Spring Grants List: Where Can Female Filmmakers Find Money?

The spring application season is officially open for arts funders seeking female filmmakers, as shown in this list of grant resources.

As we head closer to a return to normalcy, funding opportunities for the arts are beginning to open back up — which means it’s time for women to take center stage in the film industry. For female filmmakers in particular, grants for documentaries, short films, feature films, and more are beginning to shake off the winter doldrums and prepare for the spring application season: the ideal opportunity to improve female representation in film.

Jamie Babbit (right), director of the film Addicted to Fresno, poses with (from left) Molly Shannon, Judy Greer, and Natasha Lyon at SXSW. Fresno was produced with help from a grant from Gamechangers Films. (Image Credit: Cinelinx)

Here are a selection of funders (presented in alphabetical order) looking for female directors and filmmakers. This is by no means a complete collection. More to add to the list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this grants list with the female filmmakers in your social circles!

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Why Do Major Ballet Companies Exclude Women Choreographers?

Editor’s Note: The following editorial by Elizabeth (Liza) Yntema was originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It is the spring of 2021, except in the ballet world, which is apparently stuck somewhere in a 1950s deep freeze, where classical dance celebrates women by muting them.

Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash. Dancer: Sydney Smrzel

Our team at Dance Data Project was stunned to learn that Pennsylvania Ballet, the 10th largest company by budget in the U.S., has chosen to “honor” its female Founder, Barbara Weisberger, with a spring digital season whose theme is “Strength. Resilience. Beauty” and features 3 programs with 11 works by male choreographers and zero—yes, that is zero—pieces by women.

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Feminist Giving IRL: Hear From the Top Tier Winners (Liveblog)

On Thursday, March 25th, the Philanthropy Women team welcomed attendees and honorees alike to the first Feminist Giving IRL Top Tier Awards Ceremony. Celebrating the exceptional leadership of the interviewees from the past year, this year’s FGIRL Top Tier winners are Elizabeth Yntema (Dance Data Project®), Dr. Tessie San Martin (Plan International USA), and Sara Monteabaro (MIT Solve).

feminist giving IRL
Award recipients came together today to discuss how they are making headway for gender equality in dance, global development, and social entrepreneurship. (Image credit: Zoom webinar)

The FGIRL series started two years ago, inspired by Gloria Steinem’s idea that “people should be linked, not ranked.”

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ArtNet: Ripple Effect Tribute to 26 Women Artists and their Inspirations

In celebration of International Women’s Day, ArtNet News identified 26 women working in art that have inspired the industry.

French Sculptor Louise Bourgeois is among the 26 women named by ArtNet as an inspiration to the art world. (Image credit: ArtNet)

It is not always easy being a woman in this world, and being a woman in the art world can be doubly challenging. Gallery rosters and museum collections around the world have been skewed against women for centuries, and many of today’s top institutions still have yet to appoint a female director. Even so, there is a vast community of women in the art world, dedicated to supporting and uplifting each other.

On this International Women’s Day, we looked to a group of art-world women who inspire us, and we asked them to take a moment to shine a light on some of the women who have inspired them. From mothers and grandmothers to feminist critic Linda Nochlin, who first called into question the apparent absence of great women artists—here are 26 women worth celebrating today and every day.

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Where Are Young Women in Philanthropy?

In the same ways that traditional philanthropy has been historically dominated by white, older, high net worth men, feminist philanthropy has a noticeable population gap in younger age groups. Young women, in particular, in an era of crushing student loans, underemployment, and uncertainty in the face of COVID-19, are noticeably absent from a movement dedicated to their wellbeing.

Young women’s activism is at an all-time high — but why are we missing from feminist philanthropy? (Image Credit: Gayatri Malhotra)

This is not to say that the younger generations aren’t pulling their weight. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Young activists like Greta Thunberg and Sarah Goody are leading the way to revolutions in social justice and culture change. LGBT+ and POC youth are standing vanguard against discrimination, homophobia, and rollbacks of minorities’ legal rights.

