2017 Garrett Scott Grant
Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant
Now in its eleventh year, the 2017 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant has been awarded to Bing Liu for Minding the Gap and to Kavita Pillay for Stalin, Lenin, and Other Tales from South India (working title). The recipients will present excerpts from their works-in-progress prior to the screening of QUEST, directed by 2016 grant recipient Jonathan Olshefski.
Minding the Gap
Minding the Gap follows a group of skateboarders as they struggle with their family relationships. Bing, a 24-year-old Chinese American filmmaker and skateboarder, returns to his hometown and reconnects with two boys he used to film more than a decade ago: Keire, an African American 17-year-old, and Zack, a white 23-year-old. They all survived violent homes in their youth; now Zack struggles with being a young father, Keire copes with his father’s recent death, and Bing confronts his estranged mother and half brother. Over the next three years, even as their paths diverge, they remain bonded through skateboarding.
Stalin, Lenin, and Other Tales from South India (working title)
Absent from lists of Cold War hot spots, the Indian state of Kerala made history in 1957 by bringing the world’s first Communist government to power via elections. In turn, Kerala’s rare political tradition of democratically elected Communist politicians inspired a lesser-known cultural phenomenon: children with Soviet-influenced names, especially Stalin and Lenin. Structured as a series of vignettes set against a background of dramatic political shifts worldwide, this film shows how Kerala’s Stalins and Lenins offer a darkly comic inroad into a society grappling with Communism and capitalism, democracy and demagoguery, the ghosts of the past and the demons of the present.
Bing Liu, Kavita Pillay