Academy Announces FilmCraft & FilmWatch Grants
April 13, 2018

Academy Announces FilmCraft & FilmWatch Grants

LOS ANGELES – The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the recipients of its 2018 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants.
In addition to the 51 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants awarded, the grants committee set aside $15,000 to help with the recovery efforts at three international archives devastated by hurricanes and earthquakes in 2017. Those archives are Cinemateca de Cuba in Cuba, Permanencia Voluntaria in Mexico and Archivo de Imagenes en Movimiento in Puerto Rico. This funding is in addition to support and expertise that is already being provided by the Academy Film Archive.

“This year the Grants are proud to support 51 organizations whose innovative programs reach broad audiences, underserved high school and college students, support mid-career and emerging filmmakers, and engage and enrich their local communities. The Grants also reached out to support several film archives devastated by recent climate events. It is the Grants’ privilege and responsibility to fund organizations, rising and established, that reflect both The Academy’s values and its leadership role in the arts,” said Buffy Shutt, chair of the Academy’s grants committee.

The Academy’s FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists. Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000, and a total of $500,000 was awarded for the 2018-2019 grants year.

The grant recipient institutions and programs are as follows:  

American Film Institute (Los Angeles, CA) - Directing Workshop for Women
A tuition-free, year-long program that provides hands-on training and mentorship to increase the number of women working professionally in screen directing.
Austin Film Festival (Austin,TX) - The Diversity Focus Program
A series of panels and screenings featuring underrepresented storytellers with a goal of challenging the narrative that minority voices are shrinking.

Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) - Film Scoring Artist In Residence
Program aims to advance the careers of practicing film composers, prepare students as film scoring professionals, diversify the pipeline of professional talent to the film industry, and increase public awareness of the significance of the film scoring craft.

California State University, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) - Urban Stories Film Incubator
A year-long experience where students will be guided through pre-production, production and post-production to create short films or documentaries that tell their diverse community stories while developing their long-term filmmaking skills.

Camden International Film Festival (Camden, ME) - Points North Institute 2018 Artist Programs
Program provides hundreds of independent documentary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds with unique opportunities for education, professional development and artistic expansion. Chicken & Egg Pictures (New York, NY) 

2018 Accelerator Lab for First and Second-Time Filmmakers
Program supports diverse women documentary filmmakers in completing their first or second film while laying the groundwork for sustainable long-term careers.

Columbia University School of the Arts (New York, NY) - Diversity Casting Initiative
A new co-curricular program designed to encourage MFA film students to incorporate a range of races, ethnicities, and gender identity in their films to better reflect the diversity encountered in daily life.

Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles, CA) - ACTION! Cinema As Connection
A year-long series of visiting artist weekend residencies that invites activist filmmakers of color to share their work, skills and experience with diverse audiences and the next generation of cinematic visionaries.

Educational Video Center (New York, NY) - Youth Documentary Workshop
An award-winning after school and summer program that provides intensive workshops for at-risk youth to shoot, edit, and produce short documentaries.

Facets of Multi Media (Chicago, IL) - Chicago Film Summits
A series of master classes and mentorships led by eminent filmmakers, and involving all Chicago-area high school students enrolled in media or media production classes.

Hollywood CPR (Los Angeles, CA) - Entertainment Artist, Craft and Technicians Certificate Program
Program provides under-represented students a unique opportunity to learn specialized craft and trade skills from IATSE industry professionals who are masters in their trade.

Independent Filmmaker Project (New York, NY) - Independent Filmmaker Labs
A year-long program that provides education, mentorship, and training to filmmakers through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their first feature films.

Inner-City Filmmakers (Los Angeles, CA) - Arts Education, Pre-Professional Training, Career Counseling and Jobs Placement Program   
Program provides free year-round arts education, pre-professional hands-on training with highly qualified instructors, and award winning industry professionals as mentors and job providers for diverse disadvantaged high school graduates.

International Documentary Association (Los Angeles, CA) - Educational and Cultural Public Programs
Programs showcase the insights of accomplished documentarians, offer high quality professional development opportunities, and deliver engaging content for diverse nonfiction filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts in multiple cities across the country.

