Americans spend weeks vetting and prognosticating before Oscar Night. We then spend days celebrating, lamenting, or lampooning the winners. After the really big show last night, we wanted to call attention to the growing influence and funding for independent documentary films, many of which include influential grass-roots movements to call attention to the issues raised in these films.
This past year the Ford Foundation launched its and sponsorship meant to fund independent films meant ‘to advance social justice worldwide.’
They seek to:
- Enlarge the conversation on issues of importance by investing in documentary films that capture people’s imaginations and engage them in shaping their futures.
- Expand the community of independent documentary filmmakers and lift the voices of new and innovative filmmakers from around the world.
- Help filmmakers craft important stories, and also develop strategies for finding and building audiences across a variety of platforms.
This year the grants will begin flowing, to the tune of $10 million a year over the next five years.
Many independent and documentary films are shown for free on SnagFilms.com, a service that has also received investment and philanthropic support to the tune of $10 million. Think of it as the YouTube of feature-length documentaries on environmental issues, education concerns, and what cats do when their owners aren’t home.
Documentaries can bring an emotional energy to a topic or a movement that helps bring alive the facts-and-figures. The transformation of Al Gore’s rather pedestrian discussion on global warming to the award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, is perhaps the most famous use of the genre to inspire people to consider a challenging or controversial topic.
‘Wild & Scenic Film Fest’ of New York City on March 9th at 6:pm, where ten short films will be shown. The movies range from one-minute animations on the benefits of florescent bulbs to an hour-long look at growing a garden in the back of a pickup truck.They can also provide excellent ways to spread awareness and raise money for your organization, whatever its vocation may be (and whether or not you have a documentary to produce!). The New York will be hosting the
The documentary film can inform and educate and motivate. We’re thrilled that the Ford Foundation has taken up the cause of supporting independent documentary makers and we look forward to continued broadcast from SnapFilms.com. We also hope you can join Green Guerillas and their documentary-fest in ten-days’ time.
FYI:won Best Feature-Length Documentary & won the Short category.