OVERVIEW: The Bezos Family Foundation prioritizes education enrichment—starting before formal education begins, continuing through K-12 education, and positioning students for college success and enriched lives.
IP TAKE: The parents of tech billionaire Jeff Bezos have quietly built a thoughtful and substantial foundation that supports U.S. education on a structural level. This includes notable support for documentary films and film outreach for projects that tackle education. This funder does not accept unsolicited proposals.
PROFILE: The Bezos Family Foundation was established in 2003 by Jackie and Miguel (Mike) Bezos, the parents of Amazon founder and chairman Jeff Bezos. Based in Mercer Island, Washington, the foundation seeks to help young people “achieve their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to society.” Its three major investment areas are early learning, excellence in K-12 and youth leadership.
Bezos Family Foundation grantees include a substantial number of documentary film projects that tackle the issues of education and opportunities for students. These films fall under all three funding areas. The foundation not only supports the development and production of these films, but also their dissemination through outreach programs that engage youth and professional education populations. There are a lot of opportunities here for the right film project.
Past film grantees include: "No Small Matter": supporting the research and production for this feature-length documentary film that "aims to start a national dialogue" about early childhood education "by highlighting the research, limitations and opportunities for early learning in the US"; 50 Eggs, Inc.: supporting this film production company's creation of "Underwater Dreams," a documentary film that "seeks to inspire policy makers and thought leaders to bring more and better STEM education to all students"; The Better Angels Society: supporting the creation and development of the Ken Burns Mobile Classroom and Digital Library Project, "an online portal for educators and students to explore history through documentary film."
The challenge for filmmakers is to gain direct access to the Bezos family or its small group of staff, because the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or inquiries.
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