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In Development

 Hartley Film Foundation's seed grants and fiscal sponsorship programs support filmmakers in developing innovative documentaries about world religions and spirituality.

Learn more about our fiscal sponsorship program.

Shamans: Healing Our World

A film by Marianna Yarovskaya

In Shamans: Healing Our World, the director records the shamans' wisdom, and teachings as she journeys to some of the few remaining ecologically pure places remaining on the globe.

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A film by Kelly Thomson and Zachary Stuart

The film is a first-person story of the journeys of three female Sufi leaders. The characters are "globally interconnected" women who are striving for social transformation in diverse areas of the globe, from a mosque in Tribeca to rural Senegal to Istanbul.

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Streetcar to Kolkata

A film by Kavery Kaul

In Streetcar to Kolkata, Bengali-speaking, Calcutta-born filmmaker Kavery Kaul takes American writer Fatima Shaik on her first trip to India in a search for her grandfather's village.

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Swans at the Lake: The Story of American Buddhism

A film by Gaetano Kazuo Maida

Swans at the Lake will be the first television documentary to comprehensively explore the American encounter with Buddhism over 150 years in the U.S. Director Gaetano Kazuo Maida, who is the Executive Director of the Buddhist Film Foundation and the International Buddhist Film Festival, envisions a panoramic film series focused on the fastest growing spiritual tradition in America, and its influence on the arts, psychology, neuroscience and social activism.

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Team Tibet - Home Away From Home

A film by Robin Greenberg

Team Tibet - Home Away From Home mines the life of Thuten Kesang, who has lived in exile for more than fifty years, first in India and then New Zealand, and raises awareness about the plight of Tibetans.

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The Team

A film by Macky Alston and Nick Gottlieb

The Team will go where we all want to go - away. It will follow the filmmakers' multiracial, nontraditional family - two Dads, Macky and Nick, and two daughters, Alice and Penelope - as they escape the wired world for a year in the idealized Eden of Costa Rica and then return to New York, still disovering a spiritual path forward.

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They will have to kill us first - Timbuktu

They Will Have To Kill Us First

A film by Johanna Schwartz and Kat Amara-Korba

When the mujahedeen forbid the broadcasting of any music on all radios in the Islamic territory of Mali, the musicians fled to refugee camps and chose to stand up to the ban and to highlight their plight.

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When God Sleeps

A film by Till Schauder and Sara Nodjoumi

When God Sleeps depicts the journey of Iranian musician Shahin Najafi, who was forced into hiding after hardline clerics issued a fatwa for his death, incensed by a rap song that focused on the oppression of women and human rights abuses. As a youth, Najafi was talented in recitation of the Koran. Now each of his concerts puts his life at risk.

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While the Monks Are Praying

A film by Kasia Sobocinska

While the Monks Are Praying tells the story of individuals behind the Gross National Happiness (GNH) concept, a term coined in 1972 by Bhutan's Dragon King.  Among the "pillars" of GNH are preservation and promotion of cultural values, mindful governance and spiritual compassion.  The concept represents Bhutan's commitment to build an economy based on Buddhist spiritual values. Bhutan is the only country in the world that has implemented GNH and well-being measurements into its constitution.

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