May 2022 Newsletter
MIF Application Deadline: This Friday!
Image Description: Over a blue and gray diamond background, blue text announces: Now accepting applications for Pre-production and Early Development, with a deadline of Friday, June 3.
LEF is accepting applications for Pre-production and Early Development grants through the Moving Image Fund until Friday, June 3 at 11:59pm.
A maximum of (6) grants of $5,000 each will be awarded to projects in the Pre-production phase, and a maximum of (6) grants of $2,500 each will be awarded to projects in the Early Development phase. See our eligibility requirements and guidelines.
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image description: A mosaic of 12 small squares, one with the LEF logo and 11 with still images from the projects selected for Moving Image Fund grants for Production and Post-production. (Learn more about image descriptions)

LEF announced Spring 2022's Moving Image Fund recipients last Tuesday, granting $205,000 to eleven projects in either Production ($15,000) or Post-production ($25,000). This year’s selected films represent a chorus of perspectives questioning how best to celebrate, conserve, and connect with the past and present while forging ahead into an unwritten future.


  • COSMIC CODA (dir./prod. Mary-Jane Doherty)
  • Kaksori! (dir. Shirley Kim-Ryu, Eben Portnoy; prod. Kim-Ryu, Portnoy, Marcela Santibañez)
  • King Luck (dir. Emily Graham-Handley; prod. Graham-Handley, Tom Donahue)
  • My Disability Roadmap (dir. Dan Habib, Samuel Habib; prod. Dan Habib)
  • Requiem for a River (dir. Mary Patierno; prod. Patierno, Hugo Pérez)
  • The Source of Life (Te Puna Ora) (dir. Virginie Tetoofa; prod. Kiran Jandu, Riham Ezzaldeen, Ciara Lacy)
  • Untitled Wastewater Documentary (dir. Kaitlyn Schwalje, Alex Wolf Lewis; prod. Rebecca Stern, Justin Levy)


  • Adam's Apple (dir. Amy Jenkins)
  • Cairo, IL Project (working title) (dir. Lisa Marie Malloy, JP Sniadecki, Ray Whitaker; prod. Karin Chien, Wynne Hannan)
  • Israelism (dir. Eric Axelman, Sam Eilertsen; prod. Axelman, Daniel Chalfen)
  • School District (dir. Leigh Morfoot, Jason Morfoot; prod. Leigh Morfoot)
Image description: In this close-up still from Amy Jenkins's work-in-progress, Adam's Apple, shaving cream forms a beard over the smiling face of Adam, a young boy with light skin. (Learn more about image descriptions)
Amy Jenkins was selected by Harvard's Film Study Center as the 2022-23 recipient of the Film Study Center-LEF Foundation Fellowship with her LEF-supported project ADAM'S APPLE, an intimate exploration of what characterizes “maleness” for today’s gender-redefining youth. Filmed from the perspectives of Jenkins and her teenage transgender son, Adam, vérité and artistic imagery chronicle the evolution of Adam’s identity beginning at toddlerhood, unveiling the ever-shifting family dynamic as Adam charts his path toward manhood. See the full announcement.

MY DISABILITY ROADMAP (work-in-progress), a LEF-supported feature-length documentary directed by Dan Habib and Samuel Habib, is available in the form of a New York Times Op-Doc short. The film follows co-director Samuel, a young man with complex disabilities, as he navigates the path to work, college, and relationships while seeking out wisdom from disability activists across the country. Watch the short film on the NYT website.

At IFFBoston last month, the Best Documentary Audience Award went to LEF-supported project GIRL TALK (91 min), directed by Lucia Small, which follows five girls on a Massachusetts high school debate team. The film, which had its world premiere at IFFB, is having its virtual premiere presented by the Women's Debate Institute and will be streaming until June 4, when a live Zoom discussion will be held at 7pm Eastern. Get your virtual ticket.

Also at IFFB, A DECENT HOME (86 min), directed by Sara Terry and co-produced by Alysa Nahmias and former LEF Program Director Sara Archambault, was chosen for the Karen Schmeer Excellence in Film Editing Award. Check out all the IFFB award-winners.

Prior LEF grantee Sabrina Aviles (CHELSEA: AN ESSENTIAL CITY, POWER AND LIGHT, MI CASITA) was one of 120 artists/creatives to receive support through the City of Boston’s Opportunity Fund. More than $800,000 was awarded to support professional development opportunities and free, accessible community arts experiences. Read the announcement.

RECOVERY CITY (work-in-progress), a LEF-supported project directed by Lisa Oliveri, has received a grant from the Reliant 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 Jodie Mack (THE GRAND BIZARRE) was selected as one of twenty-five New England-based artists participating in this year's New England Triennial. The celebration of the vitality of contemporary art will span two museum venues, de Cordova Sculpture Park and Fruitlands Museum, until September 11. See the full announcement.

Virginie Tetoofa (THE SOURCE OF LIFE [TE PUNA ORA]) and Sierra Urich (JOONAM) participated in the Hot Docs Deal Maker earlier this month at Hot Docs Festival. Tetoofa's and Urich's LEF-supported films were among a total of thirty-five Deal Maker projects and twenty Hot Docs Forum projects that pitched online to international decision makers. Take a look at the full list of selected Deal Maker projects.

DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA (115 min), co-directed by prior LEF grantees Véréna Paraval and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (CANIBA, LEVIATHAN), had its world premiere at Cannes as part of the Directors' Fortnight. See the rest of the film selections.