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Dance Equity: Extra Tough Times for Women Dancers in COVID

Northfield, IL | November 19, 2020 Dance Data Project® (DDP) today announces the social media campaign, Connecting the Dots – #YesThisIsAnArtsStory, designed to draw attention to the catastrophic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in dance and the performing arts in general. The campaign will begin on Monday, Nov. 23 and run for three weeks, ending on Friday, Dec. 11.

Dancers Terez Dean Orr and Ben Warner perform Poetry of Being by Nicole Haskins. (Photo by Keith Sutter, courtesy of Smuin Contemporary Ballet)


“While NPR, and business publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes have documented the asymmetric impact of the pandemic on women economically, we haven’t seen similar work by arts reporters, looking at the industry as a whole,” said DDP President and Founder Liza Yntema. “Our campaign is designed to ‘connect the dots’ between layoffs and furloughs at the lower tier of performing arts not for profits where women typically work, the already existing gender pay gap, and the crushing pressure women feel due to child and elder care duties resulting in what is being termed the ‘Shecession’.” 

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Liveblog: Women in Media Changing the Game

On Thursday, August 27th, we gathered for this month’s Philanthropy Women webinar: Women in Media Changing the Game. With guests Lori Sokol, Ruth Ann Harnisch, and Johanna Derlega, we discussed the under-funding and under-representation of female journalists and women’s media outlets, as well as ways funders can work to fix this under-representation.

How To Increase Funding for Women in Media

Editor-in-Chief Kiersten Marek kicked off the call with a reminder to breathe, and introduced today’s theme: Women in Media Changing the Game.

“We know now more than ever how important women’s leadership is,” she said. “COVID has taught us that women leaders in countries around the world have had much better success with managing COVID. And that’s just one example of the women’s leadership differential—the ability to prioritize health and the well-being of others.”

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Ciara’s Rooted Uplifts Black Identity and Funds Girls of Color

For her new song “Rooted,” Grammy Award winner Ciara has partnered with the non-profit Grantmakers for Girls of Color (G4GC), which will receive a portion of the song’s proceeds. “Rooted,” featuring and co-written by producer/songwriter Ester Dean, is a follow up to their 2019 Black female anthem “Melanin,” and celebrates Black Lives Matter, Black women, Black history and culture, and pregnancy.

Photo Credit: Grantmakers For Girls of Color

Rooted” was released by Ciara’s company Beauty Marks Entertainment, which is dedicated to creating business opportunities for women at the intersection of music, tech and philanthropy. The song’s video was filmed just before Ciara gave birth to her third child, Win Wilson, and prominently features Ciara’s pregnant body. It was directed by African American photographer/artist/filmmaker Annie Bercy.

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Announcing the Winners of the About Women Art Contest

As a writer and publisher, I was excited to recently rediscover my passionate interest in creating and supporting visual art. The pandemic has had many terrible impacts on our lives, but one positive impact it had for me was getting me more engaged in my own love for art. During the extended times many of us have been spending socially distancing, I began to paint, first doing portraits of African Americans, and then moving on to still life paintings and impressionistic landscapes.

Street Vendor by Eva Lechner is our Third Place Winner in the About Women art contest.

In an effort to support women and LGBT+ artists, we launched our first art contest recently. The theme for the contest was “About Women” and we received more than 100 entries of some stunning and moving visual art pieces. There were 185 votes on the entries, and the winners were chosen by public vote, so popularity was more of a factor, as opposed to a contest that is judged by a jury of artists.

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New Listings in our Knowledgebase Every Week, and VOTE!

Thank you to all the readers and new subscribers who are joining us daily. It’s really great to feel the Philanthropy Women community growing. As editor, I want to alert readers to the resource of our Gender Equality Funder Knowledgebase. This is the place where you can find funders for gender equality across categories of corporate, private, and family foundations.

vote gender equality knowledgebase
Protesters take a knee for George Floyd at protests in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina on 5/30/2020 (Image credit: @clay.banks)

We aim to list all funders for gender equality in both the U.S. and globally and have been steadily building this database out for over a year. We now have over 500 listings and are currently adding about 8 new entries to the database every week, so we hope these additions are helping feminist nonprofits find more resources for their work.

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