Ford Foundation: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: Ford supports filmmaking through partnerships with other organizations as well as through their own JustFilms initiative. It funds projects that "address urgent social issues and help us understand our past, explore our present and build our future."

IP TAKE: JustFilms supports filmmaking through both individual grants and partner organizations. It is a little unclear where Ford’s future funding priorities lie, but it does accept letters of inquiry on a rolling basis.

PROFILE: The Ford Foundation created the JustFilms initiative as part of their larger Creativity and Free Expression program. It supports projects that “inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes, and help transform the conditions that perpetuate injustice and inequality.” The JustFilms program prioritizes documentary filmmaking.

JustFilms accepts letters of inquiry on a rolling basis. It also funds partner organizations, such as the Sundance Institute and the Tribeca Film Institute, that offer grants and other opportunities directly to individual filmmakers. In order to be considered, grant seekers’ projects must clearly align with Ford's mission of social justice. Grant seekers should take a look at some of the completed work of past JustFilms grantees in Ford's film collection to get an idea what Ford is looking for, then review what the program explicitly does and does not fund. Ford also suggests grant seekers familiarize themselves with some of its other initiatives to get a view of its big film funding picture.

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