April 2021 Newsletter
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image Description: In this still image from the film "Apart", Tomika (left) and Amanda (right), sit outside together under bright sunlight, looking off beyond the frame. They both wear their hair pulled back, and uniform navy blue sweatshirts. Amanda is also visibly wearing an ID card that says "Inmate". Behind them is a barbed wire fence. (Learn more about image descriptions)
APART (85 min), directed by Jennifer Redfearn and produced by Tim Metzger and Jennifer Redfearn, will have its international premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (April 29-May 9), and is currently screening as part of the Cleveland International Film Festival (April 7-20).

CIRCLE UP (69 min), directed and produced by Julie Mallozzi, recently had an encore broadcast on America Reframed on April 13, and is now available for free streaming online through April 28.

LEF grantee John Gianvito (VAPOR TRAIL) is screening his newest project HER SOCIALIST SMILE (93 min) at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. The film recently screened as part of the Bright Lights Film Series, co-presented by ReelAbilities Boston and SEIU Local 888.

Through April 30, LEF grantee Gabby Sumney (PARADISE) is taking part in an open air film exhibit called "Film as Monument" at Lesley University, presented in partnership with Women in Film & Video New England (WiFVNE) and the Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance (BLAA). Read more about the exhibition in this recent article by Tom Meek of Cambridge Day.

This month, LEF grantee Amy Jenkins' film WISHES (6 min), adapted from her LEF-funded film in production ADAM'S APPLE, is screening virtually as part of Wicked Queer, The Boston LGBT Film Fest (April 1-30).

Save the date: The Independent Film Festival Boston is taking place online from May 6-16!
Do you have LEF grantee news or an artist opportunity open to New England filmmakers that you'd like to share? LEF New England is accepting submissions for future newsletter announcements on a rolling basis through the following form. We'd love to hear from you!
LEF Development Grant Cycle Now Open!
Image Description: In an extreme close up from Sara Jordeno's LEF-funded film "Life Doesn't Frighten Me", the filmmaker's child looks sideways, directly into the camera. The image is a detail of a scanned film strip, caught between two frames and revealing the sprocket holes. "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" is an experimental personal documentary and a community portrait about the fight for parentage rights in LGBTQ+ families. The film was one of 6 projects awarded a LEF Pre-production grant in 2020.
The LEF Moving Image Fund is now accepting applications for its 2021 Early Development and Pre-Production grants, both with a deadline of June 4, 2021 at 11:59pm (midnight). We hope you'll consider applying!

Eligibility and Guidelines: LEF grants are open to New England-based directors or producers seeking funding for feature-length (40+ minute) non-fiction film projects. Potential applicants can read the Moving Image Fund guidelines, details on how to apply, and FAQ to determine if their project is eligible and a good fit for LEF's funding priorities. You can also see last year's Pre-production and Early Development grantees to gain a sense of the range of documentary artists and approaches that LEF supports.

Grant Amounts and Fiscal Sponsorship:
  • Up to 6 grants of $2,500 will be awarded for Early Development.
  • Up to 6 grants of $5,000 will be awarded for Pre-production.
  • A confirmed fiscal sponsor is not required by the time that you apply, but will need to be in place for any projects awarded funding.

Questions? If you've reviewed all of the information above and have any remaining questions about eligibility or how to apply, feel free to reach out to Gen Carmel at gen@lef-foundation.org, 617-492-5333, or via Messenger.
Action Update: Mass Film Tax Credits
Image Description: In this bright yellow banner, the words "Keep Massachusetts Film Jobs Alive" appear next to an illustration of a film reel emanating rays of sunlight.
THANK YOU to all of the Massachusetts-based independent filmmakers who joined as co-signers on the filmmaker advocacy letter sent to state legislators last week in support of the film tax credit in Massachusetts. Over 100 local filmmakers joined this effort!

An amendment has been filed to the state budget in the House of Representatives to remove the expiration of the Film & Television Incentive Program (House Budget Amendment #413, Representative Tackey Chan). The house could vote as soon as this Monday, April 26 to include this amendment in their state budget proposal!

Please use the action link below to contact your zip code's state Representative today to ask them to co-sponsor the amendment and include it in the House budget!

The DocYard
Image Description: In this screenshot of a recorded virtual filmmaker conversation hosted via Zoom on Wednesday, April 14, the DocYard's curator Abby Sun (left) and Jordan Lord (right), the director of the film "Shared Resources", share a candid smile during the discussion.
A recording of the DocYard's most recent filmmaker conversation between Curator Abby Sun and Jordan Lord, director of the film SHARED RESOURCES, will be posted soon to the DocYard's Youtube channel, where you can also catch up on all of the YouTube recordings for the DocYard's prior Q&As this season.

Follow the DocYard and check back soon to be the first to hear about more upcoming spring season programming as soon as it's announced!
Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: The True/False and Catapult Film Fund Logos
Rough Cut Retreat (Deadline: April 30)
Presented by True/False and Catapult Film Fund, the 2021 Rough Cut Retreat will take place in late July/early August, uniting nonfiction filmmakers and mentors in a creative, supportive, and engaged atmosphere. When selecting projects, True/False and Catapult prioritize work that displays an ambitious, idiosyncratic approach to nonfiction storytelling. Additionally, preference is given to emerging filmmakers and projects that are not already receiving significant institutional support. Chosen mentors are professionals who embody creativity and generosity of spirit.