Angelo Madsen Minax had a special engagement of his LEF-supported film NORTH BY CURRENT (85 min) at the Anthology Film Archives earlier this month. Minax is also a co-curator of an ongoing film series at Anthology called The Cinema of Gender Transgression.
Are you a LEF grantee or fellow with news to share about your film?
Upcoming Film Opportunities
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Artists Anonymous
(Next meeting TODAY May 31)
Artists Anonymous is a bi-monthly meeting where creatives gather to hold space, set goals, and nurture their creative processes. This program will consist of one in person meeting and one virtual meeting a month. Meetings will begin with introductions and check-ins about artistic goals and projects. Can't make the meeting? Fill out the sign-up form and stay tuned for the next one!

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Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film
(Deadline: June 1)
This annual national prize is designed to provide finishing funds, including outreach and marketing, for feature-length U.S. historical documentaries in the tradition of Ken Burns. As ever more Americans learn history watching historical documentary films, the Crimson Lion/Lavine Family Foundation makes possible this Library of Congress national prize with The Better Angels Society.

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The Gotham Week Project Market: Spotlight on Documentaries
(Extended Deadline: June 3)
Designed to support emerging and established documentarians, the Spotlight on Documentaries program connects 60+ work-in-progress, non-fiction features and series at all stages of production with financiers, distributors, broadcasters, sales companies, and festival programmers. The Gotham Week Project Market will take place September 17-23. To submit your project, you must be a member of The Gotham. Use the code GWPM22 for 25% off of your annual membership fee when you join at the Pro or Essential level.

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SFFilm Documentary Film Fund (Final Deadline: June 3)
The SFFILM Documentary Film Fund (DFF) supports engaging feature documentaries in post-production which exhibit compelling stories, intriguing characters, and an original, innovative visual approach. The DFF grants its support to approximately 3 projects each year with grants of $20,000. As with all SFFILM grants, in addition to the cash awards, recipients will gain access to numerous benefits through the comprehensive and dynamic SFFILM Makers artist development program.

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2022 Sundance Documentary Fund (Deadline: June 6)
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) prioritizes support for independent nonfiction films at any production phase from development through post-production with budgets under $1,000,000 USD. For United States productions, the DFP prioritizes films led by artists from historically underrepresented communities with a key creative from the community or with deep ties to the community in a power-holding position represented on the team. This application is also used for consideration for the Gucci, Kendeda, Luminate, and Sandbox funds.

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IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund (Deadline: June 10)
The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides up to $100,000 in production funds to filmmakers with feature-length documentary films taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories that integrate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Previous recipients have received pro bono legal support, research and fact-checking support, and consultations with experts and craftspeople.

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Firelight Media Documentary Lab (Deadline: June 13)
The Documentary Lab develops emerging nonfiction filmmakers of color who make artful and innovative documentary films that focus on underrepresented communities and provide new narratives about the most pressing issues of our time. The 18-month program provides filmmakers with a $25,000 grant toward their projects as well as customized mentorship from prominent leaders in the documentary world, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities. All types of long-form documentary projects – historical, investigative, personal, vérité, and experimental will be considered.

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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. Applications are open in three categories: Sustaining Practice, New Work/Projects, and Ongoing Platforms. Visual artists, independent curators, and collectives across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties are welcome to apply.

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CPH:LAB Call For Projects (Deadline: June 16)
CPH:LAB offers nine teams of artists the opportunity to develop their interactive and immersive projects during a multi-month incubator that will explore the potential of digital interactive technologies and advance new visions of what a documentary can be in a digital age. The training programme runs as a combination of onsite and online workshops and mentoring sessions spanning from September 2022 to February 2023, with the project to be presented at CPH:DOX in March to a specially-invited group of industry leaders. Artists from different career stages and artistic backgrounds are encouraged to submit.

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Latino Public Broadcasting Funding Cycle (Deadline: June 27)
Latino Public Broadcasting is accepting applications for three distinct funding initiatives -- the Current Issues Fund (CIF), Public Media Content Fund (PMCF) and Digital Media Fund. 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. Projects can be long form documentaries for the Public Media Content Fund and the Current Issues Fund, and short form nonfiction or fiction for the Digital Media Fund.

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Upstander Project is Hiring (Start Date July 11)
Upstander Project is seeking a talented young filmmaker who identifies as Indigenous, Black and/or as a Person of Color for a full-time fellowship for a period of six months. Responsibilities involve creating short videos about Upstander Project, and the fellow must be available to attend the Upstander Academy in Greater Boston in-person from July 31 - August 5, 2022 (travel expenses will be covered). The ideal candidate for this fellowship would be open to the possibility of longer-term collaboration. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]
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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
Image Description: Cover image for Nonfiction Storytelling on Gun Violence in the United States: Where We've Been and Where We Can Go, commissioned by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, with yellow, orange, red, and pale blue tiles over black-and-white photographs.

In the wake of the latest high-profile acts of gun violence, we wanted to highlight the unfortunate and enduring timeliness of the report commissioned by the Sundance Documentary Film Program in October of 2021, Nonfiction Storytelling on Gun Violence in the United States. This in-depth piece of research led by Eliza Licht, Will Jenkins, Michon Boston, and Alice Quinlan highlights key learnings for filmmakers, funders, and advocacy groups working at the intersection of gun violence and storytelling.

In addition to highlighting stories that center community-based solutions, urging for care and empowerment on film teams, and providing a rigorous analysis of the intersections of race, guns, and gun violence prevention, the report asks how we might "embrace complexity and reframe what we categorize as a gun violence prevention film." This is but one of many takeaways from the publication about an endemic and crucial issue in the United States, but it is one of interest to both filmmakers and funders as we continue to reflect upon the ways in which nonfiction filmmaking can be a landscape of education, expansion, and healing.

You can read the press release about this report here, which also features the announcement of the five recipients of the Sundance Institute | Kendeda Short Film Fund in partnership with TIME Studios. The support of these short films aimed at elevating stories that underline gun violence in popular discourse was made possible by the support of The Kendeda Fund.
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.