Announcing | Inaugural “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund Grant Recipients
The Fund is the latest in a series of groundbreaking initiatives by the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) have announced the first round of grant recipients of the “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund. Finishing funds in the combined amount of $1.5 million were awarded to 63 film, TV, theatre, and digital media projects made by creatives who identify as women. This is the first round of a $5 million, three-year program funded by MOME and administered by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).
The Fund is part of the City’s women.nyc initiative, which helps women succeed by connecting them with resources and tools, including free expert legal advice, financial assistance, and networking and mentorship opportunities.
“Today, exceptional women creators, directors, and producers are still not getting the recognition and professional success they deserve,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “As a leading entertainment capital, New York City is no longer willing to accept this status quo. With our groundbreaking Women’s Fund for Film & Theatre, more women will be able to fund their creative ventures and secure the resources they need to see their work on the big screen or stage. We are proud to close the industry’s opportunity gap and open doors for women of all backgrounds.”
The Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund is the centerpiece of a groundbreaking series of initiatives by MOME to address the underrepresentation of women in film, television, and theatre. These initiatives are unique, making New York the first city in the country to launch a multi-faceted program to help female-identified creatives in film, TV, and theatre.
“By making significant investments in women-led projects, the Women’s Fund seeks to increase the pipeline of female creatives in front of and behind the camera, and on stage,” said Media and Entertainment Acting Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “The 63 projects receiving this first round of grants portray the complexity and variety of human experience as told by an incredibly diverse group of women. This milestone affirms New York City’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.”
A total of 544 applications were received and evaluated by esteemed panels of industry experts. Projects in the following categories were awarded finishing grants:
· 14 Theatre Productions – each received up to $50,000
· 11 Documentary Features – each received up to $50,000
· 4 Fiction Features – each received up to $50,000
· 10 Fiction Short – each received up to $25,000
· 9 Documentary Shorts – each received up to $25,000
· 9 Fiction Webisode/Webseries – each received up to $20,000
· 6 Documentary Webisodes/Webseries – each received up to $20,000
The projects selected for funding explore a broad range of topics. A documentary feature follows 40 Central American women who make an annual journey to search for children who went missing while crossing the border. A comedic web series features a young Asian-American woman beginning a journey of sexual discovery after reluctantly enrolling in a Women’s Studies class. A dramatic feature explores the relationship between a trans Filipina working as a caregiver in Brighton Beach and a Russian-Jewish man. Among the theater projects is a musical based on the origin story of Hildegard von Bingen, one of Medieval history’s most powerful and creative women. The Negro Ensemble Company received funding for three plays one of which is a reimagined work by the late Ntozake Shange. Click here for a full list of projects.
Applications were evaluated by industry experts, including Tracey Scott Wilson, playwright and Executive Producer on “The Americans” series; actors Daphne Rubin-Vega and Kathleen Chalfant; screenwriter Amy Fox; and Lesli Klaiberg, the executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The full list of panelists can be found here.
"We’re honored that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment entrusted us to administer this groundbreaking program,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “NYFA has a long history of supporting artists at all stages of their creative careers, including many female or female-identifying artists and artists of color who have made a significant impact in their fields and in the larger cultural sphere. It’s exciting for us to continue to support unique voices and perspectives through the Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund,” he added.
In addition to being “made by, for, or about” all who identify as women, projects were eligible if they featured a strong female perspective; and/or included a female-identified director; and/or included a meaningful female-identified producer credit; and/or included a meaningful female-identified writing credit; and/or included a female-identified protagonist(s). Projects also had to be “Made in NY:” for film and video projects (1) 75% of its total shooting days had to take place in New York City, or (2) 75% of its below-the-line production costs had to be incurred in New York City; theatre projects must be rehearsed and performed in New York City. Click here for full eligibility guidelines.
The “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund provides grants to encourage and support the creation of film, television, digital, and live theatre content that reflects the voices and perspectives of all who identify as women, and provides finishing grants for film, television, digital projects, and theatre productions. The next award cycles are scheduled to commence Summer/Fall of 2019 and 2020. To sign up for updates on the Fund, visit MOME’s website and sign up for NYFA’s bi-weekly newsletter, NYFA News. You can use hashtag #NYCWomensFund to participate in the conversation.
Funding for this program provided by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Image: Courtesy City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME)