providing filmmakers with direct capital
Part of HUDSY's mission is to empower filmmakers to bring local stories to life. As filmmakers, editors and producers ourselves, we know how hard it is to get projects off the ground. HUDSY helps provide a supportive and professional way forward through our Community Content Fund program.
Once a year HUDSY puts out a call for Hudson Valley content creators to apply for up to $5,000, supported by HUDSY’s Community Content Fund. Fund recipients’ completed projects will stream on the HUDSY App, which features community inspired video content tied to the Hudson Valley.
Applicants must be from one of the Hudson Valley's 11 counties (Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, or Westchester), and / or the project must have been shot in the Hudson Valley or be about the Hudson Valley. Submissions must include a one-page synopsis of the project and a projected budget.
During our inaugural program in 2021, three beautiful films were created (scroll down for more on them) and in 2022, with the help of a generous $5,000 donation by the Hudson Valley Climate Action Network we committed $20,000 to support four more films.
MEET THE 2022 WINNERS
We received over 50 interesting, unique and compelling submissions in 2022, and our independent committee struggled, but narrowed it down to the four winning projects below. Each of these filmmakers receives $5,000 to produce their film and their final creations will be available on the HUDSY TV App in 2023.
Julia Barrett-Mitchell is a filmmaker who acts, writes, produces and directs. She has made a whopping 18 music videos, and is in development for her first narrative pilot, (a satirical dramedy poking fun of herself and other millennials who moved to the Hudson Valley post-pandemic). She can often be found playing piano and cuddling her cat, Creme Brûlée. Barrett-Mitchell's short documentary 45 Degrees navigates the highs and lows of prolific photographer Brian Nice's life from the chaotic thrills of his youth, to the challenges and benefits of surviving the brain damage that has shifted his vision 45 degrees.
Anusha Mehar is a seasoned storyteller with 10+ years of experience as an educator, cultural organizer, writer, poet, producer, public placemaker, and wellness disruptor. She is the Founding Principal of PANJA a creative studio dedicated to decolonizing wellness, where she spearheads interdisciplinary projects focused on ritual healing and liberation; and the Co-Founder of Sanctuary Healing Farm & Gardens on Crystal Lake, where she is co-creating a safe and accessible public space for people to reconnect with the sacred medicine of nature. Mehar's Hudson Valley Haze is the pilot episode of a longer 6-part series exploring the ancestral origins and healing properties of cannabis, while juxtaposing its legacy as a plant that continues to break up some families - while others get rich off of it.
Jeff Mertz is a multidisciplinary filmmaker, photographer, and video artist focusing on nonfiction storytelling. His work often aims to render in miniature the effects of large-scale environmental and social paradigms, and he's particularly drawn to telling stories that galvanize discussion in the realms of environmental conservation and justice, food systems, mental health, and history. He runs the boutique production company Moonbow Imaging, which chiefly serves nonprofits in the Hudson Valley. When not hard at work, he can usually be found hiking or cooking. Mertz’ film, Muckville, is a short documentary examining the epidemic of mental health on American farms and how one Hudson Valley onion farmer overcame the odds.
Karma Masselli is a theater and film director. Her most recent directing projects include Happy Birthday, Curiosity Rover and Motherf**king Girl Scouts. She's writing a musical called Karma at the Cosmic Diner.
Danica Jensen is a Danish-American stage & screen director, performer, sometimes-writer and amateur ghost hunter. She grew up in a haunted house, and as such, is particularly interested in ghost stories and the things – physical or otherwise – that haunt us. Past film work includes: A Life in a Day 2020 (Sundance 2021, co-director), Hildeborg (indie short), DAVE (short). Danica is a graduate of NYU Tisch and an alumnus of The Nine Muses Entertainment Lab, mentored by Bryce Dallas Howard.
Masselli & Jensen's short documentary, Burt’s Electronics, captures the heart and soul of the Kingston, NY electronics repair shop and it's owner, Burt Penchansky, while showing us why it has become a destination worthy of a pilgrimage and how Burt faces his biggest challenges yet.
