March 2021 Newsletter
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image Description: In this still image from the film North By Current, a person wearing a hooded winter coat and winter boots walks through snow. Behind them is a brick wall painted with a mural showing large white stars stretched against a blue background, a detail of the U.S. flag. (Learn more about image descriptions)
NORTH BY CURRENT (86 min) directed by Angelo Madsen Minax and produced by Felix Endara, had its world premiere at Berlinale last week and has been acquired by POV, where it will have its US broadcast premiere on PBS later this year.

SXSW Film Festival (March 16-20) is featuring work by two LEF-supported filmmaking teams this year, including the world premiere of the LEF-funded feature documentary SPRING VALLEY, directed by Garrett Zevgetis, and produced by Chico Colvard, Ariana Garfinkel, & Jeff Consiglio. Additionally, filmmaker Ken Winikur (known for his LEF-funded documentary J STREET) and Ariel Efron are having the world premiere of their new VR work called A PROMISE KEPT.

ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES (73 min), directed by Abigail Child and produced by Jennifer Burton, will screen at the Manchester Film Fest (UK) on March 12, and the DC Independent Film Festival from March 31-April 8. The film also just finished a run at the Northern Ireland Science Festival.

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (81 min) co-directed and produced by Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot, continues its online festival run this month, including two upcoming streaming windows at the San Diego Latino Film Festival from March 11-21 and Salem Film Fest from March 19-28.

INSTRUCTIONS ON PARTING (95 min), directed by Amy Jenkins (known for her LEF-funded work-in-progress ADAM'S APPLE), is currently having its online debut with DAFilms as part of a special program of film recommendations from festival programmers working across the Americas. There will be a live virtual Q&A on Tuesday, March 16th at 1PM Eastern, moderated by Kathy Brew, former Programmer for MoMA Doc Fortnight. Register here to join the Q&A on Zoom.

THE CALL (in production), directed by Chico Colvard and produced by Madison O'Leary, was one of seven films recently awarded a Pare Lorentz grant by the International Documentary Association.
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!
TAKE ACTION: Support production jobs in MA
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.
The Massachusetts Production Coalition (MPC) is organizing local filmmakers and film workers in a campaign to write to their legislators in support of the Film & Television Production Tax Incentive program. As valued members of the broader film community, and we're asking you to learn more and write to your representatives!

If you're an independent filmmaker in Massachusetts who hasn’t yet taken advantage of the film tax credit, you might wonder why this fight relates to your work.

Here's why: Thousands of local film production jobs are on the line, the numerous positions that make up the film eco-system, and your next project could qualify as well. You don't necessarily have to be a fan of shows like Castle Rock to see the impact that productions like these can and do have. The film tax credit incentivizes film productions at every level to shoot in MA, generating income for local businesses, and fostering a growing and organized film labor movement that we all can be a part of by showing solidarity with these efforts.

Two bills have been filed in the Massachusetts State Legislature to eliminate the “sunset clause”, or a date set for elimination, which has always been built into the Massachusetts Film & Television Production Tax Incentive program. The clause has required a periodic renewal of the tax incentive program by the state legislature; each time the MPC has taken up the fight and succeeded in lobbying on our behalf to keep the tax incentives in place. Now it's time to eliminate the “sunset clause” for good. We need your help to ensure the votes are there to pass these bills.

The MPC has made reaching out to your legislators easy with the following action link, which automatically identifies your State Representative and State Senator by zip code.

The DocYard
Image Description: In this still image from the film SO LATE SO SOON, the film's main participants, artists Jackie Seiden and Don Seiden, look closely at one another.
Next up for the DocYard's Spring 2021 Season is SO LATE SO SOON (2020, 71 minutes), which begins streaming TODAY March 12 through Thursday, March 18 via Eventive. On Monday, March 15 at 3pm Eastern, join a Zoom Q&A with director Daniel Hymanson and editor Isidore Bethel hosted by DocYard Curator Abby Sun.
Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: The NALAC logo
NALAC COVID-19 Relief Grant (Deadline: March 17)
NALAC's 2021 Actos de Confianza relief effort offers expanded support for Latinx artists and arts organizations who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. NALAC will distribute $2,500 grants to Latinx artists and cultural workers and $5,000 grants to Latinx arts organizations facing critical financial emergencies. Individuals and organizations in the Eastern U.S. and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply during this cycle.

