The Redford Center to Distribute Funds to Environmental Filmmakers

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Redford Center Grants will fund seven documentary film teams working on environmental projects poised to drive action and engagement

Redford Center Grants will fund seven documentary film teams working on environmental projects poised to drive action and engagement

“We show up for each other in moments of crisis. These are the stories we want to support.” - James Redford

The Redford Center, a non-profit environmental media organization that accelerates environmental and climate justice, solutions and repair, announced today it will run its environmental Grants program as planned and open the call for proposals today. “Independent artists and filmmakers, particularly those working in documentary, are facing dramatic shifts to the industry and their livelihoods as a result of COVID-19,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “Every bit of support helps right now.”

Watch the Redford Center Grants announcement video now: https://vimeo.com/397449205.

Funded by The New York Community Trust, the 2020-2021 Grants program will provide early-stage funding for environmental impact stories that drive awareness, engagement and action on a variety of topics that are relevant to, or take place in, the United States and its territories. “As we try to anticipate and prepare for the climate and environmental impacts of the pandemic, we welcome projects that explore what it means to be an environmentalist and to work toward environmental justice in this unprecedented moment,” said Tidman.

Funds will be awarded to seven film teams working on impact-driven projects that present inclusive and equitable perspectives on environmental issues. Selected film projects will leave audiences with a sense of efficacy and urgency to engage, and will showcase stories of individuals taking action in their own communities and spheres of influence.

“What’s happening right now is revealing the depth of the inequity that runs through our society. It is not disconnected from how environmental and climate impacts devastate our most vulnerable populations,” Tidman said. A key focus of the Grants program is supporting stories and storytellers from communities most impacted by inequitable policies, structures and distribution of resources. “Humans are so creative and resilient,” said James Redford, co-founder and co-chair of The Redford Center. “We show up for each other in moments of crisis. These are the stories we want to support.”

With funding generously provided by The New York Community Trust, each film team selected to participate in the program will receive:

  • A $20,000 development grant to create a short proof-of-concept film in a six-month timeframe that can be used to support the fundraising, outreach and production of your feature film
  • A GoPro Camera and Tech Kit, along with technical support and training
  • A travel and lodging grant to attend a Story Development Summit at the Sundance Mountain Resort
  • Opportunities to meet issue experts and industry leaders who will help filmmaking teams refine their project narratives and impact goals
  • All finalists receive fast-track consideration for fiscal sponsorship with The Redford Center
  • Consideration for a production grant in Year Two to support the feature film

The Redford Center will again be partnering with GoPro for a Cause and welcomes Kindhumans as a new program partner. “We are tremendously honored to support The Redford Center and filmmakers who are working to change the world,” said Anastasia Greenmore, Senior Manager, GoPro for a Cause. “This will be the third Grantee cohort supported by GoPro for a Cause and we are looking forward to seeing the stories these filmmakers will bring to life.”

Together, GoPro for a Cause and Kindhumans will provide camera gear, technical support and training to the filmmakers. “A couple of GoPros on your set can capture amazing and unexpected action,” said Justin Wilkenfeld, Redford Center Grants Advisor and co-founder of Kindhumans, a company dedicated to generating kindness through contributions to good causes and conscious consuming. “Small bites of content when used strategically on digital platforms can help build movements. This is especially important right now, with public gatherings temporarily prohibited.”

Redford Center Grants will consider projects from film teams that are focused on a broad range of environmental issues. “We’re often asked how we define what an environmental issue is,” Tidman said. “It has always been an expansive and cross-cutting definition. One that centers the communities and environments we live and work in, with equity and justice at the forefront.”

Redford Center Grants will be accepting submissions from April 1, 2020 through June 1, 2020 at redfordcenter.org/grants. “It’s hard to know what to do in these uncertain times and we often look to our artists and storytellers to help us make sense of things,” said Melissa Fondakowski, Director of the Redford Center Grants Program. “To be able to provide some resources to the filmmaking community right now is something our whole team is deeply grateful to be able to do.”

About The Redford Center:
Co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son James Redford, The Redford Center uses impact-driven film and media to accelerate environmental and climate justice, solutions and repair. Drawing on the family’s multi-generational expertise in filmmaking and activism, we produce, fund and fiscally sponsor impact-driven productions that showcase stories of individuals taking action to protect and restore the planet. The Redford Center’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program extends its nonprofit status and excellent filmmaker support to kindred environmental impact film and media projects. The Redford Center’s original productions include: FIGHTING GOLIATH: Texas Coal Wars (2008) which helped prevent the construction of 177 new coal-powered plants. WATERSHED (2012) which has secured over $13 million to support on-the-ground restoration work and obtain water rights for the Colorado River Delta region. The Redford Center’s current film and campaign, HAPPENING: A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION (2017) has screened in all 50 US states and 45 countries, with over 2 million views on HBO in the US alone. Redford Center Grants provides early-stage funding for environmental impact stories that drive awareness, engagement and action on a variety of topics that are relevant to, or take place in, the United States. To learn more, please visit redfordcenter.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.

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Melissa Fondakowski
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