October 2021 Newsletter
LEF Moving Image Fund Grantee News
Image Description: In this still image from Khary Saeed Jones' work-in-progress "Night Fight", a person walks in the background on a path through a wooded area. In the foreground, the reflections or superimpositions of several vertical shapes, including the grilles of a window frame, a wooden support beam, and a tree, all form a part of a complex composition, creating crisp transparency in some areas, and bright multi-layered abstraction in others. (Learn more about image descriptions)
NIGHT FIGHT (work-in-progress), directed by Khary Saeed Jones and produced by Kendra Taira Field, has been selected as one of the 11 recipients of this year's William Greaves Fund. This new international award was founded in 2020 by Firelight Media to support mid-career filmmakers from racially and ethnically under-represented communities, particularly filmmakers of Indigenous or African descent. It offers $40,000 to each awardee in support of research and development on a feature documentary project. See the full list of 2021 William Greaves Fund recipients.

NORTH BY CURRENT (85 min), directed by Angelo Madsen Minax and produced by Felix Endara, won the Harrell Award at the Camden International Film Festival "for its visionary spirit and willingness to tackle deeply emotional themes, displaying a radical and raw intimacy and spirit of experimentation in the face of unthinkable trauma." Read more about CIFF's programming, and award winners and learn more about the film's upcoming screenings and November 1 PBS broadcast premiere.

ON THESE GROUNDS (81 min), directed by Garrett Zevgetis and produced by Chico Colvard, Jeff Consiglio, and Ariana Garfinkel, was recently reviewed in The Guardian, and is now available to buy or rent on demand through cable and internet streaming platforms. See the trailer and learn how to watch the film here.

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (80 min), directed by Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot, won the award for Best Feature at the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival and just completed a streaming run for Massachusetts residents as part of the Boston Latino International Film festival. See where you can watch the film next.

Two LEF-funded feature documentary works-in-progress, CHELSEA: AN ESSENTIAL CITY by Sabrina Aviles & Jenny Alexander and THE FATE OF HUMAN BEINGS by Heather Cassano, have been selected as the recipients of the Expand Massachusetts Stories Grant offered by Mass Humanities. The award offers up to $20,000 in project support to projects that collect, interpret and/or share narratives about Massachusetts, with an emphasis on the voices and experiences that have gone unrecognized, or have been excluded from public conversation.

In September, Anthology Film Archives featured a retrospective of films by Jim Finn, whose current work-in-progress THE APOCALYPTIC IS THE MOTHER OF ALL CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY was awarded a 2021 Moving Image Fund Pre-production grant. Additionally, earlier this month the Harvard Film Archive screened Finn's 2020 film THE ANNOTATED FIELD GUIDE OF ULYSSES S. GRANT as part of an online film program called "Devour the Land: Cinema, Landscape, History".

The Revolutions Per Minute Film Festival, co-organized by prior LEF grantee Wenhua Shi in collaboration with writer and independent curator Yangqiao Lu, is taking place both online and in-person from Oct 15-24, including works by prior LEF-supported grantees and fellows Luis Arnias, Amber Bemak, Alison Folland, Brittany Gravely, Angelo Madsen Minax, and Josh Weissbach. The festival will also feature filmmaker Q&As guest moderated by DocYard Curator Abby Sun, and LEF Flaherty Fellows Homa Sarabi-Daunais and Sarah Bliss.

The GlobeDocs Film Festival is taking place both online and in-person from October 13-17, featuring SEARCHERS, a new work by prior LEF grantee Pacho Velez.

Up next at the DocYard on October 18 is a special benefit screening of Far From Afghanistan (2012) in support of Community Supported Film’s Fund for Afghan Evacuation and Resettlement. This omnibus film features segments directed by five filmmakers, including prior LEF grantees John Gianvito and Soon-mi Yoo, in addition to Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, and Minda Martin.
In Solidarity with IATSE
Image Description: The IATSE logo in black on a yellow background
You may have heard the news that members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), the union that represents camera operators, cinematographers, editors, art directors, and many other crew members and craftspeople across the film and television industry, voted to authorize a strike last week.

The intent was to pressure the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), whose members include major studios and production companies like Netflix, Disney, and Paramount, to return to the negotiation table, which has now succeeded as these talks have resumed. The hope now is to reach a favorable agreement for IATSE members, including increased wages, safer working conditions, and adequate rest periods, which would avoid organizing a strike.

LEF joins our colleagues across the film community in expressing our support for IATSE's members, particularly the IATSE Locals with a presence in New England.

LEF Executive Director Lyda Kuth has co-signed this Mass Production Coalition board statement in solidarity with IATSE union members, and LEF Program Director Gen Carmel has co-signed this IATSE petition open to both IATSE members and non-member allies, which continues to collect signatures if you'd like to add your name as well.

Congressional members from across New England, including Elizabeth Warren (MA), Edward Markey (MA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Peter Welch (VT), David Cicilline (RI), Jack Reed (RI), Ann Kuster (NH), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Jahana Hayes (CT), John Larson (CT), Chris Murphy (CT), and Chellie Pingree (ME) have joined 120 senators and representatives in Washington to show support for these workers.

Here are three action steps you can take to follow this situation and support IATSE members:

  1. Follow IATSE for updates on the status of this fight, which is relevant not only to union members but to the film community as a whole.
  2. Find and follow the IATSE Locals in your area.
  3. Sign the union's official petition and share it with others.
Upcoming Film Opportunities
Image Description: Center for Asian American Media Logo
Center for Asian American Media Documentary Fund (Deadline: October 20)
With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides project funding to independent documentary films by and about the Asian American experience for public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public television broadcast. Awards typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.

