March 2023 Newsletter

Center For
Resources & Opportunities


The Jewish Film Institute is now accepting applications for its fourth cycle of JFI Completion grants. The Grants provide crucial funds to established and emerging filmmakers whose projects expand and evolve the Jewish story. Since 2020, JFI has distributed more than $250,000

to innovative projects of all genres and formats that have challenged stereotypes and conventions and sparked impactful conversations about Jewish life.

Deadline for applications is March 31st. Learn more here.

[Image Description: Jewish Film Institute logo]


The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides production funds of up to $100,000 to feature-length documentary films in production taking on in-depth explorations of original, telling contemporary-relevant stories, and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process.

Deadline for applications is April 4th. Learn more and apply here.

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The Documentary Fund celebrates excellence in craft, clarity in vision, and a deep connection to the stories being told, prioritizing productions where the creative and editorial control is held within the core creative team. Applicants may submit at any production phase from development through post-production. All proposals must convey some vision for a finished film.

Deadline for applications is April 17th. Learn more and apply here.

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The Points North Fellowship invites up to 6 teams of early and mid-career filmmakers to Maine to accelerate the development of their feature documentary, culminating in the public presentation of the works-in-progress at the Points North Pitch. The Fellowship will take place in person in Maine. Anticipated dates are September 11-17, followed by virtual 1:1 industry meetings from Sep. 28th - October 3rd.

Deadline to apply is April 24th. Learn more here.

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The Cucalorus Works-in-Progress (WiP) Lab supports social justice documentaries with a focus on expanding support for projects being directed by Black filmmakers. Co-designed and coordinated by Working Films, participating artists will receive feedback on their work-in-progress and explore audience engagement strategies through workshops, consultations, and community screenings during a residency at Cucalorus’ campus September 24th through Oct 1st, 2023. 

Deadline for applications is April 28th. Learn more and apply here

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The Hulu/Firelight Kindling Fund will resource three filmmakers with a $25,000 award to develop an original, non-fiction documentary feature film or limited series for a first look by Firelight Films and the Hulu streaming service. The Fund is open to filmmakers who are alumni of Firelight Media artist programs. Additional filmmakers may apply by invitation only from Firelight.

Deadline for applications is March 31st. Learn more and apply here.

[Image Description: Firelight Media logo]


Mass Humanities’ Expand Massachusetts Stories-Open Track grant program offers up to $20,000 for projects that collect, interpret and/or share narratives about the Commonwealth, with an emphasis on the voices and experiences that have gone unrecognized, or have been excluded from public conversation. Potential projects may include short documentary films (15-30 minutes) or digital media projects that present new insights into the lives of Massachusetts residents past or present.

Deadline to apply is March 20th. Learn more and apply here.

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Creative Capital provides unrestricted grants up to $50,000 to individual artists to support the creation of groundbreaking new projects. The 2024 “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact” is open to Visual Arts and Film/Moving Image, including experimental film, short film, animation, documentary film, narrative film, and socially engaged and/or sustainable film/moving image-based practices.

Deadline to apply is March 31st. Learn more here.

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CID Film News & Updates


Chicken & Egg Pictures has announced more than $650,000 in new grants to eight recipients of its 2023 Chicken & Egg Award. The award offers selected documentary filmmakers who are at advanced-career stages with a $75,000 grant as well as a tailored year-long mentorship program that is targeted to the goals of each individual grant recipient.

Grant recipients include CID sponsored filmmakers Angela Tucker and Sonia Kennebeck. CID filmmaker Farida Pacha has received a $15,000 Chicken & Egg Award Finalist Development Grant. Find the full list of grantees here.

[Image Description: Chicken & Egg Pictures logo]


On March 16th, A DECENT HOME will be available to U.S. viewing audiences via America ReFramed on WORLD Channel, via broadcast and same-day streaming. Here are different ways to watch:

Broadcast over-the-air weekly on WORLD Channel (check local listings) and on satellite TV during the week on Link TV (Direct TV channel 375 and Dish channel 9410)

Streaming same day as broadcast on your smartTV or online at and on demand via all station-branded PBS platforms, including the PBS app.

[Image Description: A person stands looking out from the porch of their light blue mobile home. Flower baskets hang from the rafters of the porch, and manicured shrubbery and plantings surround the home.]


The Biden-Harris Administration has invited the team behind FINDING TAMIKA to come to the White House in March to discuss the issue of missing Black women and girls, utilizing Finding Tamika as the springboard for a robust conversation that will feature senior leaders from several agencies across the Administration.

Finding Tamika has also won the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award for excellence and innovation in journalism. Watch a video of Erika Alexander's speech here.

[Image Description: Erika Alexander is smiling and holding the duPont-Columbia Award.]


THE BIG PAYBACK website now features key resources including a Film Discussion Guide and a Toolkit. The team also kicked off their Reparations Debate Series, which is launching at the 10 HBCUs in North Carolina. The series kicked off at Bennett College on January 30th. Read more in The Wrap, Variety (scroll down to the Initiatives section), and Greensboro News & Record.

