January 2022 Newsletter
2 Days Left to Submit MIF Letters of Inquiry!
Filmmakers interested in applying for Production or Post-production project support through LEF's Moving Image Fund must first submit a letter of inquiry (LOI).

From these initial inquiries, a smaller pool of applicants is notified in early March about whether they are invited to submit a full application.

A maximum of six grants of $15,000 each will be awarded to projects in the Production phase, and a maximum of four grants of $25,000 each will be awarded to projects in the Post-production phase during LEF’s major grants review.

Not sure if you're eligible? Take a look at our guidelines.
All Letters of Inquiry are due
Friday, January 21 @ 11:59pm
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image Description: In this still from Raúl Paz-Pastrana's work-in-progress, "Backside", a smiling Latinx groom in a red ball cap leans again the line enclosing a racehorse in its stall. (Learn more about image descriptions)
BACKSIDE (work-in-progress), a LEF-supported project directed by Raúl Paz-Pastrana, is a recipient of the 2022 Creative Capital Awards. The film, which intimately explores the daily life and expertise of the migrant workers behind the Kentucky Derby, is one of fifty projects receiving up to $50,000 in direct funding from Creative Capital, supplemented by career development and networking services. See the rest of the Creative Capital awardees.

Two LEF-supported projects, TRE MAISON DASAN (86 min; directed by Denali Tiller) and A RECKONING IN BOSTON (86 min; directed by James Rutenbeck), are streaming on the PBS series Independent Lens. Tiller's film is a moving portrait of three young boys struggling to grow up with a parent in prison, and Rutenbeck's film tells the story of a white filmmaker collaborating with Clemente Course students of color to reckon with Boston's racial history. Stream the films for free on PBS.org.

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (81 min), another LEF-supported project, will be streaming on Independent Lens starting January 31. Lisa Molomot, who co-directed the film with Jeff Bemis, recently sat down with IDA to talk about the making of the film along with Jacob Bricca, co-producer with Molomot and Bemis, and Michelle Chinos, a participant in the film. MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY is about two families searching for their loved ones who went missing in the fields of Brooks County, Texas after crossing from Mexico. Watch the full #IDAscreens discussion.

LEF-supported project RECOVERY CITY (work-in-progress), directed by Lisa Olivieri and produced by Angelica Brisk, has received $10,000 in funding from various grant-makers, including the Watertown Cultural Council. The film is an intimate, unflinching portrait of four bold women who refuse to let themselves or their community give in to the stigma and despair of addiction. Watch the trailer.

ON THESE GROUNDS (101 min), a LEF-supported project directed by Garrett Zevgetis, had its national broadcast on December 20 on STARZ. The film is also available on demand on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Youtube, and more, as well as on DVD and Blu Ray. Find where to watch the film here.

LEF-supported project NORTH BY CURRENT (86 min), directed by Angelo Madsen Minax, was broadcast on POV/PBS last year, has a special screening lined up at BFI Flare in March, and has been acquired by Grasshopper (North America) and Journeyman Pictures (international) in advance of its world streaming release on March 29. This comes in the wake of nominations from IDA, Cinema Eye, and the Independent Spirit Awards, and appearances on several Best Films of 2021 lists. Find out more about Minax's new film in pre-production, A BODY TO LIVE IN.

ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (UDEYONV) (WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT) (8 min), directed by Brit Hensel and Keli Gonzales, and co-produced by LEF-grantee Adam Mazo, is making its world premiere in Sundance's virtual short film program. Made as part of the Reciprocity Project, a film series collaboration between Upstander Project, Nia Tero, and REI Co-op Studios, UDEYONV explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. The film will stream online from January 20-30 , as well as some in-person screenings (one of which will be in Amherst, MA). Watch the film online through Sundance.

