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by Nigel M Smith
February 14, 2011 5:06 AM
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Tribeca Film Institute & Ford Foundation Partner for $750,000 Fund

The Tribeca Film Institute today announced a long-term partnership with the Ford Foundations's JustFilms initiative and the launch of the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund, a $750,000 fund created to drive audience engagement by combining traditional filmmaking and new media.

The fund now marks the largest grant in the U.S. available to filmmakers who utilize cross-platform storytelling to promote social change. Beginning in 2012, JustFilms will contribute $1 million a year over five years to support TFI New Media Fund projects.

"As we enter our 10th year at TFI and join the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative in a new partnership, we have the opportunity to make an even deeper impact," said co-chairman of the board of the Tribeca Film Institute, Jane Rosenthal. "TFI New Media Fund was created to take social justice films beyond the theatre, bringing them into everyday life and allowing audiences to affect change."

Orlando Bagwell, director of JustFilms added, "Our JustFilms initiative reflects our recognition that stories can be powerful instruments of change. Our partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute is an exciting step forward into a new world of storytelling that leverages cross-platform media to help capture imaginations and engage audiences around the world in addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time."

Submissions will be open from April 4 through May 25, 2011.


Below is the full release:

TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP WITH FORD FOUNDATION’S JUSTFILMS; RECEIVES $750,000 FUND TO LAUNCH THE TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE NEW MEDIA FUND

Initiative to Support Media Projects Aimed at Promoting Social Change

Combines Traditional Filmmaking and New Media in an Industry First

Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund Brings TFI to over $1 Million in Filmmaker Grants for 2011

[New York, NY – February 14, 2011] – The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced a long-term partnership with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative and the launch of the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund. In a move that acknowledges the value of audience engagement, the $750,000 fund will provide support and funding to film projects which go beyond traditional screens – integrating film with content across newer media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and micro-blogging. All projects will activate audiences around issues of contemporary social justice and equality.

In its inaugural year, non-fiction projects accepted into the TFI New Media Fund will each receive $50,000 to $100,000 in funding to directly support ambitious projects that demonstrate the power of direct audience engagement and cross-platform storytelling. To date, this will mark the largest grant in the U.S. available to filmmakers who utilize cross-platform storytelling to promote social change.

Beginning in 2012, JustFilms will increase its support of TFI by contributing $1M a year over five years to support TFI New Media Fund projects. This announcement comes in a milestone year for both TFI and the Ford Foundation, as the Ford Foundation celebrates 75 years of philanthropic giving and TFI moves into its 10th year.

The formation of the TFI New Media Fund brings the not-for-profit’s overall filmmaker funding and support grants to over $1 million in 2011. Co-chairman of the board of the Tribeca Film Institute, Jane Rosenthal commented, “As we enter our 10th year at TFI and join the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative in a new partnership, we have the opportunity to make an even deeper impact. TFI New Media Fund was created to take social justice films beyond the theatre, bringing them into everyday life and allowing audiences to affect change.”

“Our JustFilms initiative reflects our recognition that stories can be powerful instruments of change,” said Orlando Bagwell, director of JustFilms. “Our partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute is an exciting step forward into a new world of storytelling that leverages cross-platform media to help capture imaginations and engage audiences around the world in addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time.”

Submissions will be open from April 4 through May 25, 2011. TFI will require select grantees to document their process, and help build an open on-line resource for media producers with the goal of establishing best practices in this new ‘transmedia’ field. The TFI New Media Fund is currently soliciting online feedback from a variety of disciplines and industries on the proposed submissions guidelines for the fund in order to foster an open dialog about what is possible in this new field.

The TFI New Media Fund will consider projects which present a non-fiction story focused on social issues and include an integrated cross-platform or new media component designed to engage and activate audiences. Producers from the US and internationally are invited to apply.

“In recent years documentaries that address social injustices have led the way in modeling how independent filmmakers can reach and activate audiences. We're so excited to be able to take that work to the next level with this initiative,” said Beth Janson, newly appointed executive director of the Tribeca Film Institute.

Preceding this announcement, the Ford Foundation launched JustFilms, a five-year, $50 million initiative to help find and support a new generation of filmmakers whose works address urgnt social issues. The launch of the TFI New Media Fund will be at the cornerstone of the partnership between the Ford Foundation and TFI, and will continue to grow throughout the year as projects are selected; ultimately helping to bring them to fruition.

The TFI New Media Fund will be highlighted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 20 – May 1, 2011), and the grant recipients will be announced in September 2011.

1 Comment

  • Robert | February 16, 2011 4:26 AMReply

    Filmmakers who want to apply for the money but don't know how to get started with the interactive part should checked out Conducttr - it's free to use and will add interactivity to your creative ideas without any programming language - via http://www.tstoryteller.com