Kartemquin Educational Films (Chicago, IL) - Diverse Voices in Documentary
A six month, intensive program designed to help diverse filmmakers increase their skill set, build their network, and move their documentary film projects forward to completion.

Maysles Institute (New York, NY) - Community Producers Program 2018
A six-month, hands-on documentary production and outreach program for justice-involved youth, ages 16-24, interested in building community, engaging in personal development, and gaining healing and leadership practices through filmmaking.

New Orleans Film Society (New Orleans, LA) - Emerging Voices Mentorship Program
Program serves indigenous Louisiana filmmakers of color through mentorship, professional feedback and industry connections.

New York Stage and Film Co.  (New York, NY) - New York Stage and Film Filmmakers' Workshop
Program provides creative development, career advancement, and mentorship to historically underserved and early-career screenwriters and directors.

Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (San Francisco, CA) - Filmmaker Training Program
Program provides artistically rigorous, professional instruction, and coaching, equipment, and resources to equip queer women of color, and gender variant and transgender people of color with the technical skills, artistic knowledge, and leadership tools to create new films.

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking (New York, NY) - Filmmaking Workshops and Workforce Development Initiatives        
Program aims to train a new generation of filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds by bridging the gap between the talents and abilities of low-income youth and the educational and professional opportunities available to them.

San Francisco Film Society (San Francisco, CA) - Doc Talks at SFFS FilmHouse
Program will be made up of six workshops, each of which will provide documentary filmmakers from a wide variety of backgrounds with guidance, mentorship, and practical filmmaking skills. 

Silver Bullet Productions (Santa Fe, NM) - Lights Camera Learning: Writing and Acting Workshop for Pueblo and Tribal Students         
Program will provide filmmaking skills, storytelling, and equipment to six adults and fifteen tribal students in New Mexico’s Native American communities to empower them to create films relevant to their culture and their community’s heritage.

Streetlights (Los Angeles, CA) - Job Training and Placement Program
Program delivers skilled workers from underserved communities to the entertainment industry by providing training that is industry-designed, industry-approved and Industry-taught.

Sundance Institute (Park City, UT) - 2018 Native Filmmakers Lab          
Program will identify and nurture two Native American or other indigenous film storytellers through an intensive three-day Lab focused on the craft, technical expertise, and direct financial support needed to produce their short film projects.

The Center for Documentary Studies (Durham, NC) - School of Doc
An intensive five-week summer program that teaches a diverse group of public high school students all elements of filmmaking, and how to work as a crew to produce a documentary film.

The Ghetto Film School (New York, NY) - The Fellows Program
A narrative filmmaking educational program that engages diverse high school students from the Bronx, New York with rigorous instruction in cinematic storytelling and media production training and practice, equipping them with the skills to pursue sustainable careers in film.

UnionDocs (New York, NY) - Professional Development Labs
Labs are for mid and early career filmmakers and are designed to enhance artistic vision, offer practical knowledge of the field and professional development, and provide an environment for the successful creation of original documentary projects.

Women in Film (Los Angeles, CA) - ReFrame Sponsor/Protégé Program (in partnership with the Sundance Institute)
Program’s goal is to ensure that a group of highly talented, accomplished women directors, from a variety of underrepresented demographics and backgrounds, gain access and exposure to key networks and decision-makers.

Women Make Movies (New York, NY) - Production Assistance Program
Program provides women directors and producers with a tailored suite of services, including non-profit tax exempt status, mentorship and consultations, along with a series of skill-building workshops, seminars and “Meet the Industry” events.

Alabama Moving Image Association (Birmingham, AL) - 20th Anniversary Sidewalk Film Festival
Assist with the cost of programming films focusing on cultural diversity and multicultural artistic expression in their SHOUT film category (which showcases films with LGBTQ content), their Life & Liberty category (which showcases human rights issues), and their Black Lens category (which highlights film directed and produced by African-Americans).

American Documentary | POV (New York, NY) - POV Engage
A national screening series that uses the power of nonfiction film to spark civil, civic dialogue among local residents, community leaders and institutional partners including museums, libraries and public media stations.

American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY) - The Margaret Mead Film Festival
Supports community outreach in order to reach a broad and diverse audience of festival-goers, as well as travel expenses to bring in documentary filmmakers and film subjects to participate in screenings and related educational events.

