March 4, 2020 4:37 pm
2019 Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) Alums Shiraz Ahmed and Joua Lee Grande were named 2020 CAAM Documentaries for Social Change Awardees.
Ahmed's film Alive in Detroit follows a young journalist whose belief in the Affordable Care Act is tested when his mother becomes a victim of the ‘Medicaid Gap,’ an income trap that leaves millions without access to health insurance. After her emergency heart surgery threatens to destabilize the family, their looming medical debt is forgiven through a public charity care program — an act of grace that sparks a journey for solutions from a patient, a doctor and a pastor struggling to find a measure of peace amidst an ongoing public health crisis in Detroit.
Grande's film Spirited (working title) follows Joua’s journey navigating the call to become a healer as an agnostic Hmong-American. It focuses on the experiences of young Hmong American spiritual healers (shamans) and highlights the cross-cultural challenges experienced by this generation: the changing practice of Hmong spirituality, how shifting gender dynamics and roles affect this experience, and Americanization. As Joua searches for a guide to teach her what is required to become a healer, she debates whether or not this is a path she wants to continue on.
Through the Documentaries for Social Change Fund, CAAM and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation are supporting films that illuminate social issues impacting the Asian American community.
Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) is a nine-month professional mentorship and development program for documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago. Founded in 2013, DVID aims to inspire collaboration and skill-sharing among its fellows, and among the larger Midwestern independent documentary filmmaking community. At the core of the fellowship is a series of dynamic workshops led by Kartemquin staff, associates, and invited experts and a pitch session attended by leading funders and distributors.
Read the announcement here.