LEF has offices within two regional areas: New England and California. Through the LEF Moving Image Fund, the New England office supports the creation of new work by documentary filmmakers living in the region, through an application process. LEF California identifies and funds projects proactively. LEF Foundation was incorporated in California in 1985 and endowed by a gift made by its president, Marion E. Greene, and her family. LEF has compiled a significant list of resources, shared below with permission.
A number of arts, civic, and industry groups have provided lists of community resources. Rather than duplicating efforts, this post aggregates information from organizations who have posted resource pages, in addition to information WIFVNE has received from sister WIF chapters. The post will be updated as WIFVNE receives relevant information. (Contests, festivals, or timely news items may receive separate blog posts.)
On ArtSake, the Mass Cultural Council is publishing periodic arts news round-ups like this and this, as well as funding opportunities and other resources.
We support innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, gatherings, & career development services. Read their list of resources for artists and arts professionals affected by COVID-19.
The Dramatists Guild Foundation provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and bookwriters who are experiencing financial hardships and are in need of funds. You can apply for emergency grant funds here.
Field of Vision and Topic Studios have created a $250,000 fund to provide grants for freelancers working in the Documentary field. The fund will distribute unrestricted grants of up to $2000 to support personal financial needs during the COVID19 pandemic to freelancers who have experienced hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a result of the pandemic. The fund will reopen on May 6th.
GrubStreet is one of the nation’s leading creative writing centers. We believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy. By rigorously developing voices of every type and talent and by removing barriers to entry, GrubStreet fosters the creation of meaningful stories and ensures that excellent writing remains vital and relevant.
So many of us need help and support during this uncertain time. And we’re hearing from others who want to know how to help. The spirit of togetherness we’re seeing from our community is inspiring. We’re sharing a few resources for writers and artists here. And we’re also sharing opportunities (for those who can) to support writers, the writing ecosystem, and the arts in Boston. We’ll be updating this list as we learn of new resources and opportunities.
Culture elevates. In all its forms, culture is essential to the health and vitality of the Commonwealth. The Mass Cultural Council has announced funding opportunities: COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals (through April 22), and the Gaming Mitigation Program (through April 17).
MPC represents the robust and diverse network of film, television and digital media professionals and businesses throughout the state of Massachuetts. They’ve updated the resources and relief efforts post on MPC’s website with info from government agencies and others that may be useful for industry members. MPC will continue to update their page as new policies and initiatives become available. Review information from their sources as policies can and will change.
NewEnglandFilm.com has created the following list of COVID-19 funding and emergency funding and other resources to help New England-based filmmakers and artists. In addition to nationwide grants and government relief, many individual states have established its own relief packages for filmmakers and other artists.
Patreon has created a fund for creatives who have been impacted by COVID-19. If you or your business has been affected, you can apply to be a grant recipient here.
This is a select list of New England filmmaker/artist support opportunities and local online film resources that have been organized in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. LEF New England will continue to research and compile this list in the coming months, with a focus on how the pandemic is affecting New England-based filmmakers and organizations.
New England-based Relief Funding / Loans / Opportunities
American Documentary, the nonprofit organization behind @POVdocs, re-opens Artist Emergency Fund for the independent documentary community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how you can receive up to $500 in a rapid response grant to assist with basic needs, including food, immediate health care, and insurance premiums. Apply Now! #AmDocAEFund www.amdoc.org/aefund
POV (a cinema term for “point of view”) is American television’s longest-running showcase for independent nonfiction films. POV premieres 14–16 of the best, boldest, and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
The Vilcek Foundation currently seeks young foreign-born applicants for the 2021 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Filmmaking – from now until June 10, 2020 at 5pm EST. The Vilcek Foundation is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to the arts and sciences in the United States.
Immigrant directors, editors, screenwriters, producers and cinematographers working across a variety of genres including narrative, documentary, experimental or animation, are invited to apply. Applicants should have been born outside of the United States; be 38 years of age or younger in 2021; and completed at least one short film that has received a prize or been selected for film festivals, or alternatively, one feature-length film. Three winners will each receive a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize and will be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City in April 2021.
The online application can be found on www.vilcek.org.
Find out more about this opportunity on social media:
TAPE Synopsis: Based on true events, TAPE, follows Rosa (Annarosa Mudd), an actress who, in order to inspire her own courage, pierces her tongue, cuts her wrists, and shaves her head, as a ritualistic homage to Shakespeare’s Lavinia from Titus Andronicus, and secretly places hidden cameras on her body as well as in a dark studio. Rosa begins to stalk another actress, Pearl (Isabelle Fuhrman), who she identifies as the next “protege” of a successful producer, Lux (Tarek Bishara). But as Pearl and Lux enter the targeted studio, and Rosa collects and edits footage, she, and we, must all sit through an endless day of Lux’s screen test process, and the grey areas of pressure that women experience when being coerced by a powerful man. As Rosa peers into her own past experiences playing out before her eyes, she is forced to question whether her revenge-fueled goal of revealing what goes on behind these closed doors is worth what it takes to do so.
