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In Development

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

Learn more about our fiscal sponsorship program.

The Rescuer

A film by Hark Joon Lee and Won June Bai

In 2013, the U.S. Congress passed the North Korean Child Welfare Act to facilitate the adoption of North Korean orphans by Americans. South Korean pastor Reverend Sung-eun Kim has struggled to rescue North Korean orphans. Critics call operations like Rev. Kim's not refugee relief but refugee creation in order to claim easy money. Others view Rev. Kim as heroic as he helps North Korean orphans escape tyranny and starvation.

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Rites of Passage

A film by Frederick Marx

Rites of Passage integrates the wisdom of indigenous peoples, science and the humanities to reveal the benefits of teen initiation into adulthood.

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The Ruins of Lifta

A film by Menachem Daum

Lifta, the only remaining Arab village depopulated in Israel's 1948 War of Independence that has not been completely destroyed or repopulated by Jews, is now facing settlement construction.

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A film by Julien Menanteau

Samaritans are the world’s only holders of Israeli-Palestinian dual nationality and they are at a turning point in their history. Only 800 remain.

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Same God

A film by Linda Midgett

Wheaton College is considered to be the “Harvard” of evangelical schools, according to director Linda Midgett, a college founded by abolitionists dedicated to rooting out slavery and racism.  Midgett herself is a graduate of the school, which she says historically has been the “keeper” of evangelical culture and a bellwether of its future. 

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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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