If you’re a nonfiction filmmaker in New England, it’s crucial that you familiarize yourself with the programs and initiatives of the LEF Foundation.
Founded in 1985, the LEF Foundation is a longtime supporter of New England arts. Currently, its funding priority is nonfiction film through the Moving Image Fund. New England documentary filmmakers can apply for grants in pre-production (maximum grant $5,000), production (max. $15,000), and post-production (max. $25,000; post-production funds are reserved for projects that have previously received LEF support).
Many Massachusetts filmmakers – and many past Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship awardees – have received vital support from LEF over the years. LEF Foundation recently announced its latest pre-production grants, including awards to dance artist (and film producer) Wendy Jehlen and filmmaker Marlo Poras. Other recent grantees have included Allison Cekala, Jane Gillooly, Adam Mazo, Kavita Pillay, and Kathryn Ramey.
Production and Post-Production grants generally have a January deadline. Pre-Production grants generally have a June deadline. Find guidelines. Also, read LEF Program Director Sara Archambault’s advice in the ArtSake discussion To an Artist Seeking Funding.
The LEF Foundation is also the force behind The DocYard, a film and discussion series that runs from January through April at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. Along with screening some of the most engaging documentary films currently being made, the series celebrates the Boston area’s history as a hub of innovation in nonfiction filmmaking.
Image: from CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS, a 2018 pre-production grantee, produced by Wendy Jehlen, directed by Bijoyini Chatterjee.