[Image Description: A black and white photo of Zora Neale Hurston wearing a black hat and belted dress. She sits against a wall with geometric wallpaper, and looks off to the side.]


FWD-Doc member and director of I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, Reid Davenport, won the "Truer than Fiction” Award at Independent Spirit Awards. Reid received a standing ovation for his speech calling on the industry to support disabled filmmakers: "There are so many disabled artists trying to get into this industry who are not given a chance," Mr Davenport said. "I ask you humbly to let them in. It's time.” 

If you would like to work with disabled filmmakers, email to connect with some of FWD-Doc’s almost 700 disabled filmmakers and allies.

[Image Description: Director Reid Davenport at the mic of the Independent Spirit Awards, with producer Keith Wilson next to him.]


NARROW PATH TO HAPPINESS is a new feature documentary that follows a young gay Romani couple from a remote village in Hungary who have a dream so absurd that it seems impossible: to make a musical film based on their lives. Directed by Kata Oláh, produced by Borbála Csukás, and co-produced by Marc Smolowitz, Narrow Path to Happiness had its world premiere at the 25th Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival on March 6th and 7th. Screening in competition, the filmmakers were in attendance! Follow the adventures of this promising documentary just beginning its festival journey on the film's website.

[Image description: Promotional Thessaloniki film festival graphic featuring a film still from Narrow Path To Happiness. Still shows a tattooed man embracing his male partner in the foreground, and in the background, a government building with a rainbow flag hanging out of a window above a group of police.]


ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (WE WILL SPEAK) will have its world premiere at the 47th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, March 23rd at 7:30pm at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland; the film will also screen online during the CIFF47 Streams event from April 2-9, 2023.

The film is also a featured selection at Filmfort, which takes place during the Treefort Music Festival in Boise, ID. The film will screen as part of the festival's "Reclaiming Culture" showcase on Saturday, March 25th at 2:30pm at The Flicks.

ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ (We Will Speak) will screen as part of the 50th Annual Symposium of the American Indian at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. The event takes place on Tuesday April 11th at 7pm and will feature a screening of the film, a Q&A with the filmmakers, and a ceremony honoring the tribe's first language speakers.

[Image Description: Four Cherokee people, two grandparents and two grandchildren, stand on the porch of their house in rural Oklahoma and look out contemplatively into the blue evening light.]


NURSE UNSEEN will have its world premiere at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It will be in competition for CIFF's Global Health Documentary Competition, Groundbreaker Program, ReelWomenDirect Award, and the Audience Award. Attend screenings at Playhouse Square on Sunday, March 26th at 5pm ET and Monday, March 27th at 11:50am ET. More details and purchase tickets here.

Nurse Unseen explores the little-known history and humanity of the unsung Filipino nurses risking their lives on the frontlines of a pandemic, thousands of miles from home. This personal documentary unearths the colonial ties between the Philippines and the United States that have led to Filipino-American nurses becoming the unsung backbone of the United States health industry.

[Image Description: Nurse Unseen film poster, featuring a grid of nine, sepia, nursing school graduation photos of Filipina women. Below the grid is the film title, standard billing block and link to]


G. Chesler’s film DYSCONNECT: TRANS LIVES DURING COVID-19 was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council of Portland, Oregon and a Robert K. Purks grant through George Mason University. Both awards will allow them to complete production on their film. They are seeking support for post-production and hope to release to festivals in early 2024. As an act of witnessing what has been lost, gained, and revealed to trans and gender variant people during the COVID-19 pandemic, their film’s relevance is now. G. intends to open up space for dialogue and reflection amongst trans and queer audiences with these screenings.

Image Credit: Sound Recordist Kai Tillman and Cinematographer Aubree Bernier-Clarke on location with G. Chesler. Featuring participant Kirin Akiyama of @Queer_Wave in Portland, Oregon. (photo G. Chesler)

[Image Description :At the lush bank of a river on a sunny fall day under a blue sky, two participants wearing sweaters and jeans embrace. The biracial Asian transmasculine person with a short beard is held by a white cis femme. In the foreground filming the moment, a trans masculine sound recordist with headphones and a boom pole wears a puffy green jacket and jeans, and nonbinary transgender cinematographer works with a camera on a tripod, wears a black sweater and jeans. Both artists are white. A friendly dog watches the crew, protecting and curious.]


FOUR WINTERS, a film by Julia Mintz, had its Boston Area Premiere at the West Newton Cinema and is currently screening! Purchase your tickets here.

“All I owned was my camera, a leopard coat, and a grenade in case of capture...the pillow was the rifle, the walls were the trees and the sky was the roof,” says partisan Faye Schulman. Over 25,000 Jewish partisans fought back against the Nazis and their collaborators from deep within the forests of WWII’s Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Belarus. Against extraordinary odds, they escaped Nazi slaughter, transforming from young innocents to courageous resistance fighters. Shattering the myth of Jewish passivity, these last surviving partisans tell their stories of resistance in FOUR WINTERS, revealing a stunning narrative of heroism and resilience. Watch the trailer for the film and the ABC NEWS Feature.

[Image Description: A sepia toned photograph of young Jewish partisans posing as a group in the woods.]


In February, THE SECRET SONG director Samantha Campbell traveled to Arizona for back-to-back festival screenings at the Worldwide Women's Film Festival and the Sedona International Film Festival, where the film picked up the Marion Herman Excellence in Filmmaking Award. The film was also invited to screen in early March at SXSW EDU, the education-focused offshoot of the popular film and music fest in Austin, and Cinequest, Silicon Valley's top festival. 

[Image Description: Two women stand together smiling, while one of them holds a clear glass trophy.]


The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Marc Fields a Mellon Fellowship to work on THE BANJO PROJECT, a digital repository of information and resources dedicated to the history of the instrument.

The fellowship will allow Fields time and resources to script, produce and edit six interactive multi-media narratives to add to the digital museum's galleries, viewable at

In 2019, NEH Digital Projects for the Public provided major production support for the beta version of The Banjo Project digital museum.

[Image Description: Screen grab of the landing page for The Banjo Project digital museum, . This video excerpt features Grammy-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens, performing and explaining the banjo's hidden history. The thumbnails on the landing page are previews of the many narratives that comprise the banjo's colorful and contested history.]


Facing History and Ourselves is holding a special virtual screening of INTERGENERATION for educators on March 28th - more details here.

InterGeneration, produced and directed by Carolyn Shadid Lewis, follows a diverse group of Boston teens through the Covid-19 pandemic as they connect with elders in their communities. Using animation and dialogue to explore ideas of memory, identity, and change, the film demonstrates the power of intergenerational connection, and what adolescents and elders can learn from each other as they face uncertainty with hope and wisdom. 

[Image Description: A colorful drawing in shades of pink, oranges and blues of a man sitting on rocks and staring out at the water. Cotton balls sit atop the drawing to form clouds in the sky.]


Hear Patti Smith read the poem, In the Bookstore, written by the subject of Ken Paul Rosenthal's in-progress documentary, JULIA VINOGRAD: BETWEEN SPIRIT AND STONE.

[Image Description: A black and white photo of Julia Vinograd standing in the front of a crowd of people. Her eyes are closed and head is upturned as she blows bubbles towards the sky. Text in a typewriter font reads "Julia Vinograd: Between Spirit and Stone"]


Walking Cinema, a San-Francisco based production company, is currently developing a digital storytelling and augmented reality course for museum professionals and documentarians focused on historic sites. For the past fifteen years, Walking Cinema’s team of writers, producers, and programmers have been partnering with museums and cultural organizations to develop a unique brand of digital storytelling that uses audience surroundings, podcasting, and augmented reality to bring history to life. The company has won numerous awards from the museum, film, and interactive industries, and now they are looking to democratize their production process so museums can create such mobile-guided experiences themselves. Walking Cinema is running a 4-week pilot course from May 1–May 26, 2023, that will help museum staff develop a pilot audio and augmented reality walk. Each week students will have a 90-minute Zoom class + 8 hours of asynchronous learning and producing. Applications are due by March 15, 2023. Please direct questions to and request application materials from Walking Cinema producer Elissa Mardiney: Additional information available at:


Viviane Silvera's film SEE MEMORY will be shown at Broward College in the exhibition "The Elastic Mind." "The Elastic Mind" will open to visitors in the gallery on April 20th at 10am and run through September 28th, 2023 at 4pm. A reception will be held on April 20th from 3-5pm at the gallery. See Memory will be screened at The Helix Center in NYC, along with a panel discussion on The Technē of Memory March 18th, 2023 at 2:30pm.

CID Film Of The Month

[Image Description: A man and a child are looking out from the precipice of a cliff at a landscape of beautiful mountains.]


Directed by Augusto Zeggara

Produced by Claudia Chavez and Paloma Iturriaga

Fernando is an independent voice artist from Cusco, Peru who dreams of dubbing The Lion King to Quechua, language of the Incas. This epic endeavor of contacting Disney will re-examine his identity, his role as a father, and the cultural heritage he passes to his son Dylan. Along the way he will realize that the odds are against him. Fercho will have to find a way to deliver his promise to his people and bring the magic of film to his community.


Learn more and contribute here. 

Featured Resource Of The Month

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Doc Filmmakers Reckon with the Industry's Murky Ethics

"The boom — or glut — in streaming documentaries has sparked a reckoning among filmmakers and their subjects."

Read the article by Reeves Wiedeman in Vulture/New York Magazine here.

We are grateful for the generous support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Mass Cultural Council, and administered by the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture.
Center For Independent Documentary | 1-339-364-1278 |
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