MacArthur Foundation doles out $2 million in grants to documentary filmmakers

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At least three filmmakers affiliated with public media will receive part of $2 million in grants for documentaries announced today by the MacArthur Foundation.

Joann Williams takes part in a “participatory budgeting” experiment  in the documentary Count Me In. (Photo: WTTW)

Chicagoan Joann Williams takes part in a “participatory budgeting” experiment in the documentary Count Me In. (Photo: WTTW)

The foundation received nearly 400 proposals and is awarding 15 projects with cash ranging from $50,000 to $300,000.

Filmmaker Robert Kenner, who previously directed the Academy Award nominee Food Inc., is receiving $200,000 to direct Command and Control for WGBH in Boston. The film is based on Eric Schlosser’s critically acclaimed book that examines the safety of America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

Chicago-based filmmaker Ines Sommer is getting $150,000 for Count Me In, which follows several residents in a “participatory budgeting” experiment that gives them direct say over portions of taxpayer spending in the city’s budget. Sommer will co-produce the film with WTTW.

And Bernardo Ruiz, a producer/director for American Experience who also created The Graduates/Los Graduados for CPB’s American Graduate initiative, is receiving $200,000 for a film about forensic anthropologists investigating three decades of conflict in Latin America.

Here’s a full list of grantees.