Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation's film grants fund human interest documentary filmmaking.

IP TAKE: Grant seekers should expect fierce competition for Rivera-Ortiz’s grants.

PROFILE: Created in 2010, the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary, Photography, and Film was founded by photographer Manuel Rivera-Ortiz, perhaps best known for photographing the lives of poor and disenfranchised people in the world's least-developed countries. It seeks to “support photo and film reportage as a catalyst for change and social justice in communities where needs are most pressing” and to “encourage a new generation of photographers and filmmakers […] to take to the streets every day and document humanity on the move.” The foundation funds grants for photography and film.

The foundation’s film program awards grants to documentary filmmakers. The Global Grant is a $5,000 award to one “short-short” documentary film project. According to the foundation, participants “must be committed to the field of reportage and documentary filmmaking.”

Rivera-Ortiz’s Films on Human Importance and Impact is a relatively new documentary film grant program. Focusing on human interest pieces, this program seeks films “highlighting human unrest, forgotten communities, over-exploited people and environments impacted by war, poverty, famine, disease, exploitation and global distress.” This is a $5,000 grant, as well.

To learn more about the types of projects that the foundation has funded, check out its Grant Recipients page.

The foundation announces calls for submission each year, typically on November 1, with an application deadline of March 31. Grant seekers should note that these dates are subject to change, so it is important to check the foundation’s website for current deadlines.

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