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Grit is the story of a huge, toxic mudflow in Indonesia widely believed to be caused by shoddy drilling practices. The mud volcano has been erupting violently for the past eight years, burying 17 villages and permanently displacing 60,000 people. Grit follows ordinary Indonesians seeking justice for this disaster during a national election where one presidential candidate has promised restitution and the other has not.




Grit is co-directed by Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander.


Cynthia Wade looking straight ahead and smiling. Black and white portrait.Cynthia Wade’s previous film, Freeheld, won 16 film awards, including an Academy Award®; she is currently a producer on the fictionalized version starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. In 2013, Cynthia received her second Oscar® nomination for her documentary Mondays at Racine. Her other directing credits include the award-winning films Shelter Dogs, Living the Legacy, Growing Hope Against Hunger, Grist for the Mill, the Clio Award-winner Selfie, and the 17-time award winner Born Sweet. Cynthia holds a BA from Smith College and an MA in Documentary Film from Stanford University.


Sasha Friedlander looking straight ahead. She has wavy, dark, shoulder-length hair and is wearing a scarf. Black and white portrait.Sasha Friedlander previously directed Where Heaven Meets Hell, a feature length documentary set in East Java, Indonesia. The film won Best Feature Documentary Film at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival, and a Special Mention for Outstanding Cinematography at the LAAPFF. The film was selected for funding and co-production by ITVS and aired on PBS in June 2013. Sasha is fluent in Indonesian and has lived and worked as a journalist in Indonesia. She holds a BA from UCLA and an MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts.