June 18, 2019

The Sundance Institute has announced it is bestowing a grant to New York Film Academy (NYFA) Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin for his documentary film, The House I Never Knew.

Dottin’s film is one of 25 nonfiction projects that will receive Documentary Fund and Stories of Change grants from the Sundance Institute, a nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford committed to the growth of independent artists.

The grants are awarded to projects that range through all stages of development, and are aimed to help films—anywhere from initial project development to building a larger audience.

Dottin is an award-winning writer, director, and producer, as well as current Chair of New York Film Academy’s Screenwriting department at its New York campus. As Chair, he shepherds a program committed to giving students the unique opportunity to work with fellow producing, filmmaking, and acting students in developing and turning a screenplay into a finished film as well as extensive experience with each step of the filmmaking process as it relates to screenwriting.

A-Alike, Dottin’s thesis film, won him the Director’s Guild of America Award for Best African American Student Filmmaker, as well as a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards for Best Narrative Film. The film also earned additional awards and a two-year broadcast run on HBO. His feature doc The Chicago Franchise was accepted into IFP Week’s Spotlight on Documentaries.

The House I Never Knew, Dottin’s latest project, is a six-part documentary series that focuses on the struggle with and against the negative effects of housing segregation policy. The film explores social ills like gun violence and educational failure—especially in Chicago, Houston, and Boston—as well as the personal lives affected by them.

Dottin is thrilled about the Sundance Institute grant. “It was great to get the encouragement from an institution on that level,” Dottin tells NYFA. “And the type of resources that are now available to the project are immeasurable and will help us get the doc done in the best way possible!”

While teaching screenwriting at NYFA, Dottin requested a sabbatical to focus on shooting the film. NYFA Founder Jerry Sherlock personally granted the request and, along with the Academy, supported Dottin’s important work on the project, confident in his skills as a filmmaker.

New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Chair of Screenwriting Randall Dottin on his Sundance Institute grant and looks forward to the completion and release of The House I Never Knew.