Ford Foundation Announces Social Issue Film Funding Initiative

The Ford Foundation has announced the launch of JustFilms, a five-year, $50 million initiative to help find and support a new generation of filmmakers whose works address urgent social issues.

The initiative will invest $10 million a year over the next five years to support and expand the community of filmmakers and mediamakers around the world who are focused on creating documentaries with "passion and purpose" but who often lack funding to realize their visions or reach audiences. JustFilms will build on the foundation's longtime support for documentaries and will leverage the foundation's global network of ten regional offices to identify and help fund new talent from around the world and strengthen emerging communities of documentary filmmakers.

The initiative will pursue three distinct funding paths: partnerships with major organizations such as the Sundance Institute, Independent Television Service, the Tribeca Film Institute, and others; collaboration with other Ford Foundation grantmaking programs where the introduction of documentary film could help draw attention to an issue or advance a movement; and an ongoing open-application process to help the program stay attuned to fresh ideas and stories wherever they may emerge.

Approximately one-third of JustFilms support will be dedicated to finding projects through the open-application process. Applications should include a brief description of the project and creative approach, the primary purpose of the film, the current stage of the project, and whether any other funds have been raised for the film.

Visit the Ford Foundation Web site for complete information on the JustFilms program and for details on the foundation's grant application process.