2022 SELECTION COMMITTEE
HUDSY’s Community Content Fund Committee is charged with thoughtfully assessing each application and determining which projects were selected to be funded and created for the HUDSY App. Read about the diverse, multi-generational group of community members below, including last year's three CCF Winners.
Christopher Nostrand is a Hudson Valley based independent filmmaker, owner of a video production company (Nostrand Productions), and a college professor of digital film production at Marist and SUNY New Paltz. In 2021 he won a HUDSY Community Content Fund Grant and created FIREFLY: The Tay Fisher Story which will be available on the HUDSY App in the late summer of 2022. CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for this inspiring film.
Louise Bartolotta is a filmmaker and educator from Poughkeepsie and a graduate of the SUNY Purchase BFA film program. She fell in love with filmmaking in 2011 as a teen producer at the Children’s Media Project in Poughkeepsie and she’s been making DIY films ever since. In 2021 he won a HUDSY Community Content Fund Grant and created Javelina, a beautiful short narrative film available now on the HUDSY App.
Walter Hergt is a Hudson Valley-based filmmaker, visual artist, and oral historian who is passionate about making films that create vivid representations of peoples’ lives, particularly those that unsettle our preconceptions and expand our ability to see one another. In 2021 he won a HUDSY Community Content Fund Grant and created Rock Steady Farm, a powerful documentary available now on the HUDSY App.
Carl Brown was born and raised in Kingston, NY and comes from 9 generations in Ulster County. He is the President of Harambee, Vice President of the Ulster County Community Action Board of Directors, the Chairman of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission, and a Host on WGHQ Radio.
Jesus Velasquez is a SUNY New Paltz graduate with a degree in Digital Media Production and is a filmmaker in the Hudson Valley. He is an alumni of the HUDSY Apprenticeship Program (2021 cohort) and is working towards his goal of being in charge of a crew and to highlight the fascinating stories about the people that reside in his city and region.
2021 CCF RECAP
BRINGING STORIES TO LIFE
The Community Content Fund (CCF) launched in July of 2021 and the response was amazing. 42 applications were submitted and three winners were chosen from a pool of incredible ideas.
The three films that came to fruition are diverse, inspiring, emotional, beautiful and truly show the magic and talent that lives within the Hudson Valley. Check out our recap video to the left, and the final films below.
FIREFLY: The Tay Fisher Story is a 55 minute feature-documentary by Nostrand Productions that follows Tay Fisher from Kingston Tiger to Siena Saint, and all the way to the Harlem Globetrotters. Tay Fisher’s basketball and life journey is one of determination, inspiration, teamwork, and down right talent - developing into one of the greats in 4-point shooting history during his 10 years on the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. As "Firefly" he enthralled fans around the world with his "Curly" Neal-inspired one-of-kind dribbling style and infectiously positive attitude. Today, Tay shares the challenges and guidance of his never-give-up story on and off the court, by mentoring kids and holding basketball camps in his hometown. Available now on the HUDSY App!
The day before she starts middle school, science whiz Ellie becomes terrified of her new neighbors dog -- or is it a dog? Javelina, a short narrative film by Louise Bartolotta, is about growing up surrounded by the magic of nature and the fear of losing your childhood wonder, against the backdrop of gentrification. The script is short and contained, taking place over the course of one summer day in locations in and around Beacon. The story is inspired by the Florida Project, Pan’s Labyrinth and Spirit of the Beehive — films about how a child absorbs the adult situations around them. Available now on the HUDSY App!
In Rock Steady Farm, a 22-minute documentary film, filmmaker Walter Hergt brings you into the world of Rock Steady Farm - a queer owned and operated, CSA vegetable farm in Millerton, NY. The filming is close so that you are a participant rather than an observer: you see what the farmers see; you see what the plants see. And you hear the farmers as they work, laugh, ache, build community, and strive to fulfill their mission to make high-quality, fresh food accessible to many while providing training and support to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC farmers from around the region. Available now on the HUDSY App!