Announcing our Production Fund Grantees!

We are very excited to introduce our new Production Fund grantees for Autumn 2018!

The One World Media Production Fund exists to give new and emerging talent the opportunity to report on an original story from a developing country, offering essential funding, mentoring and industry training.

In line with our 30th Anniversary outreach commitment to match 30 mentors with 30 filmmakers covering unique underreported stories, we are very proud to have selected a group of talented filmmakers and journalists from differing countries and cultures.

Read on to find out more about the new grantees and their films…

Ali Maeve Sargent is a filmmaker from London. She is interested stories that deal with major political themes at intersections of culture, memory, technology and resistance. Her short films have been shown at the Tate Modern (Mozilla Festival 2016), the ICA and the South London Gallery. She is currently working as a researcher on a feature documentary for HBO and as a freelance translator.

The story:

In March 2018 Brazil’s black, LGBT politician Marielle Franco was gunned down in a Rio street. The assassination shocked the world for its total brazenness. Local commentators called it Brazil’s Martin Luther King moment; for many it seems to have foreshadowed the return of Brazil’s authoritarian past in the form of recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro. Following the most contested and violent election period in the country’s post-dictatorship history, where Marielle’s murder continues to be central to the political scenario, my film is about life and politics over death. I will follow the fight to continue her legacy, taking a long-term look at aftermath and attempts to build a meaningful future for residents in neighbourhoods like the one Marielle grew up in.

Follow Ali on Instagram.

Arwa Aburawa is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker with an interest in social and environmental issues. She has covered issues such as the water crisis in Iran, the life of sugarcane workers in El Salvador and farming communities in Burkina Faso. Previously a producer for Al Jazeera English, her work has been published in The Guardian, HuffPost and DW.

The story:

Lake Atitlán is one of the main tourist destinations in Guatemala, but few visitors understand the huge challenges the lake is facing. Historically prized for its clear waters, in the last 10 years growing pollution has led to toxic cyanobacteria blooms across the lake, infecting fish and posing a health risk to its users. Everyone is agreed that something needs to be done. But what? The battle to protect the lake tells the story of a divided society and asks whether these differences can be put aside in the interest of Lake Atitlan. Or whether the state of the lake simply reflects the state of Guatemalan society – broken.

Follow Arwa on Vimeo and Twitter

Aurora Herrera is currently reading for her doctorate in journalism at City, University of London. Her perpetual interest in people and their stories of everyday life led her to a Specialist in Journalism at the University of Toronto with an MA internship with the CBC. Aurora has worked as a producer, journalist, and First AD of the award-winning film Trafficked. She is based in London, UK.

The story:

Hyperinflation of the Venezuelan economy has led to a major economic and socio-political crisis in the country. Millions of Venezuelans have fled their home to evade starvation and risks to their health caused by shortages of food and medicine. In the early stages of the crisis when nationals had not yet begun mass migration they would utilize their age old trading relationships with the boat runners from Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island republic less than seven miles off of the North Eastern coast of the continent. With families to feed but having no money, they would trade guns for food.

Follow Aurora on Twitter

Chloe Abrahams is a British Sri Lankan filmmaker and artist based in London. Five of her works were shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries in her graduating year. Chloe had her first solo exhibition, Connect at OVADA, and has since shown work in London, Paris and Kyoto. Chloe also programs short docs for Cheap Cuts Film Festival and works for Dogwoof.

The story:

Rozana, a British woman who moved to London from Sri Lanka in her early 20s, receives a letter out of the blue from her estranged mother, Jean; a woman who enabled years of abuse by a man she still calls her husband. Not yet ready to take the leap herself, Rozana sends her daughter with a camera to Sri Lanka to speak to Jean face to face, hoping that she will open up for the first time about her past.

Follow Chloe on Instagram and Twitter

Erica Beebe is an American documentary filmmaker pursuing her MFA in film directing at the University of Edinburgh. Her lifelong love of storytelling has led her to creative writing, radio production, magazine editing and video journalism. Previously, Erica worked on the feature-length documentary Time for Ilhan, about Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American woman to be elected to the US Congress.

The story:

A Moroccan woman named Radia has established an outdoor leadership and adventure camp for children, which will culminate in a hike up Mount Toubkal, Morocco’s tallest mountain, in June 2019. In preparing for the climb, Radia must face the stigmas associated with being an adventurous Moroccan woman, including accusations from her neighbors that she is “wild” and neglectful of her family. Erica’s film will explore the literal and figurative weight that Radia must carry as she undertakes this journey.

