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 Sheroes Gala is Celebrating Women’s Media Leader Julie Burton

The Multicultural Media and Correspondents Association hosted the Sheroes in media gala to recognize the women leading the fight for diversity in journalism.

In honor of Women’s History Month, MMCA hosted a gala to recognize women leaders who fight for media diversity. This fundraiser went towards each of the organizations led by these women. 

Julie Burton
Julie Burton, president and CEO of Women’s Media Center (Image Credit: MMCA)

MMCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to utilizing means, such as this gala, to address the issue of diversity in media reporting. The organization has acknowledged that the lack of diversity in media has major ramifications for the state of economy, society and politics.

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TWF Celebrates Women Leaders with Virtual Awards and Forum

The Texas Women’s Foundation’s long-held tradition of honoring leaders in women’s philanthropy continues. Their virtual Leadership Forum and Awards Celebration will be held on April 29th. Amongst the recognitions, the Maura Women Helping Women Award and the Young Leader Award are highlighted.

Diana Mao, President of Nomi Network, a recipient of a leadership award from the Texas Women’s Foundation. (Image Credit: Diana Mao)

As the Maura Award enters its 42nd year, the five recipients are those who have adapted their own leadership roles to further the progression of women and girls in various innovative ways. With over 200 past Maura Award recipients, these women are now part of a bold and fearless group who have taken it upon themselves to make life better for women and girls in Texas, and around the world. The Young Leader Award spotlights two women who have broken glass ceilings in their own fields and industries, demonstrating the way forward towards a more gender-balanced society.  

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Ford Foundation Backs New Black Feminist Fund with Seed Money

The Black Feminist Fund just received a generous commitment of $15M from the Ford Foundation to jumpstart this new effort.

The Ford Foundation's large investment will help support Black women worldwide in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Image credit: Ford Foundation)
The Ford Foundation’s large investment will help support Black women worldwide in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Image credit: Ford Foundation)

On March 25th, the Ford Foundation announced its commitment of $15 million in seed funding to help launch the Black Feminist Fund, a new philanthropic fund developed and led by a core group of Black feminists who sit at the nexus of feminist organizing, advocacy, and philanthropy globally. Ford’s initial investment will be vital to help jumpstart the fund’s work to create a network of support around key issues that impact Black women around the globe.

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(Liveblog) Women’s Giving Circles: The Future of Latin America

On Thursday, March 19th, team members from Empatthy and a robust panel of speakers gathered online to celebrate the growing women’s giving circle movement in Latin America. Featuring Jeannie Sager (Women’s Philanthropy Institute), Carmen Stevens and Sondra Shaw-Hardy (Women’s Giving Circles International), Sara Lomelin (Philanthropy Together), and Rosa Madera (Fundadora Empatthy), the event was half celebration, half lively discussion of the future of collaborative giving in the Latin American region.

Juan Carlos Diaz Bilbao (BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network), the day’s moderator, introduced the event with thanks to the attendees, participants, and sponsors making the event possible.

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(Liveblog) #GenerationEquality and a Blueprint for a Gender Equal World

On St. Patrick’s Day, Women Moving Millions led a lively discussion as part of its 2021 #GenerationEquality Series. Entitled “Building a Blueprint for a Gender Equal World,” the virtual event featured Latanya Mapp Frett (Global Fund for Women), Michelle Milford Morse (UN Foundation), and Kavita Ramdas (Open Society Foundations).

On March 17th, 2021, Women Moving Millions, the UN Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, and Open Society Foundations gathered to discuss #GenerationEquality. (Image Credit: Women Moving Millions)

Executive Director Sarah Haacke Byrd began the day’s event with a moment of silence for the Asian-American community in Atlanta, where violent attacks in local spas have recently taken place. She also shared context for the day’s conversation, following the 25th anniversary of the Beijing agreement for gender equality. New legislation is due to be created and ratified within the United Nations, all designed to gather the world’s powers to advance gender equality.

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Lis Williams: “I Had It Within Me To Create Something New”

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Elisabeth Williams, Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm that educates female entrepreneurs and executives on how to bake mission into their life and business for more passion, purpose, and profit.

Lis Williams is the Founder of AWE Partners, LLC, a social impact advisory firm dedicated to educating and empowering female entrepreneurs. (Image Credit: AWE Partners/Elisabeth Williams)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

I wish I had known that there was a way to blend all of my passions and turn it into a career. 

I studied business in undergrad and then went on to pursue my MBA. I loved business, but I was also passionate about making a difference in the world. At the time I was in the corporate world, back in the late 80s and 90s, there wasn’t as much opportunity to merge profit and purpose. And there certainly wasn’t as much of a concern for people and the planet! I wish I had known that I had it within me to create something new – a new way forward.

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Tracy Gary on Activating Donors for Gender Justice

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Tracy Gary, Philanthropic and Legacy Advisor at Unleashing Generosity.

Tracy Gary
Tracy Gary is a philanthropist, nonprofit entrepreneur, and legacy mentor who has worked tirelessly to help others experience the joy of giving charitable dollars to causes they care about. (Image Credit: Tracy Gary)

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

My sense of abundance and true resourcefulness has come from giving and service to the nonprofit sector. We can’t do it well without mentors.

From the time I was first exposed to my parents’ giving and their encouragement about my donating, even as a teenager it was clear to me that determining what to give to and how possibly to choose amidst issues, populations and changes needed, would take careful community listening and some wise elder guidance or partnerships.

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Women’s Wealth and Gender Lens Thinking at Ruderman Family Fdn

As women’s global wealth continues to rise, philanthropists are turning toward an exciting new era of female empowerment and intelligent grantmaking in feminist philanthropy. At The Ruderman Family Foundation, a Massachusetts-based grantmaking entity devoted to disability inclusion and strengthening the Jewish community in the United States and abroad, leadership sits in the hands of two powerful and committed women: Sisters-in-law Sharon Shapiro and Shira Ruderman.

Sisters-in-law Sharon Shapiro (left) and Shira Ruderman (right) stand with Jay Ruderman (center), President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, where Sharon serves as Trustee and Community Liaison and Shira serves as Executive Director. (Image Credit: The Ruderman Family Foundation)

“Choosing a mission is based on values,” says Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “My Jewish values and who we are as people are have a great impact on choosing the topics you want to work on and how you want to conduct your business and philanthropy. We concentrated in the last 18 years on inclusion of people with disabilities and strengthening the relationship between American Jewry and the State of Israel. We believe in strategic philanthropy and do our best to lead through best practices.”

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Girls Leadership Celebrates 12 Years with “Power of Voice” Benefit

On Wednesday, March 10th, girls, funders, parents, activists, and leaders all over the country gathered for Girls Leadership’s 12th anniversary celebration. The “Power of Voice” Benefit featured honorees and speakers Billie Jean King, Marley Dias, Meena Harris, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and Suni Harford.

The all-ages event opened with Alicia Menendez, television host and past intern with Girls Leadership, offering thanks and celebration to the event’s sponsors. Menendez also introduced the theme of the evening, “power of voice,” which honors women’s suffrage and collaborative efforts for social and gender justice.

Following an introductory video from the Co-CEOs, Takai Taylor and Simone Marean, J-Rey Soul (who you might know from the Black Eyed Peas and The Voice: Philippines) performed an original song in honor of Girls Leadership.

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