The Southern Documentary Fund
The Southern Documentary Fund • “Based in Durham, North Carolina, the Southern Documentary Fund was founded in 2002 by two independent filmmakers with a vision: to create a home for Southern documentary artists.”
Over the past decade, The Southern Documentary Fund has become a trusted partner for veteran and emerging documentary producers across our region, helping them direct their lenses and microphones at powerful Southern stories and issues of significance. The work of SDF artists covers a diverse spectrum of topics – civil rights, the environment, history, and the arts – and is being used as effective tools for social change, education, and community development. SDF is passionate about providing our artists with opportunities for professional growth, offering support and programming that connects them to the resources necessary to hone their skills, complete their projects, and exhibit them widely. And as a leading advocate for documentary culture in the Southeast, SDF forges relationships between our regional makers and industry professionals around the country.
“Growing a Community of Documentary Artists. Stories are at the heart of the work of the Southern Documentary Fund. Stories that come from the varied landscapes of the American South — its people, its history, and its contemporary life. Our mission is to help preserve and share those stories by acting as a resource for documentary artists. Through services like fiscal sponsorship, we aim to connect people, ideas, and resources — furthering our goal of growing a community of documentary artists. Register for our quarterly newsletter by clicking here“
Since our founding, The Southern Documentary Fund has sponsored over 100 independent documentaries, including many seminal Southern documentary films: Tobacco Money Feeds My Family, an intimate story about growing up on a tobacco farm in Eastern North Carolina; Moving Midway, a chronicle of one Southern family’s relocation of their plantation house and the painful history that emerges; The Guestworker, a portrait of one Mexican migrant that works the long harvest season year after year in rural North Carolina; February One, the story of four black college students who sat down at a Greensboro, NC lunch counter in 1960 and helped launch a movement; and Doubletime, the journey of two jump rope teams – one black, one white – from the Carolinas to Harlem to compete. And just this year, the SDF sponsored film The Loving Story won an Emmy and a prestigious Peabody Award. “A Chef’s Life is produced by Markay Media in association with South Carolina ETV. The series is directed and produced by Cynthia Hill with Rex Miller as director of photography and co-producer. Tom Vickers is editor. Amy Shumaker is executive-in-charge for SCETV. The series is a project of the Southern Documentary Fund. The show’s theme song is written and performed by North Carolina’s own Avett Brothers.”
“SDF offers critical support and guidance when one most needs it. This organization has become an essential catalyst to the creative work taking place in our community.” ~ Nancy Buirski, Director, “The Loving Story”
Our Mission • The Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. Inspired by our core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community.
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For More Information
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The Mast Farm Inn is an award-winning historic country inn, in the Valle Crucis Historical District of North Carolina, which has been welcoming guests since the 1800s. The Mast Farm Inn is a Historic Hotels of America hotel, a Select Registry Inn, and is on The National Register of Historic Places.