May 2021 Newsletter
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image Description: In this still image from the film "North by Current", a broad silhouetted figure of a sawmill foreman is seen in the foreground, facing away from view, with their right hand carefully positioned over a control panel, as they oversee a large room full of fading green and bright yellow machinery processing lumber in the background below. (Learn more about image descriptions)
NORTH BY CURRENT (85 min), directed by Madsen Minax and produced by Felix Endara, will have its North American Premiere (virtually and in person) at the Tribeca Film Festival (June 9-20)

SPRING VALLEY (108 min) directed by Garrett Zevgetis and produced by Chico Colvard, Jeff Consiglio, and Ariana Garfinkel, received the Special Jury Award for Documentary Feature from the Independent Film Festival Boston. You can view the Q&A here.

Five new LEF New England Flaherty Fellows will be attending this year's virtual Flaherty Film Seminar: Alison Folland, Caroline Losneck, Homa Sarabi-Daunais, Matt Shaw, and Bronte Stahl. Learn more and register.

LEF grantees Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip, and Khary Saeed Jones were among the filmmakers awarded Film/Video Artist Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

On June 7, LEF grantee and 2020-2021 FSC-LEF Fellow Kathryn Ramey will be speaking together with Sofia Gallisá Muriente about anti-colonial cinema practices at the Shifting Ecologies Conference on Photochemical Film in the Digital Era (June 7-11). The conference will be free to attend virtually.

APART (85 min), directed by Jennifer Redfearn and produced by Tim Metzger and Jennifer Redfearn, recently screened at Hot Docs and the Cleveland International Film Festival, where director Jennifer Redfearn took part in a virtual Q&A with several of the film participants. The film is currently having its New York premiere as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (through May 27).

RECOVERY CITY (work-in-progress), directed by Lisa Olivieri and produced by Angélica Brisk, recently received $10,000 from the Reliant Foundation in Worcester.

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!
Reminder: LEF Development Deadline
Image Description: A still from Gabby Sumney's LEF-funded film "Paradise", a personal documentary exploring race, immigration, and imperialism through the the filmmaker's multiracial Caribbean American family. The film was awarded a LEF Pre-production grant in 2020.
There are just under two weeks left to submit an application for LEF's 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, 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 again to all of the Massachusetts-based independent filmmakers who joined as co-signers on the filmmaker advocacy letter sent to state legislators last month in support of the film tax credit in Massachusetts.

As the Massachusetts State Senate begins budget debates today, learn more about recent advocacy on behalf of the film tax credit in this new article from Erin Trahan for WBUR's The ARTery, and from WCVB's coverage of today's demonstration at the Massachusetts state house.

The initial article details four changes to the film tax credit program that the Senate Ways and Means Committee has proposed, including the expiration of the film tax credit program in 2027. This comes after the Massachusetts House voted for a budget that would make the film tax incentive program permanent.

Amendment #846 (sponsored by Senator Mike Moore of Worcester) would remove these proposed changes and ensure the film tax incentive program can remain permanent.

The DocYard Spring Season Finale
Image Description: In this still from the film "Taming the Garden", a container ship carrying a large green leafy tree moves across the open ocean, just below the horizon on a bright day.
A recording of the DocYard's most recent filmmaker conversation between Curator Abby Sun and Salomé Jashi, director of the film TAMING THE GARDEN, 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.

The film will be available to view online through May 27 for North American audiences, as the DocYard's Spring 2021 season finale!
Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: ITVS Logo
ITVS Open Call (Deadline: June 11)
Open Call offers independent producers up to $350,000 (in the form of a co-production agreement, not a grant) to complete production for a standalone broadcast length documentary to air on public television. The documentary can be on any subject, viewpoint or style as long as it is in active production already, as evidenced via a ten to fifteen minute work in progress sample. For pre-production nonfiction projects, see Diversity Development Fund or Short-Form Open Call

Image Description: Points North Logo
Points North Fellowship (Deadline: June 14)
The Points North Fellowship brings six teams of early- and mid-career filmmakers from around the world to accelerate the development of their feature documentaries, culminating in the public presentation of works-in-progress at the Points North Pitch during the Camden International Film Festival. The fellowship offers a $1000 stipend per project to support travel to Camden, 2 all access passes to CIFF and the Points North Forum, and 5 nights of accommodations for two during the festival to take place in person in mid-coast Maine in September 2021.

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.

Image Description: Firelight Media Logo
Firelight Media Doc Lab (Deadline: June 15)
The Firelight Media Documentary Lab is an 18-month fellowship program that supports filmmakers in the United States from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities working on their first or second feature-length documentary film. The Documentary Lab provides filmmakers with a $15,000 grant toward their projects as well as customized mentorship from prominent leaders in the documentary world, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities.

Image Description: A blue banner image from Latino Public Broadcasting promoting three upcoming funding opportunities: Digital Media Fund, Public Media Content Fund, and Current Issues Fund. On the left side of the banner are the words "Apply Now, deadline 06/28". On the right side of the banner are a selection of still images from three supported LPB films.
Latino Public Broadcasting Funding (Deadline: June 28)
Latino Public Broadcasting’s 2021 LPB Funding Cycle is open and they’re accepting applications for three distinct funding initiatives -- the Current Issues Fund (CIF), Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) and Digital Media Fund. LPB is looking for filmmakers with great stories, fresh ideas and strong story-telling skills. LPB is looking to fund a wide variety of projects that celebrate and reflect the diverse Latino experience and bring new audiences to public media. These can be documentaries or fiction, full-length or short, traditional or digital media.

What We're Reading/Listening To
The DocYard's Curator Abby Sun was in conversation with Brett Story at DOXA about the pathways to building more public, democratic, collective, and horizontal artist support infrastructures among filmmakers.

A free online retrospective of Elia Suleiman's films is available to view online through May 30.

The 2021 Roxbury International Film Festival runs from June 17-26. Subscribe to the RoxFilm newsletter for updates on the schedule!

Thanks for reading and till next time,

The LEF New England team
Lyda & Gen

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.