a tool Claire’s mind has created to help her deal with the intense emotional trauma. Though her family worries about her and even mistreats her, Claire remains a strong and complex protagonist who the audience can cheer for. Josephine does not act as Claire’s crutch, but rather a supporter who helps her find her confidence and path in life.

Visit Kickstarter Page

 

 

made in india

UNCHARTED AMAZON (Dir. Tristan Thompson)

There is a new species on the scene in the Amazon Rainforest. One that is so industrious, so ingenious, that it’s able to tip the balance in its favor and re-engineer the rainforest in its desired image. That species is modern man. And there are many people living within the trees, some in isolated communities, others as temporary workers that clear the rainforest and subsist off nature’s great abundance. But there are also a select few that are struggling to keep this incredible wilderness intact. Our journey through the rainforest follows the stories of these different people and explores how they relate to form one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Visit website

 

 

2013

 

made in india

RECOVERING IRMA (Dir. Sandra Salas)

Sandra was 27 when her dad called to tell her he had shot her mom and was going to kill himself. This act shattered the myth that her family was perfect and living the American Dream. At her parents’ funeral, Sandra and her siblings vowed that the legacy of domestic violence handed down by their father would end with them. But today – confronted with her nephew Lorenzo’s arrest for domestic violence – Sandra knows that the cycle hasn’t been broken and she has to act.

Visit website

 

 

2011-12

 

made in india

BRINGING TIBET HOME (Dir. Tenzin Tsetan Choklay)

BRINGING TIBET HOME is the story of a young artist who sets out to bring Tibet home to its people through an art project that involves smuggling 20,000 kilos of native Tibetan soil across the Himalayas from Tibet into India, crossing the borders of three countries. By virtue of his small mission, he forever touches the hearts of many Tibetans living in exile who are unable to return home.

Visit Kickstarter Page

 

 

2010

 

made in india

MADE IN INDIA (Dirs. Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha)

MADE IN INDIA is a feature length documentary film about the human experiences behind the phenomena of "outsourcing" surrogate mothers to India. The film shows the journey of an infertile American couple, an Indian surrogate and the reproductive outsourcing business that brings them together. Weaving together these personal stories within the context of a growing international industry, MADE IN INDIA explores a complicated clash of families in crisis, reproductive technology, and choice from a global perspective.

Visit Official website
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

2009

 

MOTHERS OF A NATION (Dir. Ansley West/Prod. Danielle Bernstein)

MOTHERS OF A NATION is about a group of Ugandan women living with HIV who have united to empower themselves through sustainable farming methods. Narrated by Florence, a 55 year old woman that has been living with the virus for over 13 years, the film weaves together 16MM footage and animation of the women living and working as their stories of betrayal and suffering unfold, ultimately leading to voices of strength and hope.

Visit Official website
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

2008

 

WE WOMEN WARRIORS (Producer/director Nicole Karsin)

The film follows three indigenous women leaders across Colombia as they cope with killings, imprisonment, and combat in their territory. An intimate glimpse at the nonviolent struggle for indigenous rights and culture in Colombia, WE WOMEN WARRIORS chronicles the search for truth and justice endured by these courageous women.

Visit Women Make Movies website
Visit film's website
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

2007

 

THE LISTENING PROJECT (prod. Han Shan, dirs. Joel Weber/Dominic Howes)

WHAT DOES THE WORLD THINK OF AMERICA? This seemingly simple question led to a global quest for four Americans, whose thought-provoking journey through fourteen countries is documented in THE LISTENING PROJECT. Emotional encounters with dozens of diverse and fascinating characters reveal the breadth of U.S. impact on ordinary people's lives around the world.

Visit the official website
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

CHESHIRE, OHIO (Dir. Eve Morgenstern)

When a polluting power plant offers to buy out an entire town in Appalachia, local residents are faced with the toughest decision of their lives: pack up and leave a community many families have called home for over six generations, or stay and fight. CHESHIRE, OHIO: A QUESTION OF POWER tells the startling and unprecedented story of the corporate buyout and destruction of an entire American town.

Read the "firstPix" Press Release

2006

 

SILVIA (Dir. Margo Pelletier, Producer Lisa Thomas)

The feature documentary SILVIA explores the life of controversial activist Silvia Baraldini. After 15 years as a politicial activist during the sixties and seventies, Baraldini was arrested by the FBI and given a 43 year prison term. After several more years of legal struggle she was eventually released to her home country of Italy. SILVIA includes interviews with: Silvia Baraldini, Noam Chomsky, Ahmed Obafemi, Jose Lopez, Julio Rosado, Elizabeth Fink, Lisa Roth, Toby Emmer, Lucio Manisco, Guccini, Eve Rosahn.

 

2005

 


TIBET IN SONG: THROUGH THE HOLLOW BAMBOO (Dir. N. Choephel)

Directed by Ngawang Choephel, a former Tibetan political prisoner inside Chinese occupied Tibet, this documentary depicts the ongoing struggle of Tibetans to maintain their cultural identity through music. The film features footage miraculously saved prior to 1995 when Ngawang was arrested, as well as new material shot recently in Tibet, the US and India. The film is also a nextPix co-production.

Tibet In Song was selected for the Sundance Documentary Lab (2007), the IFP Documentary Lab (2008) and the Sundance Film Festival (2009). Winner - Sundance 2009 Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary

 

 

MATUD NILA (Dir. John Day)

MATUD NILA (According To Them) is an interactive animated narrative work consisting of 25 episodes recalling events in a small rural town in the Philippines. The piece has a cross-cultural focus, and reveals insights about this community from the viewpoint of an outsider. MATUD NILA features the voices of Raul Aranas, Michael Denz, Ching Valdes, Lydia Greenberg, Mel Gionson, Joy Pascua, Jonaphan Lopez, Lorli Villanueva, and Johnny Santos. MATUD NILA is the first animated work to receive a firstPix grant.

