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South Shorts Grant & Residency 2021

A post-production residency and fund for four filmmaking teams living and working in the American South.

IF/Then Shorts, now in its fifth year of partnership with New Orleans Film Society, invited diverse stories and storytellers from the American South to apply for a virtual residency to take community-conscious and cinematic short documentary films from the edit to reaching audiences.

Four selected film teams received a $5,000 post-production grant and participated in a five-week collaborative online editing residency: working with industry professionals, editing mentors, and their fellow filmmakers to fine-tune their rough cut. Filmmakers benefited from not only the resources of their esteemed mentors but also worked to build strong creative relationships while providing feedback and support to their fellow Southern filmmakers.

After the lab, the films will be shown at an invitation-only rough-cut screening as a part of the 2021 New Orleans Film Festival. Following the residency and festival, filmmakers will receive distribution consultation and festival strategy to help get their film out into the world.


This opportunity was open to individuals living and working in the American South, with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ folks, recent immigrants, undocumented persons, persons with a disability, and/or women. Applicants welcomed regardless of immigration status, including applicants who are born abroad and are not U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents.

Submissions shall be in the form of community-inspired, short-form storytelling in post production, coming from the American South, with filmmakers interested in building their Southern creative collaborative community. These states and one federal district include Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Eligible IF/Then Shorts projects must meet the following criteria:

● Be an original short documentary with a final duration of 10-30 minutes

● Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be designed for a U.S. audience

● Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured

● Be presented in English or subtitled in English

● Have no prior distribution attached and be able to participate in the IF/Then Shorts distribution initiative



Director: E’jaaz Mason

In the midst of a global pandemic, the opportunity to work at one of the world's largest tech companies compels New Orleans native “Queen Tahj” Williams to leave the only home she’s ever known. After spending half her life sewing suits to celebrate the sacred Mardi Gras Indian culture, the “Young Queen” must now consider her legacy and finish her grand finale—“Black Suit”—inspired by the power of African queendom.


Director: Alejandra Vasquez

A filmmaker returns to rural West Texas to document the effects of the boom-and-bust nature of the oil industry on her hometown, unexpectedly documenting the political transformation that takes place in her family over five years and two election cycles.


Co-Director: Christian Vasquez

Co-Director & Producer: Stevie Walker-Webb

A family reeling from the unjust incarceration of an ailing mentally ill loved one, calls on their faith and the strength of community to right a systemic wrong. Music, love and creativity are used to permeate the isolation of a solitary confinement cell, and a public performance on prison grounds is used to challenge the state to do better.


Director: Bree Nieves

Two Filipinx cousins, three years apart, meet in a rural Florida cemetery, and grapple with what remains of their hometown dreams after the loss of one of their fathers during the pandemic. “Malditas'' is a short documentary that combines interviews, archive and verite footage to explore the tension between losing a parent in a highly Catholic Filipino community, the foreverness of childhood and the possibilities of growing deeper in faith through grief while in the most conservative county in North Florida.



June 30, 2021: Call for Submissions opens

August 4, 2021: Submissions Deadline (11:59 PM ET.)

September 7, 2021: Selections Finalized, Selected Projects Announced.

September 10, 2021: Program Kickoff

Mid-September - November 2021: Virtual Residency and Work In Progress Screening at New Orleans Film Festival.

November/December 2021: Distribution Mentorship

Please direct any questions regarding this program to ifthenshorts@fieldofvision.org


Current Programs

  • Original Voices Shorts Pitch 2023

    A national open call for archival and journalistically driven short documentaries highlighting social issues and identities.

  • IF/Then x Hulu Short Documentary Lab 2023

    An open call for short-documentary filmmakers based in North America. This lab channels IF/Then and Hulu’s shared vision of creating a new pipeline of diverse talent, incubating strong voices who will be the next class of non-fiction storytellers, and spotlighting creators elevating LGBTQIA+ narratives with their filmmaking prowess.