OVERVIEW: Cinereach was created and is led by a savvy group of young philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and filmmakers, with the goal of supporting fiction and nonfiction films and championing "vital stories, artfully told." With partnerships and support from Sundance, The Ford Foundation, and others, they offer an assortment of opportunities for ambitious and visionary filmmakers.
IP TAKE: Cinereach is a great go-to organization for indie filmmakers with truly independent sensibilities. It's the nonprofit film grant maker that could be many indie filmmaker's dream.
PROFILE: Cinereach offers a variety of grants that range from $5,000 to $50,000. Each year they grant around $500,000 to selected feature-length narrative and documentary films that are "at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry, and vital subject matter." To date they have distributed over $5 million to more than 200 projects that have gone on to win numerous other awards and acclaim.
Cinereach grants are typically awarded to between five and fifteen projects per funding cycle and can be used for any stage of production of the project, including development, production, and post-production. However, the grants cannot be used for "capital or endowment campaigns," or for individual scholarships, study, or travel. They also do not support the costs of distribution, web-based films, or films under 70 minutes long.
What the organization seeks to do beyond just fund a given project is to form ongoing working relationships with grantees. Cinereach's goal is to "form lasting and meaningful relationships with the talented, dedicated, and creative people we support. We invite a continuing dialogue, maintain an open-door policy, and help to rally a community in which our grantee films and filmmakers can flourish."
To date Cinereach has supported over 200 films in the US and abroad. One of the more recently recognized Cinereach productions, Beasts of the Southern Wild, was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2013, including Best Picture. Other notable films that have received support from the organization include This is Congo, God Loves Uganda, and Citizen Koch.
Until 2012 Cinereach accepted letters of inquiry through its website, and it will open a new call for letters in due course. In the interim it is worth joining the mailing list to be notified when the new call is opened. Also, be sure to review Cinereach's unsolicited submission policy before taking any action.