The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation will provide US$5.7 million in grants to seven organizations who support professional nonfiction media makers from diverse backgrounds.
The organization says that $2.25 million will be re-granted directly to independent film projects over three years, with remaining funds providing support for fellowships, workshops, training programs and professional development.
The grants include support to both interactive and feature documentary projects through the Sundance Documentary Fund’s New Frontier and Native Programs. They will also give black filmmakers the chance to experiment with non-linear digital storytelling through Black Public Media’s 360 Incubator + Lab; provide a new stream of grant funds targeted for filmmakers in the U.S. South through the Southern Documentary Fund; and equip social movements with nonfiction short films created by filmmakers representing and accountable to affected communities through the Docs in Action project at Working Films.
These organizations join eight other nonfiction multimedia storytelling institutions already supported by MacArthur, including Firelight Media, American Documentary, ITVS, Kartemquin, Tribeca, AIR, Chicken & Egg and the recently launched IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund.
The following seven organizations will receive grants:
Bay Area Video Coalition – $900,000 to support the National MediaMaker Fellowship Program, a ten-month program designed for diverse filmmakers who are working on social issues and journalistic documentary projects and in need of support and professional development opportunities.
Center for Asian American Media – $600,000 to support the CAAM Future Fund to provide development, production and outreach grants for projects produced by Asian American directors and producers, and work with an Asian American filmmaker network to provide mentoring and professional development opportunities for emerging filmmakers.
Latino Public Broadcasting – $450,000 to launch a Current Issues Content Fund, which will provide project support for Latino filmmakers producing impactful media about current events as they unfold.
National Black Programming Consortium – $750,000 to support WOKE! Broadening Access to Black Public Media, which will support nonfiction projects on new media platforms and strengthen the consortium’s network of media makers, technologists, and social justice organizations.
Southern Documentary Fund – $900,000 to expand its documentary programs and launch a new fund to support projects made exclusively by filmmakers who currently work and live in the American South, with direct connection to the stories they tell.
Sundance Institute – $1.25 million in support for the Institute’s Documentary Fund, which provides grants to short and feature-length film projects; its consultation and mentorship program; and its New Frontier Program and Native Program supporting Native American filmmakers.
Working Films – $900,000 to support Docs In Action, a new initiative funding and distributing short films that explore issues of social and environmental justice in communities across the United States. Working Films will also provide early impact campaign planning for social issue documentary filmmakers with a special focus on serving filmmakers of color and other underrepresented artists.