A 'Howl' of a docu program

Sundance grants $600,000 to 25

The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund awarded grants to a record 25 projects in development and production, including Kirby Dick's look at anti-gay legislation, "The Glass Closet," and the animated story of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" from helmers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

Other notable projects and filmmakers include "The Prime Minister, the Shah, the Ayatollah and I," an autobiographical film from "I am a Sex Addict" director Caveh Zahedi, and the untitled Iran project from Oscar nominee James Longley ("Iraq in Fragments"), the story of the country told from a child's perspective.

More than $600,000 was awarded to the projects, chosen from more than 300 applications from 20 countries. The final selection from 13 countries (including India, Chile, Pakistan and Kenya) was made by a jury of film and human rights professionals, overseen by program director Cara Mertes.

The films reflect a wide cross-cultural mix of mostly political subject matter. "Control Room" and "Startup.com" director Jehane Noujaim's "Egypt: We See You" looks at the country's pro-democracy movement from the perspective of three female journalists. Jean-Marie Teno's "The Fo and I" looks at political injustice in Cameroon. Susan Motamed and Melanie Judd's "Adopt Me, Michael Jordan" follows Ethiopian orphans, and Mai Iskander's "We are the Zaballeen" looks at Egyptian garbage collectors.