THE STORY OF WEALTH (work-in-progress), directed by former LEF/CIFF Fellow Kevin Tobin, has been awarded a special project grant from Liberated Capital, a fund of Decolonizing Wealth Project. The project is a forthcoming documentary film series surveying U.S. capitalism, imperialism, and inequality from the colonies to the current day, and the team's goal is to wrap by the end of the year. Read the full announcement.
Are you a LEF grantee or fellow with news to share about your film?
We Have a New Website!
With the help of Juan Espinosa at Clearshot Design Solutions, and with database support from Cherry Yang and Chantal Sousa of AirOps Consulting, we've revamped the LEF website to give you better access to information about the Moving Image Fund, LEF's fellowship partnerships, latest news, our past grants directory, filmmaker opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: Community Supported Film Logo
SheridanWorks Filmmaking Courses (January - March)
SheridanWorks is offering filmmaking courses to filmmakers at any level over the age of 18. Courses include workshops in Camera and Sound (6 sessions starting 1/29) and Storytelling (6 sessions starting 2/28), Filmmaking Fundamentals (10 sessions starting 3/1), and ongoing one-to-one mentorship.

Image Description: Brown Girls Doc Mafia Logo
Brown Girls Doc Mafia is Hiring (Deadline: January 25)
Brown Girls Doc Mafia is seeking a Senior Communications Officer to use their passion for social media, writing, graphic design, marketing, PR, and creating original content to help BGDM advance their long-standing goals of visibility, growth, and power for BIPOC women and non-binary film professionals of color.

Image Description: Southern Documentary Fund Logo
Finding Your Vision in the Editing Room (January 27 @ 1pm)
Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) is hosting a free interactive mentorship roundtable discussion with Emmy-nominated documentary editor Carla Gutiérrez on finding your vision in the editing room.

Image Description: Boston Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture Logo
Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture Opportunity Fund
(Deadline: January 28)
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is currently accepting applications for the Opportunity Fund grants, prioritizing communities that have been most impacted by COVID-19. The Opportunity Fund is a grant for individual artists to help continue their professional development, support their artistic career, share their art, and teach others. There are two categories artists can apply for: Artist Career Development ($5,000) or Community Arts Experiences ($10,000).

Image Description: Points North Institute Logo
TV5MONDE Maine Heritage Film Grant
(Deadline: January 31)
The TV5MONDE Maine Heritage Film Grant is a $15,000 grant supporting the production of a documentary short filmed in Maine and to premiere at the Camden International Film Festival. Preference is given to projects highlighting Francophone culture in Maine and/or French-speaking populations, but all Maine heritage-focused projects will be considered.

Image Description: The Loop Lab Logo
The Loop Lab is Hiring
(Start Date: February 1)
The Loop Lab, a BIPOC-led nonprofit social enterprise specializing in media arts internships and digital storytelling, is hiring four new full-time positions: Senior Instructor, Instructor, Production Manager, and Administrative Manager. The mission of the Loop Lab is to empower Womxn and People of Color in the media arts to develop careers in audio/video through job training and job placement.

Image Description: Black Public Media Logo
Black Public Media Call for Shorts (Deadline: February 2)
Black Public Media is accepting completed short films that highlight the diversity and complexity of the Black experience across the globe for national public media distribution. Films must be between 3 and 30 minutes in length and completed within the last 3 years. 

Image Description: National Endowment for the Arts Logo
NEA Grants for Artists Projects (Deadline: February 10)
The National Endowment for the Arts is accepting applications for grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 through the Grants for Artists Projects program. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life. In the Media Arts category, priorities include support for advancing traditional or expanded forms of storytelling, visual expression, and performance using film, cinema, audio, broadcast, new media, creative code, and related formats at the intersection of arts and technology.

Image Description: MacDowell Logo
MacDowell Fall 2022 - Winter 2023 Fellowships (Deadline: February 10)
MacDowell provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to over 300 artists of exceptional talent each year. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to six weeks at its location in Peterborough, NH. MacDowell encourages artists from all backgrounds and all countries in the following disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. There are no residency fees. Travel grants as well as need-based stipends are available. Reference letters are also no longer required for this round.

