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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.

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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A Thousand Mothers

A film by Kim Shelton

The pacing of the documentary A Thousand Mothers takes its cue from the rhythms of daily life in a Buddhist nunnery in Myanmar. At Thit Seint, the nuns range in age from seven to more than 70 years of age. Unlike the monks, the nuns do not receive any governmental support yet, according to Shelton, they live their lives "with a consistent infectious joy and lightheartedness."

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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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William Sloane Coffin: A Life

A film by Alex Gibney

William Sloane Coffin: A Life will examine in-depth the life and legacy of the brilliant, ebullient and now legendary former chaplain of Yale University and senior minister of Riverside Church in New York.

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Your Health: A Sacred Matter

A film by Gerald Krell and Meyer Odze

This two-hour documentary focuses on how the medical profession is  re-integrating religiously based tenets into the healing process andresponding to contemporary research findings that support earlier accepted wisdom.

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Zeuf + 20

A film by Charlotte LaGarde

Zeuf, a top athlete and breast cancer survivor, was the subject of director Charlotte LaGarde's first documentary. In 2013, when Zeuf learned that her cancer had returned and metastasized to her head and liver, she invited LaGarde to return to Santa Cruz to film her. LaGarde thought Zeuf + 20 would be about their shared experience of mortality. LaGarde says the documentary instead will primarily be about being the one left to explore what happens next. "I want to share this story because I know that I'm not alone. There have been many documentaries about death and dying, but few about grieving. How does one get used to the constant presence of absence?"

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