August 6, 2021
Summer 2021 Grants Announcement
LEF Foundation Announces $47,500 in Early Development and Pre-production Grants to New England Documentary Filmmakers
The LEF Foundation has awarded 12 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $47,500 in support of feature-length documentary works by New England-based filmmakers.

The LEF Moving Image Fund invests in films that demonstrate excellence in technique, strong storytelling ability, and originality of artistic vision and voice. The most recent round of awards to New England-based documentary filmmakers includes five grants of $2,500 to projects at the Early Development stage, and seven grants of $5,000 to projects at the Pre-production stage.

In addition to this group of grantees, LEF will also award $190,000 to 10 projects in Production and Post-Production later in the fiscal year, following the next January 2022 application deadline. In total, LEF will be distributing $237,500 in funding to documentary productions over the course of its 2022 fiscal year

Read the full grants announcement with filmmaker bios here, and find a list of the grantees below.
Summer 2021 LEF Moving Image Fund Grantees
Early Development ($2,500)
CCTV: An Ethnography on Community Media Access
Directed and Produced by Myles David Jewell (Vermont)
Started in 1984, CCTV/Town Meeting TV now houses one of the largest archives of civic engagement and community produced media in the state of Vermont. This ethnography will illuminate what the shifting media landscape means for CCTV, and how the organization continues and sustains its mission as technology changes and community development remains as important as ever.
Slinging Cartoon Rifles
Directed by Malic Amalya (Massachusetts)
Controversy over their high school mascot, the Rebels, began to rock the small town of South Burlington, Vermont in 2015 when a former history teacher spoke out against the school's historical alliance with the Southern Confederacy. Racist vandalism, stalking, legal disputes, and a "kill list" ensued. "Slinging Cartoon Rifles" is a feature-length, 16mm film essay that traces the origins of South Burlington High School’s mascot, histories of colonialism and slavery in Vermont, acts of white supremacy, and the anti-racist activism—led by students of color—that ultimately persuaded the school board to drop the Rebels name in 2017.
Too Dark to See (working title)
Directed and Produced by John Gianvito (Massachusetts)
A contemporary political filmmaker revisits the legacy of forgotten American documentarian Allan Francovich. Francovich, who died in 1997 under murky circumstances, made a series of films focused on hidden histories of U.S. governmental malfeasance -- from Mississippi in the 1960s, to collusion with Central American death squads in the 1980s, to decades long involvements with terrorist networks in Europe and Africa.
Untitled County Fair Movie
Directed and Produced by Patrick Marshall (Massachusetts)
"A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements in that sentence are connected by an and and not by a but." -- John Berger

Untitled County Fair Movie is a documentary that will show the relationship between a pig and the child (8 - 12 years old) that is raising the pig to show it at the county fair. The movie will start around the birth of the pig and follow the relationship between the child and the pig for the 5-7 months until they show the pig at the fair.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project Untitled Margaret Moxa Film
Untitled Margaret Moxa Film
Directed by Adam Mazo & Jared Lank; Produced by Adam Mazo, N. Bruce Duthu & Maulian Dana (Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire)
The cascading intergenerational effects of government-sanctioned scalp bounty hunting of Native Peoples are revealed in the hidden epic of Wabanaki peacemaker, Margaret Moxa.
Pre-production ($5,000)
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project Chelsea: An Essential City
Chelsea: An Essential City (working title)
Directed and produced by Sabrina Avilés & Jenny Alexander (Massachusetts)
Chelsea: An Essential City (working title) is a documentary portrait of an immigrant Latinx city of essential workers. Through cinéma vérité stories of Chelsea’s residents, the film reveals how the coronavirus pandemic tests the resolve and resilience of this community. Chelsea provides a lens onto longstanding structural inequities laid bare by the pandemic as black and brown communities across America struggle under the disproportionate impact of COVID-19.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project Flyover Country
Flyover Country (working title)
Directed by Jessica Hankey (Massachusetts)
Flyover Country follows real-life passengers on a three day cross-country train ride as they struggle to make a scripted film. As boundaries progressively erode inside the compressed space of the train, the social and economic disparities among the crew, actors, and passengers become the real source of drama.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project Te Puna Ora.
Te Puna Ora
Directed by Virginie Tetoofa; Produced by Kiran Jandu (Massachusetts); Co-produced by Riham Ezzaldeen
As the climate crisis threatens Tahiti, an alliance of women embarks on a sacred journey to protect their island home. TE PUNA ORA combines mythology and reality in a character-driven cinematic documentary that follows the lives of three Tahitian women as they discover and shape an environmental movement in Tahiti. We spend time with each woman at home and in the community, exploring the intricacies and complexities of managing family and relationships as they form an alliance on the front lines of climate change. At the heart of the story is a deep connection to nature and cultural heritage rich in knowledge, which is mirrored in the interwoven story of the Polynesian creation myth that guides them on their personal and environmental missions.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology.
The Apocalyptic is the Mother of All Christian Theology
Directed by Jim Finn (Maine); Produced by Jim Finn & Cat Mazza
Paul of Tarsus—who relentlessly expanded a Messianic Jewish sect around the Mediterranean—has inspired pedantic scolds, imperialists, bigots, wedding planners, poets, radical Catholics and liberation theologians. How is this possible? Combining humor with deep research and experimental techniques, this film will create a portrait of Paul’s ideological struggles and his profound influence.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project The Disability Road Map
The Disability Road Map (working title)
Directed by Dan Habib & Samuel Habib; Produced by Dan Habib (New Hampshire)
Samuel Habib, 21, wants to date, leave home, go to college. But he drives a 500-pound wheelchair and can have a seizure at any moment. Determined to find his path forward, he sets off in search of insights from America’s most rebellious disability activists. Will they empower him to launch the bold adult life he craves?
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project Under the Valley
Under the Valley
Directed by Keely Kernan; produced by Dan Frank (Massachusetts)
Under the high mountain desert of Colorado’s San Luis Valley water from the Rio Grande aquifer is pumped to the surface and sustains the valley. While the demand for this scarce resource continues to grow, local ranchers and farmers grapple with a shifting reality that threatens their way of life and existence in the valley.
Image: A still from the LEF-funded project We Want to Negotiate
We Want to Negotiate
Directed by Sofian Khan (Connecticut); produced by Jessie Motts & Joel Simon
ISIS has your children, and the US government ties your hands. What do you do next? "We Want to Negotiate" offers an in-depth exploration of the No Negotiation policy -- its origins, history and ethical implications.
The LEF Foundation is seeking someone to join our team as Program Officer. The position will be four days per week starting on or about October 25, 2021, on a remote/work-from-home basis with some in-person meetings and assignments.

The Program Officer’s role involves a range of responsibilities, including grantmaking, communications and publicity, coordination of affiliated filmmaker programs and fellowships, and general administrative duties.

See the full job description here and please write to with any questions or to apply.
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.