July 2022 Newsletter

In-Person Event: Fundraising for Documentary Films
This Monday, July 11 from 6:00-8:30pm at CIC Cambridge, join Massachusetts Production Coalition members and local filmmakers for an evening of presentations about successfully funded recent projects with discussions of trends, opportunities, and challenges in the field. Presenters include Dan Habib, Kathryn Dietz, James Rutenbeck, Sabrina Avilés, and Amy Geller, and the discussion will be moderated by Sara Archambault.

LEF is co-presenting this in-person event with the Center for Independent Documentary and Filmmakers Collaborative. Attendance is free for MPC members. The venue is ADA compliant.
Image description (above): Over a black-and-white photo of an event at CIC Cambridge where attendees watch a presenter, blue text reads: Fundraising for Documentary Films. Below that: Monday, July 11, 6:00-8:00pm. CIC Cambridge, Venture Cafe, 1 Broadway, 5th Floor. Presented with: Center for Independent Documentary (logo), Filmmakers Collaborative (logo), and LEF Foundation (logo). The large Mass Production Coalition logo sits in the bottom right corner.

LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image description: In this graphic for Lucia Small's film, Girl Talk, five teenage girls occupy their own differently-colored square with a sixth square displaying a podium. (Learn more about image descriptions)
Prior LEF grantee Lucia Small (ONE CUT, ONE LIFE) talked with Ms. Magazine about her film, GIRL TALK, a LEF-supported project about five Massachusetts school girls on their high school debate team. The film also recently played at Provincetown Film Festival, and will be part of Woods Hole Film Festival later this month. Read the full Ms. Magazine interview.

RECOVERY CITY (work-in-progress), a LEF-supported project directed by Lisa Oliveri, has received a grant from MetroWest Health Foundation. Oliveri's film follows the lives of four women in Worcester, MA as they each deal with different facets of addiction and recovery.

Prior LEF grantee Cristina Kotz Cornejo’s 360° personal documentary, LA RAÍZ ES MÁS IMPORTANTE QUE LA FLOR, is screening at the 2022 Māoriland Film Festival. The film, which traces Kotz Cornejo’s own lineage to descendants of the Huarpe people in Argentina, played at the Southern Hemisphere’s largest presenter of indigenous screen content earlier this month. See the full lineup of official selections.

Jameka Autry, a line producer for the LEF-supported project ERNIE & JOE: CRISIS COPS, directed and produced by Jenifer McShane, was named a finalist for the Dear Producer Awards. The film, which follows two Texas police officers who are helping to change the way law enforcement responds to mental health calls, is streaming on HBO Max. Read about all the Dear Producer finalists and awardees.
Are you a LEF grantee or fellow with news to share about your film?

2022 LEF - Flaherty Fellowship
Image Description: A post for the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar, Continents of Drifting Clouds, on which a white, abstract geometric pattern lies over a background divided into many vertical stripes of tonal gradations ranging from purple to brown. Below the pattern: June 25 - July 1, 2022, programmed by Almudena Escobar López and Sky Hopinka.
Last week, the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar took place at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. About the seminar titled Continents of Drifting Clouds, programmers Almudena Escobar López and Sky Hopinka wrote: "This 67th Flaherty Film Seminar invites filmmakers whose works reflect the multiple realities and intrinsic relationships between the local and the global. In times of responsive acts to settler colonial action and imperialism worldwide, our program offers a shift of the discussion from ways of seeing to changing the ways we know; promoting nuance and gesture of space over paternalistic attitudes of classification and domination, and maybe even welcoming the passive voice."

The thirteenth year of the LEF-Flaherty fellowship welcomed four New England-based filmmakers to the seminar. Selected by the Flaherty, the LEF New England Fellows included:
Emily Abi-Kheirs
Milton Guillén
Bea Hesselbart
Leigh Morfoot 

Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: Black Public Media Logo
MIT & Black Public Media Visiting Artist Program (Deadline: July 7)
The MIT & Black Public Media Visiting Artist Program aims to support Black creatives who use emerging technology as their medium for documentary and nonfiction storytelling. The joint program provides one academic year (9 months) of independent study within OpenDocLab with a purpose of researching and developing an emerging-tech, nonfiction project and moving the concept forward in substantive ways, including the creation of a package of pitch materials. Although applicants are encouraged to have at least one completed emerging technology production on their resume or filmography, previous emerging technology experience is not required to apply.

Image Description: ITVS Logo
ITVS Diversity Development Fund (Deadline: July 8)
The ITVS Diversity Development Fund gives directors of color up to $35,000 in research and development funding so that they can develop their documentary for public media. The documentary can be on any subject, viewpoint, or style as long as it is in development or pre-production. The Diversity Development Fund is not a grant. Filmmakers will receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS certain rights over their project during the term of the contract.

Image Description: Assets for Artists Logo
2023 Studios at MASSMoCA Residency (Deadline: July 8)
The Studios is MASS MoCA’s artist and writers residency program situated within the museum’s factory campus and operated by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists department. The residency runs year-round and hosts up to 10 artists at a time for stays of 2-8 weeks. Selected artists receive private, furnished studio space, housing, one communal meal per day, optional studio visits with curators, and access to Assets for artist Business Webinars and MASS MoCA member benefits.

Image Description: Points North Institute Logo
American Stories Documentary Fellowship (Deadline: July 12)
The American Stories Documentary Fellowship supports five filmmaking teams from underrepresented backgrounds with $10,000 grants to support documentaries about modern America in production or post-production. From September 11-18, fellows will participate in a creative retreat on the coast of Maine, where they’ll workshop their stories with experienced mentors and industry leaders in the week leading up to the Camden International Film Festival. Fellows also have an opportunity to connect with dozens of funders, distributors, and creative partners via industry meetings during CIFF and a virtual market following the festival.

