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AmDoc launches Artist Emergency Fund

American Documentary (AmDoc), the parent company of PBS’s “POV”, has launched a new fund dedicated to providing financial assistance to non-fiction filmmakers facing unforeseen personal calamities. The Artist Emergency Fund will ...
June 11, 2018

American Documentary (AmDoc), the parent company of PBS’s “POV”, has launched a new fund dedicated to providing financial assistance to non-fiction filmmakers facing unforeseen personal calamities.

The Artist Emergency Fund will provide financial backing to documentary makers experiencing unexpected hardships. The fund will support a range of  issues that are personal and health related to property needs, “or losses including those caused by accidents or natural disasters,” AmDoc said in a release.

AmDoc will award one-time grants of up to US$1,000 each in the fund’s pilot year. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and reviewed based on demonstration of need and professional relationship to documentary filmmaking.

Applicants must be based in the U.S. and must have produced or directed one non-fiction film that’s been publicly exhibited in a curated and/or non-commercial environment. That includes online and/or physical programs.

All applications will be kept confidential.

“Our aim is to make AmDoc as supportive to filmmakers as possible, while also helping build a more inclusive industry that supports the most vulnerable among us,” said Justine Nagan (pictured), executive producer/executive director of POV/ American Documentary, in a statement. “This type of grant program is common in other artistic disciplines, and it seemed time for filmmakers to have a safety net. This is a first step towards greater sustainability for professional filmmakers.”

The inaugural Emergency Fund is seeded by grants from Chicago Media Project, Genuine Article Pictures and the Sage Foundation.

The one-time grants are a direct response to concerns about sustainability within the documentary field, and in particular among emerging and underrepresented filmmakers.

The Artist Emergency Fund is the latest initiative from AmDoc aimed at supporting new and veteran filmmakers. In March, the organization launched its Knight-AmDoc Patron fund with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a US$100,000 fund through Kickstarter to support non-fiction films and filmmakers. The Knight-AmDoc Patron fund has since financed five Kickstarter projects.

For further information on qualifying for assistance and more applications requirements, please click here.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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