Fellows’ interactive documentary project wins Tribeca funding

A project launched last winter by two Knight Fellows is the big winner in the Tribeca Film Institute’s inaugural New Media Fund grants.

The institute awarded $100,000 to 18 Days in Egypt, a collaborative documentary project about the Egyptian Revolution that is the brainchild of 2011 Knight Fellow Jigar Mehta, formerly a video journalist at The New York Times. Hugo Soskin, another 2011 Knight Fellow and a documentary film producer, is a key collaborator.

From the start, Mehta has taken an open approach to pursuing this project, asking other Fellows and colleagues to brainstorm with him, speaking about it at various gatherings and conferences, and writing about its early stages here.

He put together a global team and as they worked through the spring, members began to think beyond producing a single new type of documentary. They came to view 18 Days as a pilot for group-based media sharing and storytelling and the organization was renamed GroupStream.

“As we hone our tools through the 18 Days project, we plan to release a product that can be used for any event experienced by a group,” Mehta said.

GroupStream also won a slot in Startupbootcamp, a European accelerator network that provides start-up mentors and access to potential investors. The 3-month program in Copehagen began in September and Mehta says his team will launch a private beta soon.

Mehta and Soskin each gave short talks last spring about their experiences and goals for interactive and collaborative documentary film-making. Watch Mehta’s here and Soskin’s here.