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Film Independent Fri 6.7.2024

FiSpo Updates: Three More Fiscal Sponsorship Faves – Making Waves, Getting Raves!

Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program supports a huge variety of projects. And while we take time to tout rookie Fi Fiscal Sponsorship projects (and encourage your support of them!) in each month’s Fiscal Spotlight column, you may be wondering how some of that column’s previous subjects have been progressing. So it’s once again time for FiSpo Updates, highlighting recent achievements of projects that are part of the program.

Film Independent’s Fiscal Sponsorship program opens the door to nonprofit funding for independent filmmakers and media artists. The projects and makers participating in the program express a uniqueness of vision, celebrate diversity and advance the craft of filmmaking through the creation of these special works. To see the full range of projects that are part of our program, visit our Sponsored Projects page.

To learn how Fiscal Sponsorship works, check out the above video or watch our full discussion with Film Independent’s Artist Development team way down at the bottom of this article.

If you’re already part of our Fiscal Sponsorship program and you have a production milestone you’d like to see in the next post, please email us.



Project Type: Narrative Feature

Project Status: Festival Premiere

Filmmaker: Matt Warren

Cast: William Leon, Kelley Mack, Kevin Bohleber, Rene Leech

Synopsis: Four young friends with fracturing relationships take a camping trip to Southern Utah in order to escape an ecological disaster in the northern part of the state. Alone in the desert, they begin to suspect that their reality might not be as it seems, and soon realize they’re being observed by a mysterious cosmic force.

Filmmaker update: After 12 months of physically grueling (and financially devastating) post-production, Delicate Arch will finally have its world premiere Friday, June 28 at Dances With Films in Los Angeles. We’re super-excited to show our work to the world and doubly so to be having our premiere at the TCL Chinese 6 right in the heart of Hollywood, within veritable spitting distance of the Walk of Fame’s storied menagerie of filthy, dangerous and overall deeply depressing costumed characters (we wanna get our picture taken with Cap’n Jack Sparrow!). Our film has been described by viewers on Letterboxd as ‘An excellent edition to the stoner horror canon’ so we hope audiences take full advantage of California’s wide variety of legal cannabis and psilocybinic options and show up to our screening absolutely, devastatingly out of their minds. Like, fall-down-and-shit-themselves levels of totally fucking wrecked. Should be interesting! Our composer AMULETS will be in attendance for the Q&A, fresh off of touring with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, as will our cast, including The Walking Dead‘s Kelley Mack. It should be lit, or whatever the Gen Z equivalent of ‘lit’ is currently at work in popular usage. Cheers!

Action item: Go see the film at its world premiere, June 28 at the Danes With Films festival in Los Angeles. Watch the trailer.



Project Type: Feature Documentary  

Project Status: Distribution

Filmmakers: Meredith Yinger, Natalie Perez

Synopsis: Scars Unseen is a triumph-of-the-human-spirit documentary., following three women who have overcome domestic violence and are paying it forward. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the statistic of one in four women affected by domestic violence went up to one in three women. This inspiring documentary highlights each individual’s experience involving domestic violence, focusing not on the grim details of their trauma, but rather on the tools and techniques that helped them to persevere on their healing journey. Scars Unseen aims to illuminate the power of healing, de-stigmatize victimhood and encourage open communication about the causes, treatment and prevention of abuse. This documentary focuses on the resiliency of three phenomenal women and encourages us all to be more trauma informed. Scars Unseen is changing the conversation around domestic violence

Filmmaker update: After 4.5 years in the making, we are so excited for Scars Unseen to make its WORLD PREMIERE at the Dances with Films Festival at the Chinese Theaters, June 30th at 2:45 PM! We have also recently won a Telly Award for the Use of Music in this documentary. We are excited to begin our festival run, plan for community screenings, and seek distribution outlets to share this message of hope with the masses. 

Action items: Follow for festival screenings on our website. We are also seeking additional funds to cover distribution costs and to develop a community screening tour where we can bring this film to first responders, universities, law schools and those who are likely to come into contact with DV situations in their working lives. Tax-deductible donations are available through our Film Independent website.



Project Type: Nonfiction Short  

Project Status: Post Production  

Filmmakers: Marshall Granger, Lorin Granger  

Synopsis: For nearly a decade, public radio listeners across Montana could participate in “Your Opinion, Please,” a weekly program that provided a platform to express opinions and discuss current events live on-air. By juxtaposing audio clips from hundreds of episodes with contemporary footage of Montana, Your Opinion, Please will offer a compelling portrait of the program’s impact, and the enduring importance of open communication. Every week for nearly a decade, Yellowstone Public Radio would host “Your Opinion, Please”, a 30-45 minute open call for listeners across Montana and northern Wyoming to pick up the phone and express their views live on-air, without being screened and without any set topic. The first caller sets the theme of the night, which could be anything from the war in Iraq, disputes over public land access, local school board meetings or outrage at the idea of an indoor smoking ban. The show ran from 1998-2008. In a spirit of discourse and debate, callers follow-up with their own opinions, while co-hosts Marvin Granger and Ken Siebert play referee. 

Filmmaker update: Between late March and mid-April, Your Opinion, Please director Marshall Granger and cinematographer Lorin Granger completed principal photography. Traveling across central and eastern Montana, the team captured the sights and sounds that make up a large part of the Yellowstone Public Radio broadcast region. Towns photographed included Bozeman, Livingston, Helena, Lewistown, Billings and the glorious, storied hi-line region around Glasgow and Fort Peck. This material will provide the opportunity to make an immersive cinematic experience out of the archival radio recordings.

Action item: From the filmmakers, “As we push forward with the edit, the team seeks additional funding toward sound, music and color, crucial stages to elevate this from simple radio recordings to a film that captures a distinct world. The hope is that through the voices of the people and the sights and sounds of these environments, audiences will come away having spent a genuine 15 minutes or so in Montana.”

For over 40 years, Film Independent has helped filmmakers get their projects made and seen. The nonprofit organization’s core mission is to champion creative independence in visual storytelling and support a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision.

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(Header: Delicate Arch)

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