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SDFF 2019 Alum Gets Emerging Storyteller Fund Grant for Sebastopol Siege Film

  • 3 years ago

SDFF 2019 alum and Alpha Mare co-director Mimi Wilcox received Kartemquin’s Emerging Storyteller Fund grant for The Sebastopol Siege. Wilcox pitched the film at SDFF’s 2019 Peer Pitch. Kartemquin selects grantees that follow it’s mission of using documentary “to deepen our understanding of society through everyday human drama,” according to program director Jolene Pinder. Kartemquin is a collaborative community that empowers documentarians who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society.


The subject of the Wilcox’s short film is the “Sebastopol Seige,” a 1973 incident in which two men took Michaela Madden, a recently widowed mother of 5, hostage for 8 hours in her rural home­ along with a sheriff’s deputy and Press Democrat reporter. Wilcox’s film takes the incident as its starting point to explore how Madden was subsequently vilified by her community. When her family revisits the story 45 years later for the film, the powers of human compassion and police aggression come into conflict in a larger exploration of family mythology and trauma. The film, along with a slate of other Kartemquin award winners, will be previewed at a works-in-progress screening in Chicago on October 29.


Wilcox’s 2019 SDFF short, Alpha Mare, is being screened with the Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin at this year’s last Best of the Fest screening on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

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