Anthology Film Archives (New York, NY) - The Cinema of Transgender
Supports the next installment of an ongoing screening series surveying representations of transgender people and transgender culture in cinema.

Big Sky Film Institute (Missoula, MT) - Native Filmmaker Initiative
A new program of curated screenings, a fellowship program and educational outreach that looks to bring more indigenous stories to Missoula, support and engage the Native American community on a local scale, and have a greater impact on the community’s youth.

Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn, NY) - A Year of Resistance
A new, year-long initiative designed to bring visibility to the work of artists from under-represented groups in American and international film.

Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco, CA) - Spotlight, Retrospective and Out of the Vaults Programs
CAAMFest programs that provide greater access to minority and less visible filmmakers, make new and historically significant works accessible to the general public, and strengthen connections between filmmakers and audiences.

Denver Film Society (Denver, CO) - CineLatino Mini-Fest and CineLatino Festival Sidebar
The CineLatino Mini-Fest is a 4-day cultural celebration of Latino Cinema. The Sidebar is part of the 41st Denver Film Festival that provides attendees with additional opportunities to view Latino films and documentaries and to celebrate Latin culture.

Frameline’s San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival (CA) - Telling Our Stories: Navigating  the Pathways and the Promises of Greater Gender Equality for Queer Women Filmmakers
A series of film screenings, panel discussions, and a master class, focusing on the representation of queer, trans, and gender-expansive women in cinema, both on-screen and behind the scenes.

George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY) - Festival of Film Conservation
Support screenings of rare 35mm nitrate prints and lectures at the Nitrate Picture Show, the museum's own Festival of Film Conservation.

International Children's Media Center (Chicago, IL) - Global Girls/Women’s View Residency & Festival
An immersive 14-week film aesthetics and curating program for at-risk female youth that culminates in a high profile festival of top-tier independent films made for, by, and about girls.

Los Angeles Filmforum (Los Angeles, CA) - Los Angeles Filmforum Screenings
Support for their ongoing screening series of non-commercial, artist-driven experimental film, documentaries, and animation.

Milwaukee Film (Milwaukee, WI) - Black Lens
An annual showcase within the Milwaukee Film Festival of fiction and documentary films that exemplify outstanding cinematic work by contemporary African-American filmmakers.

National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC) - 2018 Native Cinema Showcase
Support for travel and lodging expenses for up to 12 filmmakers and actors to participate in NCS-related public programs and to network with industry professionals.

New York International Children's Film Festival (New York, NY) - Girls' Point of View Program
Support for the festival’s annual program of films, discussions and educational programs that highlight the unique perspectives of girls from around the world.

Outfest (Los Angeles, CA) - Outfest Fusion Film Festival
A weeklong festival dedicated to the empowerment and visibility of LGBTQ communities of color.

Oxford Film Festival (Oxford, Mississippi) - Expanding LGBTQ Stories in Mississippi
Support for an expanded program of features and shorts focusing on LGBTQ issues during the festival.

Ragtag Programming for Film and Media Art (Columbia, MO) - Neither/Nor Series
A repertory film series of the True/False Film Fest spotlighting groundbreaking work in the field of nonfiction filmmaking

ReelAbilities Film Festival (various locations) - Enhancing Accessibility Options
Will provide enhanced accessibility options (captioning and audio description) for 35-40 films screened at 14 regional ReelAbilities film festivals throughout North America.

San Francisco Cinematheque – (San Francisco, CA) - Trans-Visions
Supports a four-program series of historic and contemporary films by queer and transgender filmmakers.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (San Francisco, CA) - Casting Out the Couch
Supports a sidebar featuring 4-5 narrative and documentary films, Q&As, and a panel with filmmakers, thought leaders, activists and scholars to address the current reports of sexual misconduct and abuse of power in Hollywood.

San Francisco Silent Film Festival (San Francisco, CA) - Educational Programs
Support for the educational components of the festival, which include Amazing Tales from the Archives – a program on film restoration and preservation – and Silent Era Diversity devoted to exploring cultural and economic diversity in the silent era.
The Academy’s Grants program provides financial support to qualifying film festivals, educational institutions and film scholars and supports the Academy’s overall mission to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures. The Academy Grants program has awarded a total of $12,194,000 to non-profit institutions and film festivals.