August 2022 Newsletter

LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image description: The LEF Moving Image Fund Logo appears in the top left corner with large blue text reading Pre-production & Early Development in the center over a geometric pattern of muted gray and blue squares and lines that fades to white at the top. (Learn more about image descriptions)
Earlier this month, LEF announced its Summer 2022 Moving Image Fund grantees for Pre-production and Early Development. Rooted in New England, as well as places farther afield nationally and internationally, this year’s funded projects trace movements, memories, and possible futures through time and across geographic and psychic boundaries.

  • A Body To Live In (dir. Angelo Madsen Minax; prod. Lyle Kash)
  • CAREGIVERS (dir. Jesse Kreitzer; prod. Jesse Kreitzer, Jennifer Latham)
  • Early Morning, Tarpon Springs/Lindsey's Colour Service [working title/s] (dir./prod. Jodie Mack)
  • My Skin and I (dir./prod. Milton Guillén)
  • Nine (dir./prod. Rachael DeCruz, Jeremy S. Levine)
  • The Quilting Group (dir. Jenifer McShane; prod. Jameka Autry)

Early Development

  • Father/Daughter Dance (dir./prod. Mae Hoffman)
  • Las Queremos Vivas (We Want Them Alive) (dir./prod. Michelle Falcón Fontánez)
  • Locked Out (dir. Mike Silva; prod. Mike Silva, Monica Cohen)
  • Spectrum Theatre Ensemble (working title) (dir. James Rutenbeck; prod. Sabrina Avilés)
  • Untitled Library Documentary (dir. Jill Baron, Sawyer Broadley; prod. Melissa Padilla)
  • We May Not Be Who We Think We Are (dir./prod. Eli Kao)

Image description: In this still from Angelo Madsen Minax's work-in-progress A BODY TO LIVE IN, Fakir Musafar, a man with light skin an brown hair with piercings in his ears and septum wears a headband and a blue tunic with ornate gold design along the neckline while sitting in front of a banner that reads “TAROT”
The Gotham Week Project Market features 60 documentary feature and hosts pre-scheduled 1:1 industry meetings with distributors, financiers, production companies, festival programmers, sales/talent agents and other potential collaborators for independent artists. This year's lineup includes LEF-supported projects: A BODY TO LIVE IN, directed and written by prior LEF-Flaherty Fellow Angelo Madsen Minax (NORTH BY CURRENT) and produced by Lyle Kash; REJEITO directed and written by Pedro de Filippis with producers Leonardo Mecchi, prior LEF-Flaherty Fellow and grantee Bronte Stahl (BEYOND THE FOLD), and Tarsila Nakamura; and in the US Features in Post category, PLAYLAND, written and directed by prior LEF-Flaherty Fellow Georden West, produced by Russell Sheaffer, Danielle Cooper, and Hannah McSwiggen. Also taking part in the Project Market is one of this year's LEF/CIFF Fellows, Sandra Jaffe, who is directing and producing MORE THAN A NAME, with David Ninh as a producer. The Gotham Week Project Market will be held in person September 17-23 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. See the full slate of participating projects.

New York Times Op-Doc short, MY DISABILITY ROADMAP (22 min), directed by Dan Habib and Samuel Habib, won Best Documentary at LA Shorts International Film Festival, qualifying the film for oscars consideration. The film, which is associated with the LEF-supported feature work-in-progress of the same name, follows co-director Samuel Habib, a twenty-one year-old college student with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, as he seeks guidance from America’s most rebellious disability advocates.

2020 North Shorts Fellowship alumnus Alex Ramírez-Mallis's short FLATBUSH! FLATBUSH! (16 min), about a fleet of semi-legal minibuses racing up and down Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, is streaming on the Criterion Channel.
Are you a LEF grantee or fellow with news to share about your film?

2022 Camden International Film Festival
Image Description: CIFF Logo
The 18th edition of the Camden International Film Festival will take place at venues in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine from September 15-18, 2022 and online from September 15-25.

For those who have not attended CIFF before, the festival offers a thoughtfully programmed selection of new documentary films and an intimate and international gathering of filmmakers and leaders from across the field of documentary, converging over multiple days in mid-coast Maine.
CIFF will open with a special secret screening from an Academy Award-winning director! This year's edition is the most international and formally adventurous to date and includes 34 features and 37 short films from over 41 countries. Over 60% of the entire program is directed or co-directed by BIPOC filmmakers, and this is the 6th consecutive program the festival has reached gender parity within the program and across all competitions.
Nearly half of the feature program will be US or North American premieres, including several new titles fresh from Venice, Locarno, and TIFF premieres, alongside award-winning films from Sundance, Rotterdam, Cannes, and Visions du Reel.
2022 LEF/CIFF Fellows
LEF is pleased to continue its partnership with the Points North Institute (CIFF's parent organization) through the LEF/CIFF Fellowship program. The fellowship is an opportunity for 5 New England-based filmmaking teams with works-in-progress in production or post-production to attend CIFF and connect with other filmmakers and industry leaders through a series of mentor-led project development workshops, networking events, and 1:1 meetings. The five selected fellows for this year are:
From the Land - John Hulsey (CT)
More Than A Name - Sandra Jaffe (MA)
Nine - Rachael DeCruz & Jeremy Levine (MA)
The Gatherers - Suzanne Greenlaw & Chek Wingo (ME)
Untitled Altered States Film - Julie Mallozzi & Emma Meyers (MA)

Upcoming Film Opportunities
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Catapult Film Fund Development Grant (Deadline: August 31)
Catapult gives early support to propel projects forward that hold the promise of a story that should be uniquely told in film. The Development Grant provides development funding, up to $20,000, to documentary filmmakers who have a strong story to tell, have secured access, and are ready to create a fundraising piece to help unlock critical production funding.

