Philanthropic organization The Bertha Foundation and the Britdoc Foundation have partnered to launch two new funds that will be worth £1.5 million (approximately US$2.3 million) to filmmakers over the next three years.
First recipients for the funding programs, unveiled at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), will be Steve James’s acclaimed The Interrupters, and We the People, the latest project from two-time MIPDOC Coproduction Challenge winner Soniya Kirpilani.
The funding programs include the Bertha Britdoc Documentary Journalism Fund, intended to support international filmmakers “working at the intersection of film and investigative journalism.” It will offer up £250,000 a year for three years to filmmakers via a mix of grants and investments. Kirpilani’s film, which focuses on a miscarriage of justice against migrant workers in Dubai, will receive the first production grant.
“This fund is urgently needed,” said Jess Search, Britdoc CEO. “Documentary is becoming an increasingly important medium for breaking stories which require long term investigation and the commitment to gather evidence and amplify voices. We the People is just such a film and we are proud to be supporting it.”
The second fund, dubbed the Bertha Britdoc Connect Fund, will function as the first outreach and engagement fund in Europe. It’s open to filmmakers from around the world whose works also feature strategic outreach campaigns designed to affect change at a local, regional or global level. The fund has £250,000 a year available for three years. James’s The Interrupters, which follows a group of ex-gang members in Chicago working with at-risk youth, will be the first recipient.
“The Interrupters represents the best of contemporary social justice filmmaking,” said Bertha Philanthropies’ Rebecca Lichtenfeld of the film. “We believe that this film can inform and improve the lives of individuals and communities and we want to help that happen.”
For more information about the funds and how to apply, click here.