Check out the review in the Washington Post here.
Watch TAPE 7PM ET until April 9.
Schedule of nightly conversations (including crew from TAPE) can be found here: https://www.tapevirtualpremiere.com/
WOMEN FILM ARTISTS OVER 40:
ANONYMOUS WAS A WOMAN
EMERGENCY RELIEF GRANT
This program will distribute $250,000 in grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. APPLY HERE
Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) has partnered with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) to launch an emergency relief grant program to support artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The program will distribute $250,000 in unrestricted grants, up to $2,500 apiece, to artists who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity as a direct result of the crisis. As with AWAW’s annual award, the program is open to women-identifying visual artists over the age of 40 in the United States and territories, and aims to address the unique challenges faced by artists in middle age or older, particularly at this critical time.
APPLICATION GOES LIVE ON SUBMITTABLE:
Monday, April 6, 2020, 10:00 AM EST
Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 6:00 PM EST
By Thursday, April 30, 2020
A link to the application form will be made available on Monday, April 6 at 10:00 AM EST.
Due to anticipated high demand, applications will be accepted from Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8. All applications will be reviewed after the closing date. Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Stuck At Home 48HFP (FREE event!) – Two Weekends Left!
The coronavirus is upsetting daily life and presenting new challenges to people all around the world. For filmmakers who are looking for a creative outlet in these uncertain times, we created the Stuck at Home 48HFP.
This FREE filmmaking competition is open to any filmmaker around the world. Our first film challenge kicked off last weekend with a whopping 1800+ participants. There are two more chances to get involved, and registration is currently open now!
Stuck at Home 48HFP Film Challenge Weekends
On Friday night, you will receive the secret challenge. You and those in your home will have 48 hours to brainstorm, write and shoot a simple scene or scenes and upload them to the Stuck at Home 48HFP Facebook group.
Do you have a high school age budding filmmaker or screenwriter in your life? Then the High School 48 is the perfect launching pad for their future career in film!
It’s the place for students who want to make movies. Whether you are an experienced filmmaker or just getting started, the High School 48 is your opportunity to learn more and to show off your creativity.
The HS48’s first upcoming event is the High School 48 Short Script Project, this April 17th-19th.
The Short Script Project challenges you to write a script (10 pages max) for a short film. What’s the catch? You only have 48 hours to do it. We’ll give you guidance on what makes a good short film, and we’ll assign you a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that you must work into your script.
With your registration, you receive access to:
First prize is a $250 and a copy of Movie Magic Screenwriter Software.
For more information or to register, visit https://www.48hsfilm.com/short-script
Mass Cultural Council believes in the power of culture, and we recognize that the work done by creative and innovative individuals is key to our vital communities. We know that the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has caused major disruptions for the careers of individuals who earn income through their work in the cultural sector. In response, Mass Cultural Council today announces the upcoming launch (pending final approval by our governing Council) of the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals.
Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures.
Pending Council approval, the program guidelines and online application will be available April 8, 2020, at 10am ET, with an April 22, 2020 deadline.
The next LEF Moving Image Fund deadline for projects in pre-production will be June 5 2020, and application forms will open in early April. LEF grants are open to New England-based filmmakers seeking funding for feature-length (40+ minute) non-fiction film projects. In order to be considered, applicants must submit an online application form, including a project budget and up to 10 minutes of sample footage from the current project. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read the LEF New England Moving Image Fund guidelines and frequently asked questions to determine if your project is eligible and a good fit for LEF’s funding priorities before beginning an application. Learn more here
New Fellowship Opportunity! The Film Study Center-LEF Foundation Fellowship is open to Boston-area non-fiction filmmakers who are not currently affiliated with Harvard. One filmmaker over the academic year September 2020 – May 2021 will receive a $10,000 grant (jointly funded by FSC and LEF Foundation), access to FSC’s pool of production and post-production equipment, and the opportunity to participate in the Harvard FSC community through work-in-progress screenings, workshops, and other activities. How to Apply: Finalists for LEF Moving Image Fund production and post-production grant awards will be considered for the FSC-LEF Fellowship if they meet the following criteria: (1) They reside within 50 miles of Cambridge; (2) They are not currently affiliated with Harvard (3) They will benefit from and contribute to the FSC community. Learn more here. Questions about this fellowship program can be sent to LEF Program Officer Gen Carmel at email@example.com.