Follow Erica on Instagram

Faye Yan Zhang is a visual artist and filmmaker, working primarily in comics art and documentary video. Her works have appeared in the Harvard Advocate, the Lampoon, Plain China, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, American Chordata, and Black Warrior Review. She has held fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution and Yaddo.

The story:

After the Chinese Communist Revolution, healthcare reform was implemented across the countryside; the “Barefoot Doctor” program trained men and women from peasant backgrounds to provide medical care within rural communities. By the 1980s, the rural cooperative healthcare system was phased out, whereupon many barefoot doctors returned to agriculture, became village doctors, or (a few) attended medical school. Now, former barefoot doctors are elderly and rely on state pensions for their livelihoods. Apart from their propagandistic image as revolutionary icons, the history and testimony of barefoot doctors is neglected by discourse, media, and art.

Follow Faye on Twitter and Instagram

Kendra McLaughlin is a visual artist and researcher with a background in film, political science and human rights. Canadian, raised in Thailand, she is currently based in Paris. Through art, Kendra hopes to research and reveal how we conceive of ourselves within life’s bigger pictures.

The story:

As the European Union toughens its borders, the annual “Garden of Europe” landscaping festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina takes on inspirational and ironic undertones. Set against the current Balkan Route bottleneck, this short film explores how communal land redevelopment can cultivate solidarity and refuge in a time of divisive politics.

View Kendra’s portfolio

Meera Darji is an ambitious filmmaker with a passion for telling stories of voiceless communities and people living on the margins of society. Her projects have been selected for film festivals including Transindia which won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Student Documentary, Best short Doc at the Kashish Mumbai Film Festival and a nomination for the Grierson Awards.

The story:

In Gujarat, India, a movement is happening where the civilians of society are taking their own initiative and guts to revolt against animal violence, illegal slaughter and catching criminals along the way. Under The Bombay Animal Preservation Act 1954 (applied to Gujarat) the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls or bullocks are totally prohibited and anyone violating this law could be punished. Gaurakshas: The Cow Protectors documentary follows Neha Patel, the leader of the group and her journey in taking action in the form of rescues to protect the animals by all means including risking her life.

Follow Meera on Instagram

Nadya Gorodetskaya is a freelance filmmaker from Novosibirsk, Russia, currently working and living in the UK since 2012. She worked as a photojournalist for various newspapers in Russia and studied cinematography at the St Petersburg University of Film and TV. Nadya owns and manages a production company called Motiohead that specialises in 3D, animation and motion graphics.

The story:

For almost 70 years, the Russian economy and that of the rest of the Soviet Union operated on the basis of a centrally planned economy, with a state control over virtually all means of production and over investment, production, and consumption decisions throughout the economy. Since the collapse of Communism in the early 1990s, Russia has experienced difficulties in making the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market based economy. I’m planning to cover the history of the Electromechanical factory in the small Siberian city where I grew up. It was built in the 60s as a secret Soviet facility, deep in the middle of the Siberian forests. It served the Soviet military and space industries. It still provides parts for the Russian military air force and the space agency today.

Follow Nadya on Twitter

Phoebe Fleming is a camera operator, photographer and editor working in documentary, music videos and commercials. Her graduate film, ‘Continental Drift’,  was screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 and won a Student RTS award. She is an alumni of the Grierson Trust Doc/Lab scheme 2017, and has recently been working on ‘Conspiracies: The Flat Earth’ one of the first LAD Bible Originals.

The story:

For the last 25 years all the world has heard about Sierra Leone is of civil war, Ebola and devastating floods. In 2015 it was ranked as the most dangerous place in the world to be a young person, with the mortality rate of 15-29 year olds higher than that of Syria (Guardian, 2017). Despite the ongoing challenges, a group of young women across the country are engaging in leadership and mentoring workshops to try and change the pathway for many young girls. Alice, a 20 year old singer and beauty pageant winner is based five miles out of Makeni, in an area populated by only 400-500 citizens, where 97 died of Ebola. She works directly with the community to give confidence and stability to young girls, particularly those orphaned by Ebola.

Follow Phoebe on Instagram


Since its launch in 2001, the One World Media Production Fund has supported 184 emerging journalists and filmmakers to report from over 72 countries from developing countries.

Many of these talented storytellers have continued to go from strength to strength since we first met – from securing commissions with major broadcasters like the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Channel 4, to touring the international film festivals with their feature documentaries! Click here to read more about some of our Production Fund alumni.

Applications for the next round of our Production Fund will reopen in February next year. 
Find Out More