IF/Then Shorts is a fund and mentorship program that supports storytellers in breaking barriers to access, exposure, and sustainability in the media landscape. Founded in 2017 by Amy Hobby and Mridu Chandra at Tribeca Film Institute, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, IF/Then champions inclusive, regional storytelling by underrepresented filmmakers to challenge dominant narratives and dismantle inequities.
IF/Then Shorts taps into the need for broader geographical representation in the stories that get told through its regional pitch events. We work with creators who experience inequity based on factors such as race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, age, citizenship, and/or geography. IF/Then holistically supports short documentary storytellers in their creation of compelling, character-led, community-inspired stories that embody the breadth and diversity of the people and places they represent.
To date, IF/Then has supported more than 50 U.S. and international films, many of which have achieved prestigious festival premieres, awards, and extensive media broadcasts.
Caitlin Mae Burke is the Co-Director of IF/Then Shorts. An Emmy-winning producer, inaugural inductee into DOC NYC's 40 Under 40 and alumna of Berlinale Talents, Caitlin's work as a producer has been broadcast in the US and worldwide, and screened in movie theaters internationally. Her films have been recognized with Emmy, Grand Clio, and Gotham Awards, and nominated for Critic’s Choice, Independent Spirit, and Cinema Eye Honors, as well as numerous “Best of” designations at acclaimed international film festivals. Caitlin is also the lead producer on the Webby-nominated podcast, Other Men Need Help, a playful poke at how the masculine performance attempts to camouflage a need for connection.
Merrill Sterritt is the Co-Director of IF/Then Shorts. Merrill is a Burmese-American field-builder and filmmaker advocate with 15 years of experience supporting artists. Previously as the Head of Alliances and Cultural Engagement at Cinereach, Merrill expanded Cinereach’s impact by developing methods of support for regional and community-focused film organizations and collectives. In 2010 Merrill co-founded Film Presence where they led theatrical outreach campaigns to connect films with crucial audiences outside the arthouse bubble. They also worked in post-production and managed the Production Assistance Program at Women Make Movies. Merrill was named as one of DOCNYC's inaugural New Leaders cohort and is a 2022 Rockwood Documentary Leaders Fellow.
Christine Chung is the IF/Then Shorts Coordinator. Christine works in a variety of creative spaces including non-profit theatre & performing arts, film festivals, and experiential immersive design. Her recent affiliations include SXSW, SFFILM, SFBATCO, Revolutionary Love Project, and African Voices. She recently received a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Choreography for SFBATCO's flagship show "I, Too, Sing America".