Image Description: Sundance Institute Logo
Sundance Documentary Producers Lab and Fellowship (Deadline: February 10)
The Documentary Film Program’s Producers Lab and Fellowship is a yearlong program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support, Producers Summit attendance, industry mentorship, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute staff. Documentary Film Producing Fellows each receive a grant that may be applied to personal expenses and unsupported costs for project advancement.

Image Description: The Video Consortium Logo
The R.E.S.T. Summit (Deadline: February 18)
Presented by the Video Consortium and supported by the Google News Initiative, the R.E.S.T. Summit (Resilience, Emotional and Digital Security, Trauma) is a collaborative week-long virtual symposium that explores the nature of resilience, safety, and trauma for those working in video journalism and documentary film. The summit will take place Monday, March 21 through Friday, March 25, 2022.

Image Description: Color Congress Logo
Color Congress Unrestricted Supplemental Grants (Deadline: February 21)
The newly launched Color Congress is accepting letters of inquiry for unrestricted 2-year grants that will provide critical support to POC organizations with the smallest budgets that have not benefited from national funding, but which offer vital support to the documentary field and to their communities. The Color Congress is a national collective of majority people of color (POC) and POC-led organizations aimed at centering and strengthening nonfiction storytelling by, for and about people of color across the United States and territories. LOI submission opens on January 21.

Image Description: Osmosis Films Logo
Osmosis Films Open Call for Submissions (Rolling deadline: February 28)
Osmosis Films is looking to collaborate with documentary filmmakers and producers on creative development, production services, further financing, and the distribution of projects in development or early stages of production. In 2022, they will set aside up to $100,000 to be distributed across 2-3 selected projects that feature artist-led stories with a strong creative vision, character-driven documentaries with access to rarely seen worlds, and approaches in non-traditional storytelling with a strong point of view. Osmosis is open to features, docuseries, and projects that challenge form.

Image Description: Assets for Artists Logo
A4A Online Artist Workshops (Spring 2022)
Assets for Artists online workshops are open to artists who currently live in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, or are current/recent Studios at MASS MoCA artists-in-residence. Virtual attendance space is limited to maximize participation and peer support, but those registered will be able to view the Zoom recordings after the sessions. Spring 2022 workshop topics include publicity, social change, community-building, virtual presence, submitting to festivals, grant building, and more.

Image Description: Kickstarter, Creative Capital, and Skoll Logos
Creative Capital x Skoll Creator Fund (Ongoing)
Kickstarter, Creative Capital, and Skoll Foundation have partnered to launch a $500,000 Creative Capital x Skoll Foundation Fund that backs projects by Asian, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx creators on the crowdfunding platform. Effective immediately, funds will be awarded on an ongoing basis to creators with active projects across all of Kickstarter’s categories: Arts, Comics & Illustration, Design & Tech, Film, Food & Craft, Games, Music, and Publishing.

What We're Reading/Listening To
Earlier this month, former Director of IDA Funds and Enterprise Program Poh Si Teng published A Call to All Documentary Filmmakers in IDA's Documentary magazine. In the feature essay, Poh reflects on her own shift from "journalist and independent filmmaker to commissioner and gatekeeper," the latter term being one that she has reluctantly embraced out of duty to the communities she serves--and of which she is a part--through funding. Poh urges those in similar positions of power to consider their methods for enacting change: Are they festooned with calculated signaling, or are they transparent and honest? Are they short-term and necessary, or long-term and dawdling? Are the insular, or are they collectively minded?

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences put out a report, Art is Work: Policies to Support Creative Workers, which addresses the question: "How can we better recognize the value of artists in our national policy in order to enable the essential work they do?" A product of the Commission on the Arts, the report has been a multi-year, widely researched project that concluded with recommendations to name and include artists in federal policy, recognize how creative work happens, center equity, and think locally while sharing nationally. The report makes for valuable reading as we all contemplate what the future will require to build better artist support structures and systems at the federal, state, and local level.
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.