Image Description: The 4th World Indigenous Media Lab Logo appears next to an image of a group of former fellows.
4th World Indigenous Media Lab (Deadline: April 30)
The 4th World Indigenous Media Lab is a year-long fellowship for emerging and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers, providing opportunities to develop filmmaking skills and networks through festival participation, hands-on training, masterclasses, workshopping projects in development, pitch activities, and meetings with funders and other industry decision-makers.

Image Description: Firelight Media Logo
William Greaves Fund (Deadline: May 1)
In 2020, Firelight Media launched the William Greaves Fund for mid-career nonfiction filmmakers of color. This newly dedicated fund resources talented storytellers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities in the United States, as well as filmmakers from Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent. Grant sizes can be up to $40K.

Image Description: A bright orange analog film camera
Salt Institute Scholarships (Deadline: May 1)
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine is now accepting scholarship applications for its 15-week Short Film certificate. Via fieldwork, assignments, class discussion, instructor feedback, and peer critique, Salt students learn how to: identify, pre-report, and evaluate a possible story; carry out successful film shoots; use video to build and shape a story; write and edit; and produce polished work in Premiere Pro. Students also practice pitching their work and start to market themselves as filmmakers. Over the course of the semester, students shoot and produce a short profile as well as an in-depth final project.

Image Description: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts Logos
Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants (Deadline: May 3)
Grants of up to $5,000 are available for visual artists, media artists, and choreographers who have experienced unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies since September 1 2020 or later. To be eligible, applicants must be 21 years or older, not in a degree-granting program, reside in the U.S., D.C., or U.S. Territories, have adjusted gross annual income is $75,000 or lower for an individual, or $150,000 for joint filers, averaged over the last two federal tax returns, and need to cover medical emergencies or treatment in the U.S. Applicants must demonstrate current and ongoing activity in artistic discipline/s. Artists of color, artists with disabilities, and those living outside of the East and West coasts are particularly encouraged to apply.

Image Description: Doc Society Logo
Doc Society New Perspectives Fellowship (Deadline: May 10)
A two year artist development opportunity supporting daring new works by U.S.-based directors, including Puerto Rico and U.S. territories, who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or as members of historically underrepresented communities including race, religion, geographic region, physical ability, or citizenship status who are dedicated to the art and craft of creative nonfiction. This vital program combines key project funding, mentorship, and in-depth impact strategy to provide holistic support to the maker at every level. Grants range up to $45K.

Image Description: The U.S. Docs in the Spotlight Logo appears above the words "Encouraging U.S. - Europe co-productions"
U.S. Docs in the Spotlight (Deadline: May 18)
Ji.hlava IDFF has launched a new initiative open to U.S. filmmakers with documentary films in development, production, or post-production. The selected projects will be presented to potential co-producers, distributors, sales representatives and film festivals from Europe. Selected U.S. filmmakers will also be invited to tailor-made activities focusing on European funding and distribution system, join the festival’s Matchmaking Accelerator and other Ji.hlava industry events.


Image Description: Collective Futures Fund Logo
Collective Futures Fund (Deadline: June 15)
The Collective Futures Fund supports visual artists and artist-run activity in the Greater Boston area through grants between $2,000 and $6,000. The Fund is administered by the
Tufts University Art Galleries
and is a part of the Regional
Re-granting Program of
The Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts.


What We're Reading/Listening To
Beyond Inclusion is a BIPOC-led collective of non-fiction filmmakers, executives, and field builders, who are inviting co-signers for this Letter to PBS, to initiate a dialogue with PBS leadership about increasing diversity among the filmmakers selected to broadcast their work on public television. Additionally, a regional coalition of local independent filmmakers in the Northeast U.S. is collecting signatures for this Letter to WGBH, recommending a deeper discussion of these issues on Beat the Press after host Emily Rooney made a series of dismissive comments about Beyond Inclusion on the show earlier this month. WBUR's Cristela Guerra recently interviewed filmmakers Sara Archambault and Sabrina Aviles in an article about this local effort as part of the larger Beyond Inclusion initiative.

WBUR's Erin Trahan interviewed the DocYard's Curator Abby Sun and Keisha N. Knight about the new Boston-based film distribution company Sentient.Art.Film and their shared collaboration on Sentient.Omnibus, a new short film series. Upcoming events include a panel discussion hosted by Sentient.Art.Film on April 21 at 7 p.m. called “On Accents and Sonic Resonances” and a Sentient.Omnibus Q&A with Hee Young Pyun and Jiajun (Oscar) Zhang, directors of “In the Blanks” on May 5.

A book that both of us on the LEF New England team coincidentally discovered we were each reading at the same time (!) is George Saunders' A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, which deconstructs a series of short stories by Russian authors Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol, adapted from Saunders' MFA class on the same subject. There are many potential resonances in it not only for writers and filmmakers, but also for anyone interested in making art.
Thanks for reading and till next time,

The LEF New England team
Lyda & Gen

LEF Foundation
PO Box 382066
Cambridge, MA 02238
t.617.492.5333
A private family foundation dedicated to the support of contemporary arts, LEF was established in 1985 with offices in Massachusetts and California. The Moving Image Fund was launched in 2001 through the LEF office in Cambridge, MA to support independent film and video artists. Since its inception, the Moving Image Fund has awarded over 400 grants to New England-based independent filmmakers with approximately $4.2 million in funding. The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region and to broaden recognition and support for their work locally and nationally. It also supports programs that highlight the rich history and ongoing legacy of innovation within New England's independent film community. The overarching goal of LEF New England's philanthropic investment is to help build a sustainable and strong community of support for artists and their work.