A Fierce Green Fire, Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

The Sundance Institute has announced it will help 29 documentaries become reality through more than $550,000 in grants from the Documentary Film Program and Fund. And the filmmakers, themselves, come from all walks of life.

Grantees were chosen from 772 submissions from 88 countries, from first-timers to Academy Award nominees. Of the 29 documentaries chosen 19 are from the US, ranging from America's racial order to men facing their demons on the oil fields of North Dakota.

Submission were reviewed by a jury of creative film professionals and human rights experts. They looked at the films approach to storytelling, subject relevance, potential for social engagement and artistic treatment and innovation.

The DFP has awarded more than $14.3 million in grants which have helped fund more than 600 documentaries in over 61 countries. Propsoals are accepted two times per year at sundance.org/documentary, in three categories: Development, Porduciton/Post-Production and Audience Engagement. In granting funds for such work, the DFP encourages the exchange of ideas to build insight on contemporary issues.

In the Audience Engagement category, A Fierce Green Fire (US) explores 50 years of environmental movement and global activism. The film is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep and follows environmental groups as they mobilize and build campaigns. Check out the still from the film above.

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute has helped nurture documentaries sush as An Inconvenient Truth and Born into Brothels. To learn more about the Sundance Institute and their projects visit sundance.org.