This is the month we entered a post-Roe world. It’s a nightmare in a world full of nightmares. Our creative vigilance is needed now, the making of powerful images, the telling of human stories, the creation of unapologetic public art that looms so large that no one can look away – we need manifestations of our pain and rage. We must force into view and bear witness to the bodies and voices that have been silenced and disavowed. Fund artists and culture bearers who create works that amplify our humanity, that change the story of degradation into one of illumination, that ask the questions that can bring us together in new ways. We must find our people and take comfort in one another, build power with one another, in solidarity, friendship and love.
Going from rage to blessings is not easy – but this month, Alliance partners have brought me extraordinary hope and joy. Heart of LA (thank you Tony Brown!) has joined with The Alliance to support ARTS at WLCAC, a new partnership to build out arts, tech + cultural workforce development programs at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee. It will be a national model that will include the launch of the first Arts2Work Creative Studio in California. We also collaborated with The Last Mile in Oakland on a new media arts career + life training program we are developing with and for folks at San Quentin prison, and our true blue partners at re:imagine/ATL held a community celebration just last week In Atlanta that featured next gen storytellers, and showcased the power of those young artists getting paid gigs and on-the-job training from a diverse network of local creative employers. The Summer of Storytelling has begun!
And keep your eyes peeled for the press release on the new Alliance XR Culture Gallery – we’re looking for collaborators for the next round of development and would love for all Alliance members to get involved! (Join the Alliance, it’s easy)
As always, please be in touch.
Notes from the Field
Reel Stories Premieres Student Films This Thursday, June 30th, Spyhop Productions’ Reel Stories class will be premiering films created by participants of their most recent class. The class supports teen filmmakers in making a documentary about a topic they are passionate about. This year’s topics include “blue light and sleep, the mystery of dreams, the influence of music, the roller-skating community, asexual and aromantic identity, a personal story told through analog video art, and how a town shapes a person.”
Southern Documentary Fund Accepting Applications for Filmmaking Grant
The Southern Documentary Fund is accepting applications from nonfiction filmmakers based in the American South: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The fund seeks to “empower Southern makers to tell stories through Southern eyes [and] prioritize underrepresented voices, especially those with long connections to the South. Inspired by our belief that media has the power to change lives.” Applications are open until July 18th.
Media Policy Watch
Both leading up to and following the repeal of Roe V. Wade last Friday, concern has mounted about data privacy in relation to the criminalization of abortion. Last month, journalist Joseph Cox reported for Motherboard on the data broker SafeGraph having location data purchasable for people who visit Planned Parenthood, leading to the firm ceasing to provide said information, as well as an investor selling his stake and donating the money to Planned Parenthood. This Monday, Motherboard reached out to major tech companies to gauge whether they would comply with law enforcement data requests related to abortion and were met with avoidant or non-responses.
As a result of rising concern about privacy, 40 members of Congress are urging Google to limit data location collection to prevent use in the prosecution of abortion seekers. A letter to Google from the representatives involved in the bill noted blatant issues in Google’s collusion with law enforcement observing that “Law enforcement officials routinely obtain court orders forcing Google to turn over its customers’ location information […] This includes dragnet ‘geofence’ orders demanding data about everyone who was near a particular location at a given time. In fact, according to data published by year are for these dragnet geofence orders; Google received 11,554 geofence warrants in 2020.” Google location data has been utilized by law enforcement in the monitoring of activists in the past, with geolocation having been used to target protesters during the George Floyd protests. Google also faced criticism last year for working with US border patrol and for firing employees who protested the involvement.
Grants/Program Manager, Jewish Story Partners, Los Angeles, CA
Grants Manager, IDA, Los Angeles, CA
Project Assistant, Do No Harm Media, Oakland, CA
Grants and Calls
Documentary Development Initiative
Filmmakers who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and/or people with disabilities are invited to submit to The Gotham and HBO Documentary Film’s Documentary Development Fund. Ten filmmakers will be selected to receive grants of $50,000 for research and creative development.
Deadline: July 26th
Hot Docs: Ted Rogers Fund and Slaight Family Fund
Hot Docs is offering two funds for film production companies. The Ted Rogers Fund offers to cover up to 20% of total production costs up to $20,000 to Canadian controlled corporations who have produced a film released in Canada. The Slaight Family Fund offers filmmakers that feature music artists up to $15,000 in development grants or up to $60,000 in production grants.
Deadline July 27th
2022 AXS Film Fund for BIPOC Documentary Filmmakers & Nonfictions Film Creators
The AXS Film Fund is seeking filmmakers of color with disabilities who are making documentary films and nonfiction new media. Five filmmakers will be selected and each will be awarded $10,000 to support them in any stage of production.
Deadline: July 31st
POV Call for Entries
The renowned nonfiction television showcase POV is open for submissions for their 2023 broadcast season. They are looking for both feature length and short independent documentary films from independent filmmakers.
Deadline: July 31st
Workshops, Festivals, Convenings
Bentonville Film Festival – June 22nd-July 3rd, Bentonville, AR
Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival – July7th-10th, Cincinnati, OH
New York Asian Film Festival – July 15th-31st, New York, NY
Indy Shorts International Film Festival – July 19th-24th, Indianapolis, IN
Deep In the Heart Film Festival – July 21st, Waco, TX