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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.


A film by Matthew Diamond

Exaltation will explore the universal use of dance around the world to communicate a reverence for the spiritual.

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First Guru

A film by Raja Choudhury

First Guru travels back to when Hinduism, Vedanta and Yoga first entered the national conversation in America in 1893, with the arrival of a young Indian monk.

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The Flow

A film by Louis Fox

The Flow is designed to translate the timeless wisdom of Tao into “…a form that is accessible to the modern world,” a form that director Louis Fox calls a “…ride through the mysterious phenomenon known as ‘being in the zone,’ or ‘flow.’”

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Forbidden Knowledge

A film by Menachem Daum

A young Hasidic student realizes he is totally unprepared to seek a Masters in Social Work degree after education in a religious Hasidic school.  He founds the organization YAFFED (Young Advocates for Fair Education) and is ostracized from his religious world and family.

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Forbidden Reel

A film by Ariel Nasr and Sergeo Kirby

The thriving film industry in Afghanistan is a well kept secret. A little know fact in a country famous for war is the existence of a vital film legacy that has existed since the 1950s. The archived films reveal a place of culture, politics, a sophisticated middle class and a keen sense of humor. The visuals created since then document a place pulled between the forces of modernity and tradition, and shine a light on the changing milieu that Muslims have faced over the past 60 years.

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Harlem Sings

A film by Sarah Hamilton

Motivated by her faith, a choral director and music educator settled in Harlem a decade ago and set up a gospel choir for teens from disadvantaged and challenging backgrounds.

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The Heaven In My Head

A film by Musa Syeed

From psychiatrists to faith healers, from dingy hospitals to modern counseling centers, Kashmiris are fighting for their hearts and minds after decades of war. Many Kashmiris are turning back to faith healers, or pirs. The pir was for centuries the center of communal life in Kashmir. Their cures are unscientific and difficult to quantify, but physicians and NGOs are actively working with these religious leaders to create mental health treatments, lead Kashmiris to question cultural attitudes toward mental illness, and to rediscover what Islam actually prescribes.

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