Image Description: The Canyon Cinema logo
Canyon Cinema Curatorial Fellowship (Deadline: April 1)
Canyon Cinema Foundation invites proposals for Canyon Cinema Discovered, a new year-long fellowship program that will support four fellows in curating programs from Canyon’s unique collection of artist-made films for online streaming and a possible screening tour (conditions permitting). Recipients will receive $3000 and research guidance from a team of project advisors including Christopher Harris, Steffanie Ling, Adam Piron, and Lynne Sachs.

Image Description: The Sundance Institute logo
2021 Uprise Grant Fund (Deadline: April 5)
Launching this week through an open application, Uprise will dedicate $100,000 to support up to 25 emerging U.S.-based BIPOC artists whose creative development has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Created by the Sundance Outreach & Inclusion Program, this unrestricted fund will support personal livelihoods and creative projects.

Image Description: The Points North Institute logo
Points North Fellowship (Earlybird Deadline: April 12)
The Points North Fellowship brings six teams of early- and mid-career filmmakers to accelerate the development of their feature documentary, culminating in the public presentation of works-in-progress at the Points North Pitch. The Points North Fellowship aims to strengthen filmmakers’ artistic voices and propel their careers forward by facilitating new relationships with mentors, collaborators and funders.

Image Description: The CreateWell Fund logo
Converging Liberations Residency (Deadline: April 12)
Converging Liberations Residency is an experimental, community-informed project committed to the belief that artistic practice is key to imagining and practicing liberatory futures. This is a one-month, fully funded residency program for Massachusetts-based artists of color and will take place at The Studios at MASS MoCA in the Massachusetts Berkshires from August 11 - Sept 7, 2021.

Image Description: The PBS Logo and the words "Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers" appears on a blue background.
PBS Open Call for Emerging Filmmakers (Deadline: April 16)
To further amplify the voices of emerging and diverse/BIPOC content creators across public media, PBS has issued an open call for proposals to support long and short form documentaries produced and created by diverse/BIPOC filmmakers that explore a broad range and collection of experiences, perspectives, and points of view. Grants will be up to $50K (for long-form work) or $15K (for short-form work).

Image Description: The International Documentary Association Logo
IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Production Grants (Deadline: April 19)
The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides production funds (up to $100K) to feature-length documentary films taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process..

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: The 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: The Doc Society Logo
Doc Society New Perspectives Fellowship (Deadline: May 10)
A two year artist development opportunity supporting daring new works by US-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.


What We're Reading/Listening To
The Mass Cultural Council just released a new COVID-19 impact report on the economic crisis facing the the arts & culture field, which it will be using to add to its request to increase the state's arts & culture budget and to partner with state arts advocacy organization MASSCreative in urging state legislators to create a new $200 million COVID-19 relief fund to go to arts organizations, individual artists, and arts workers who've been impacted by the pandemic across Massachusetts. Please join this effort by asking your legislators to support more COVID-19 relief funding for artists.

Karin Chien of dGenerate Films and Distribution Advocates recently wrote about why we need to think far beyond movie theater re-openings if we care about the future of independent film exhibition.

For Berlin Critics' Week, the DocYard's Curator Abby Sun (also a member of Distribution Advocates) wrote about why more film criticism needs to focus on film festivals, not just films.

Gabby Sumney's This Week in Experimental newsletter has become a vital local resource for filmmaker opportunities. However, what's unique about this homegrown effort is that each newsletter ends with a creative prompt (this week's is about spending some time with plant life, as spring returns). See the most recent newsletter and sign up for future editions.

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.