The documentary filmmaker mentorship and funding program IF/Then Shorts on Monday announced the finalists for its inaugural North Shorts Program: Six teams of diverse storytellers from the Northeast and Puerto Rico. This marks the first major development for IF/Then since it moved under the umbrella of the nonprofit Field of Vision in July; it was previously a part of Tribeca Film Institute, which is in the process of winding down operations.
The fellowship and funding program is a partnership between IF/Then, Points North Institute, LEF Foundation, and ScreeningRoom. Many of IF/Then’s programs are open to filmmakers residing in or making films about particular regions. The North Shorts program is aiding storytellers from the Northeast and Puerto Rico to explore a range of socially, politically, or culturally relevant topics rooted in those areas.
“Expanding Sanctuary” follows Linda Hernandez during the emotionally taxing but historic campaign to end the sharing of the Philadelphia police database with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The city’s agreement with ICE has led to a rise in detainments and deportations. Immigrant mother Linda must now transform into a community leader to protect her family. The film follows Linda and her daughter Ashley as well as Juntos organizers Olivia, Marisa, and Miguel. The film outlines the full span of the campaign from community meetings, social media
archives, protests, and the last press conference officially ending the agreement.
Directed and Edited by Kristal Sotomayor
Consulting Editor: Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz
Location of production: Pennsylvania