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Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program (Deadline: September 8)
The Radcliffe Fellowship is open to all artists and filmmakers, and in past years has selected a number of documentary filmmakers from New England and beyond. Of the fifty fellows each year, approximately four are artists and filmmakers. The Fellowship provides studios in Cambridge for arts fellows to work, and there is a stipend of $78,000 for the year with an additional $5,000 provided for research and project expenses. All of the fellows come together for conversations, lectures, and meetings held on the Radcliffe campus twice each week. Fellows are required to reside in the Boston area for the duration of the fellowship (September to late May) in order to participate in the life of the fellows’ community.

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MacDowell Spring/Summer 2023 Fellowship (Deadline: September 10)
A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to six weeks. There are no residency fees. MacDowell accepts applications from artists working in architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. Emerging as well as established artists are invited to apply. Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-seeking program during the residency season for which they are applying.

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Tasveer Film Fund (Deadline: September 15)
The Tasveer Film Fund offers finishing funds of $15,000 max to documentaries in post-production that are made by or center someone who identifies as South Asian. 

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Connecticut Artist Fellowship Program (Deadline: October 17)
The Artist Fellowship Program provides recognition and funding support for Connecticut artists to pursue new work and advance their artistic careers. The program recognizes three grant designations with award recognition determined during the review process: Artistic Excellence grants ($5,000),
Artist Fellowship grants ($3,000), and Emerging Recognition grants ($1,000). Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and a full-time resident of Connecticut at the time of application deadline.

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Roy W. Dean Film Grants (Deadline: October 31)
The Roy W. Dean Film Grants fund independent feature films, documentaries, web series, and short films with budgets of $500,000 or less. Winners of the grants receive a cash award as well as goods and discounted services offered by film industry companies and professionals who care about getting good films produced.

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MCC Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals (Deadline: November 1)
Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Individuals offers unrestricted grants of $5,000 to creatives and gig workers to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and set a path for growth. Applicants must be a full-year resident of Massachusetts, 18 years or older, and an artist or cultural practitioner active in any artistic discipline or cultural tradition, a teaching artist/scientist/humanist, or a cultural worker in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.

An info session will be held on October 6.

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NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music, and Theatre (Deadline: November 1)
The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre provides grants to encourage and support the creation of digital, film, music, television, and live or online theatre content that reflects the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women. Projects with a director or producer based in New York City that have completed principal photography are eligible for finishing grants in the categories: Documentary Feature, with a 60+ minute running time ($50,000); Documentary Short, with a running time of 59 minutes or less ($25,000), and Documentary Webisodes/Webseries of all lengths and forms ($20,000).

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Assets for Artists Autumn 2022 Workshops (September - November)
The Assets for Artists free artist-led workshops are available to artists of all disciplines in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This seasons workshop topics include website management, relationship building, artist statements, resource mapping, career planning, grant building, and artist contracts.

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Raw Art Works Film School Teaching Assistant
This full-time position requires an experienced professional with a background in film and/or youth media arts to assist the Film School Senior Manager in coordinating and facilitating program operations and high quality educational experiences related to Real to Reel (R2R) Film School. The R2R Teaching Artist will be responsible for co-leading R2R film school classes 5 days a week, and will help to oversee daily and weekly organization and maintenance of the program, as well as design of the curriculum.

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Women Make Movies Program Coordinator & Executive Assistant (Part-Time)
WMM is seeking a Program Coordinator for their Production Assistance Program, which supports women filmmakers with their productions from concept through completion with fiscal sponsorship, consultations, workshops, webinars, and other technical assistance.

WMM is also seeking an Executive Assistant to work directly for the Executive Director and the Managing Director. The primary responsibility of this (temporarily remote) position is to assist the ED and MD in any and all areas of their jobs. 

Image Description: MFA in Documentary Media at Northwestern's School of Communications Graphic
Northwestern MFA in Documentary Media -- Fully Funded (Deadline: January 15)
All students are awarded $5,000 to help finance thesis works, and all MFA students who are accepted into the program will receive full funding for both years, including full tuition support and a generous stipend each quarter. MFA students will also gain valuable teaching experience as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses and/or develop research skills as a graduate assistant to a faculty member.

What We're Reading
Image Description: A grid of 80 interview subjects in dream hampton's Surviving R. Kelly, most in black-and-white, some in color.

Published by Filmmaker Magazine earlier this week, The Evolution of Impact: The Future of Social Change and Nonfiction Storytelling addresses the shifting landscape of documentary impact and the ways many campaigns go about building community all wrong, particularly when it comes to generating meaningful connections within communities of color. Sahar Driver and Sonya Childress pay special attention to the prevalence of an assumed (white) mainstream audience, writing that "we are seeing that campaigns focused on specific communities and discrete outcomes are less able to find the support they need to be effective." Instead of the campaigns with "universal" and educational appeal that tend to get advanced, Driver and Childress make a case for taking clear positions, identifying and avoiding potential sources of harm, and investing in the communities on screen-- approaches commonly thought to be the bane of the "strategic."

The piece concludes with what the authors perceive as the positive forward momentum of documentary impact: centering the filmmaking process and building out from there. They explain that "a film’s impact is first felt by those closest to the film—the participants and film teams, then it slowly expands outward to the communities at the center of the story, then to other stakeholders, and then finally to the audience who may be disconnected to the lived realities of those documented on camera." What remains is how long this present shift toward care-centered filmmaking will take to reach alignment with the values of funders and financiers who are presently creating an economy of stories that so often ignores those most impacted by a film's creation and release.
Thanks for reading and till next time,

The LEF New England team
Lyda, Gen, & Matthew

LEF Foundation
PO Box 382066
Cambridge, MA 02238
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.