On February 29th, 2020, Women in Film and Video New England (WIFVNE) hosted the event “Bringing Hollywood Home” at the WSCA Radio Station in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The event was moderated by WIFVNE NH State Chair Christine Altan (pictured below, far right). The event centered on two special guests: Knives Out production managers and independent film producers Chris Stinson and Amy Greene. Chris and Amy spoke candidly on various topics such as their focus on bringing film work into New England, their process as independent filmmakers, for aspiring filmmakers and anecdotes of their film set experiences.
Chris Stinson transferred from working exclusively in Los Angeles for over 20 years to creating his own production company Live Free or Die Films in New Hampshire. After a strenuous burnout from working on big budget films as a stunt double and producer, Amy Greene met and joined Chris. Together they began to produce independent films in New England. As they set their foot onto their new pathway in filmmaking, they made a clear focus to not only produce films in the area but to also bring in work from external sources.
The two producers explained the beginning stages for their production process. “It starts with breaking down scripts and the locations. We try to find locations in New England that could work for films,” Amy details, while Chris adds that they “acquire scripts and ‘selfishly’ want them to be set in New England.” Chris anecdotes a script being reworked to fit their needs as New England producers. “A script was written for New Mexico, but the writer was convinced to re-write it for Massachusetts.” This course of action exemplifies Stinson and Greene’s determination to not let New England be forgotten as a staple of opportunities for the film industry. Chris detailed that he focuses “on a smaller scale.” He initiates talks with production companies to have them work in New England for small production days such as three days or a week. For example, parts of the film Woodshock starring Kirsten Dunst, in which Stinson worked as a line producer, was filmed in Redwood, Massachusetts.
And in the same fashion as the film Woodshock, many other projects have veered into New England over the course of the years, something that as film producers Greene and Stinson find very pleasing. In fact, 2020 is only starting and Massachusetts’s agenda is already on a “booked and busy” status. Chris delightedly mentions “We got a lot of work happening; four movies, a couple of a tv show pilots.” *
The conversation turned to an inside look of the environment of independent filmmaking. According to Stinson, indie films allow the crew members to know each other much better, and this leads to better opportunities for networking and collaborating. It is something to think about, it is much easier to remember the names and faces of a crew of 50 than one of 250. And when it comes to choosing projects, as producers, Amy voiced that they are pulled into scripts that have a “more human story.” The two expressed their openness to unsolicited script submissions. “Just email our secretary,” Chris joked.
Not only did Chris and Amy provide insight to their process, but they came in with valuable information and advice. To aspiring filmmakers or anyone who wants to work in the film industry, Chris advises “[to not] be lazy… There are a lot of lazy people and those who work will rise up much more quickly.” And to the surprise of many in the audience, the two mentioned that film school is not a must, as “a lot of things can be self-taught.” Good work ethic along with networking is a sure way to climb up the ladder, according to Stinson. “It’s about knowing people, network but be nice. Nice people are what they want.” Greene adds to that advice, that those who did not or will not attend film school are to “learn every department in film productions” which they can “achieve by starting out as a production assistant.”
After working in the industry for 20+ years, the producers assured the audience that to this day, they still feel the same excitement they felt years ago when they first stepped into a film set. “I feel it a lot. Getting overpaid for something that I love is cool,” Amy joked. “I love being an environment where 50 people all love doing what they’re doing,” Chris added. When it comes to motivation and passion, Chris makes it clear his are as intact as they were years ago: “It is not about the money for me, as long as my rent is paid and I love the script, then sure I’ll do it.”
It was exciting and refreshing to hear the two touch up on one of the most prolific agendas: diversity. Chris detailed how he and Amy take part in this agenda. “I’d walk into a room full of white men and I’m like okay, let’s get more resumes of women.” Chris adds, “We’re actively making that happen. This industry is all white men and we need more diversity.” Not only are the two pushing for more changes behind the camera, they keep in mind the representations of minorities in front of it as well. In one of their projects, a character was deaf; Amy said that they actively looked for and hired real deaf actors to take part in the project, as it was important to have that representation cemented into the film.
To end the night, the two producers expressed that although independent filmmaking has taken center stage in their lives, they still jump on board with bigger projects if the script pulls them in. In fact, the two shared their latest project will be set in New York alongside none other than Ray Romano, who will be debuting as a writer and director.
“Bringing Hollywood Home” was a small and cozy event, with a “get together” vibe rather than that of a formal panel. At the end, Chris and Amy were very welcoming and approachable, as they took their time to answer each and every question anyone had even after the Q&A session on the panel had culminated. The two even invited everyone to continue networking at a nearby bar.
*Most productions in New England are currently on hold due to precautions relating to COVID-19.
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