Image Description: #docsgetreal, Getting Real '22, returns September 27-29
Getting Real Fellowship (Deadline: July 14)
The new Getting Real Fellowship program initiative spotlights emerging and mid-career documentary professionals who have inspired visions that will benefit their communities and the field at large. From September 27-29, 2022, Getting Real will welcome 20 fellows – ten filmmakers and ten industry professionals – to Los Angeles for the biennial Getting Real conference. In addition to covering airfare, lodging, and registration, the IDA offers its fellows a communal path through the conference and structured career development after the conference.

Image Description: Southern Documentary Fund Logo
Southern Documentary Fund Production Grant
(Deadline: July 18)
The Southern Documentary Fund Production Grant program seeks to bring visibility to makers and communities who are oftentimes overlooked by supporting directors who reside or have deep roots in one of twelve Southern states. Eligible projects are nonfiction documentaries (Shorts, features, docuseries, and experimental works) that are in production. An informational session will take place on Tuesday, July 12 at 4pm Eastern.

Image Description: FWD-Doc Logo
FWD-Doc Accessibility Scorecard (Zoom Event: July 22)
At 1pm Eastern, FWD-Doc will be hosting a Zoom meeting to roll out their Film Event Accessibility Scorecard initiative. The Film Event Accessibility Scorecard was made in partnership with Event Accessibility Working Group with the support of Film Festival Alliance. The initiative recently received a write-up in Variety. ASL and CART will be provided for the Zoom. Please email hello@fwd-doc.org to request accommodations.

Image Description: The Gotham Logo
Documentary Development Initiative w/ HBO
(Deadline: July 26)
The Documentary Development Initiative is a new partnership between The Gotham and HBO Documentary Films. The program is created for storytellers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or storytellers with disabilities. The program's intent is to provide resources to develop thought-provoking, character-driven contemporary ideas for documentary films and limited series. Up to 10 selected filmmakers will be given grants of $50,000 for research and creative development at an early stage. Ideas generated through the initiative will be offered to HBO on a “first-look” basis, giving HBO the first opportunity to make an offer to develop them further.

Image Description: AXS Film Fund Logo
AXS Film Fund (Deadline: July 31)
Up to five creators of color who identify as having a disability will be awarded a one-time grant of up to $10,000 each to assist in advancing their documentary filmmaking or nonfiction new media projects in any stage of production. Applications open June 1.

Image Description: Firelight Media Logo
Firelight Media William Greaves Funds (Deadline: August 8)
With PBS, the William Greaves Production Fund will resource documentary productions by mid-career filmmakers from diverse communities in the United States that are intended for distribution on PBS through finishing funds or co-production funding. The William Greaves Research & Development Fund, now in its third year, is targeted toward filmmakers based in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, with a particular interest in those who identify as being of Indigenous and/or of African descent. The Research & Development Fund will comprise grants ranging up to $40,000 each to support research and development on a feature-length nonfiction film.

Image Description: Catapult Film Fund Logo
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.

Image Description: Community Supported Film Logo
SheridanWorks Filmmaking Courses (June - September)
SheridanWorks is offering filmmaking courses to filmmakers at any level over the age of 18. Courses include workshops in Filmmaking Fundamentals (6/6),
Storytelling (6/8),
Camera and Sound (7/14), Editing (8/4), a Filmmaking Projects Group (9/21), and ongoing one-to-one mentorship.

Image Description: National Endowment for the Arts Logo
NEA Media Arts Grant Reviewers Needed (Ongoing)
The National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts program is currently recruiting film/media arts professionals and persons knowledgeable about film/media arts but not engaged in the arts as a profession either full- or part-time. Participating as a grant review panelist is a great way to get a birds eye view of the field and see the grant process from the other side. NEA panelists are provided with an honorarium for their time. Interested in volunteering or nominating someone? 

Learn more, or send the Media Arts team a message at mediaarts[at]arts.gov.

What We're Reading
Image Description: A film crew and lighting equipment populate the brick terrace at the bottom of the steps leading to the Middlesex Probate and Family Court building in Cambridge, an imposing red brick building with a Greek Revival facade.

Last month, Variety magazine included a special 15-page supplement with a Spotlight on Massachusetts. Within this special edition, the spotlight was aimed at what has led Massachusetts to join the “top tier of the list of locations for filming,” in the words of Massachusetts Production Coalition Executive Director, David Hartman, who is quoted at length in the supplement among other voices from the MA Film Office, filmmaking teams, local organizations, and crews. 

While the spotlight’s focus is on what makes Massachusetts attractive to large-scale productions that would otherwise be filming in hubs like New York or Toronto, the burgeoning popularity of the commonwealth as a regional capital for film production has generative implications that extend to the independent filmmaking community in New England through an availability of work-for-hire and opportunities to build one's resume here in our own backyard.

The primary incentive attracting productions to the commonwealth is the Massachusetts film tax credit, which began as an initiative in 2006, was improved in 2007, and was made permanent last year with the elimination of the "sunset clause." The credit offers a 25% rebate for Massachusetts-based spending provided 75% of production costs are spent in-state, and includes a minimum qualified spending of only $50k-- this has meant smaller budget projects can take advantage of the tax incentives. Huge thanks are due to the independent community who contributed to this grassroots effort!

The supplement also includes pieces that center film tourism, post-production facilities, and Quincy’s Marina Studios, which since its opening in 2021 has been booked through 2026 as the only dedicated soundstage near Boston.
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.