 

2004

 


THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT (Dirs. Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern)

THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT is a feature documentary about a brutal rape/murder case and a wrongly convicted man, Darryl Hunt, who spent nearly twenty years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Both a social justice story and a personally driven narrative, the film explores the bitter legacy of race and class in America, and its harrowing impact on a man accused. This exclusive look at one man’s loss and redemption offers a provocative and haunting examination of a community -- and a criminal justice system -- subject to racial bias and tainted by fear.

The World Premiere for THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT will occur at the Sundance Film Festival, in the Documentary Competition -- January 24, 2006.

Visit the official website
Buy the DVD from Amazon

 

 


CHANGING IDENTITIES (Producer/director Daniel Labbato)

CHANGING IDENTITIES: A STORY OF TRAUMATIC INJURY AND ART, is the amazing story of Bill Richards, founder of The Art Studio, and his work with disabled artists. The Art Studio was opened in 1999 by Richards, who had recently retired. Richards modeled The Art Studio on a similar program he created at Harlem Horizon Hospital for young, severely injured adults. CHANGING IDENTITIES is the story of the impact art can have in changing the outlook and identities of disabled persons who, with the help of their mentor, come to see and believe in themselves as artists. The film is narrated by Meryl Streep.

Read the "firstPix" Press Release
The film is available from Fanlight.com

2003

 


CALL IT DEMOCRACY (Producer/directors Matthew Kohn, Dan Efram and Priscilla Grim)

A historical look at the electoral process in the United States that goes far beyond the controversy of the 2000 election and the Bush V Gore Supreme Court ruling. CALL IT DEMOCRACY looks into the nation’s history touching upon other close elections such as the 1960 Kennedy V Nixon campaign, the attempt by Segregationist Third Party Candidate George Wallace to manipulate the electoral college in 1968 and the three other elections not won by popular vote prior to the 20th century. Additionally, the film explores the validity of the electoral college (or the lack thereof) and contemplates the future of elections in post 2000 America, 2002’s Help America Vote Act and ramifications of electronic voting.

The New York City Premiere for CALL IT DEMOCRACY (AKA EVERYWHERE BUT FLORIDA) will occur at the Imagine Festival, August 28, 2004.
The film will also tour over 100 colleges in 2004 prior to the November election.

The film will be distributed by 7th Arts Releasing.

Visit the official website
Read the review in Variety

 

 


FADING LIGHT (Produced by Ross&Barnier Productions)

FADING LIGHT documents the life of Sophie Morel, a young attorney who is slowly losing her sight. A film of singular beauty and sensitivity, FADING LIGHT shows how Sophie's courage and determination enables her to overcome numerous obstacles. Directed and produced by Ian Ross and Kathryn Barnier, the film poignantly reveals how life is ultimately ephemeral in both its triumphs and tragedies.

Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

2002

 


SWEAT: A STORY OF SOLIDARITY (Produced by Educating for Justice)

The nextPix "firstPix" grant winner for 2002, SWEAT chronicles the journey of Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu as they uncover the story behind the profits generated by the sweat of Nike factory workers. Through the lens of their experiences, the film exposes the injustices of Nike's labor practices in the developing world, specifically in Indonesia, and how Nike's unfair economic decisions have a profound effect on human lives. The film shows that with the right mix of faith, conviction, and dedication, ordinary people can change the world.

Visit Educating For Justice website
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

 

 

2001

 



SINGING THE BONES (Produced by Fat Salmon Cinema in association with nextPix)

Based on the acclaimed play by Gordon Halloran and Caitlin Hicks, BONES is the first nextPix "firstPix" project. Hicks plays 3 different characters in this gripping drama about the wonder of birth -- both physical and spiritual. This film went on to become a nextPix co-production.

The Festival Premiere for SINGING THE BONES occurred at the Montreal World Film Festival, August 23-September 3, 2001.
The U.S. festival premiere occurred at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Oct 4-14, 2001.
Visit Fat Salmon Cinema site
Get more information on the U.S. Mill Valley premiere
Read the "firstPix" Press Release

Past grants have been as follows (most recent first): PLAIN FICTION (1K); THIS LITTLE LAND OF MINES (1K); UNAPOLOGETIC (1K); THE GRASSHOPPER (1.5K); RAILWAY CHILDREN (4K plus add'l co-pro and sales support); ANON DOCU PROJECT (2K plus EP and sales support); SOLACE (2K plus sales support); MURMURS (1K); NINE STORY MOUNTAIN (2K plus sales support); JOSEPHINE DOE (1K plus sales support); YOMEDDINE (1K); UNCHARTED AMAZON (1K and sponsor); RECOVERING IRMA: 5K (plus add'l sales support and major funding); BRINGING TIBET HOME: 5K (plus add'l production support and funding); MADE IN INDIA: 2K; MOTHERS OF A NATION: 1K, WE WOMEN WARRIORS: 5K (plus add'l funding); LISTENING PROJECT: 1K (plus add'l sales support);CHESHIRE OHIO (2K plus sales support); SILVIA: 1K; MATUD NILA: 1K; TIBET IN SONG: 5K (also became a co-production w/add'l major funding); TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT: 2K; CHANGING IDENTITIES: 1K; EVERYWHERE BUT FLORIDA: 2.5K; FADING LIGHT: 1K; SWEAT: 5K; SINGING THE BONES: 5K (also became co-production w/add'l support).