Image Description: Dunamis Emerging Artist Fellowship Logo
Dunamis Emerging Artist Fellowship (Deadline: October 29)
Dunamis' EAF program provides professional development training for emerging artists of color in the city of Boston. Over the course of a year, recipients will have access to workshops, masterclasses, social events and one-on-one coaching to help develop their artistic lens and kickstart their career as creative entrepreneurs.

Image Description: In this banner image from the Frameline Completion Fund, filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax leans over a video camera on the right-hand side of the image, which fades to black on the left, revealing the Frameline Completion Fund logo, and the words "2021 Applications Now Open! Submission Deadline: 10/31"
Frameline Completion Fund (Deadline: October 31)
The Frameline Completion Fund offers up to $5000 to emerging and established filmmakers in the post-production phase of their LGBTQ+ projects. Submissions are accepted for documentary, narrative, experimental, animated or episodic projects about LGBTQ+ people and their communities.

Image Description: The Jewish Film Institute Logo
Jewish Film Institute Filmmaker Residency Program (Deadline: October 31)
JFI’s national, year-long Filmmaker-in-Residence program provides creative, marketing, and production support for filmmakers exploring and expanding thoughtful consideration of Jewish history, life, culture and identity.

Image Description: Mass Cultural Council Logo
MCC Local Cultural Council Grants (Deadline: November 1)
The largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, the Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program enriches the cultural life of all cities and towns in Massachusetts. Led by municipally appointed volunteers, LCCs award over $4 million every year, supporting 6,000 cultural programs. Contact your LCC to apply for a grant.

Image Description: The Creative Capital Logo
Inside a Grant or Residency Panel Process (November 4 at 7pm)
In this free online event hosted by Creative Capital, get an inside look at what reviewers and panelists often look for and consider when reviewing grant applications by sitting in on a mock panel-room conversation led by Creative Capital Awardee James Scruggs, and featuring awardee and filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes, and Joan Mitchell Center Director, Toccarra Thomas, all of whom will offer their perspectives and panel experience.

Image Description: The International Documentary Association Logo
Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellowship (Deadline: November 5)
The International Documentary Association (IDA) is calling for applications for its Documentary Magazine Editorial Fellowship program, which will provide stipends of $3,000 each for four emerging writers and will include eight mentorship sessions from January through December 2022. Applicants must be US-based and/or be residents of US Territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam; they must be eligible to work in the US, and should hail from communities that have been historically underrepresented in the entertainment, journalism, film criticism or nonfiction media fields.

Image Description: The Boston Ujima Project Logo
Boston Ujima Project 2021 Cultural Assembly Grant (Deadline: November 5)
Administered by Boston Ujima Project, the Cultural Assembly Grant honors BIPOC Boston artists for their original, exceptional, and compelling work with up to $5,000 in funding. The opportunity is open to individual BIPOC artists, cultural workers, and collectives. Applicants and payees must be 18+ and must live and work in Boston, MA, or be a former Boston resident living in Massachusetts who has been displaced from the city.

Image Description: The Assets for Artists / Mass Moca Logo
Assets for Artists Workshops (November 9 - February 10)
In this series of free online workshops offered by MASS MoCA and Assets for Artists, local artists and arts administrators offer guidance on how to support yourself as an artist while also staying true to your practice. The 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.

Image Description: The Rogovy Foundation Logo
Miller / Packan Film Fund (Deadline: November 15)
The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries in advanced development (up to $15,000), production and post-production stages (up to $25,000). The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation and believes in the transformational power that comes from enlightening narratives and inspiring characters. Each year, grants totaling $200,000 are awarded to between eight and twelve filmmakers.

Image Description: The Flaherty Film Seminar Logo
2023 Flaherty Film Seminar Programming Opportunity (Deadline: November 15)
The Flaherty Seminar is now accepting Letters of Intent (and nominations!) for its 2023 seminar. Programmers can be individuals or small teams, and all programmers need to have attended the Flaherty Seminar in the past prior to submitting.

Image Description: The Interbay Cinema Society Logo
ICS Lightpress Grants (Deadline: November 30)
Every six months, in January and July, the Interbay Cinema Society gives grants to 10 filmmakers working with 16mm or 35mm film to have 2 and 4K high resolution scans of their work made through Lightpress, a transfer house in Seattle. ICS gives grants to established and emerging filmmakers in the US, and are given for 3 hours of scanning, around a $1200 value.

Image Description: New England Foundation for the Arts Logo
New Work New England Grant (Deadline: December 6)
New Work New England provides grants of $7,500-$15,000 directly to New England artists in dance, film, interdisciplinary work, music, musical theater, opera, poetry, storytelling, and theater to support creating and producing new work that the artist intends to share with multiple New England communities. The focus of this pilot program is on artists and the creative process and projects that further equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

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.

What We're Reading/Listening To
For some additional background on what is at stake in the ongoing IATSE negotiations that we outlined above, check out this 4-minute explainer from Samantha Bee, this short article from Vulture, and this recent NYWIFT interview with two IATSE members led by Black Public Media Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz.

The Boston Ujima Project is running a series of free online workshops on Wednesdays this month for local artists and arts/culture organizers as part of the 2021 Cultural Assembly. Workshop topics include "Artists and Systems Change" (Oct 13); "Freelancers and the Role of Unions" (Oct 20); and "Media and Collective Storytelling" (Oct 27). Learn more.

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.