LEF Foundation

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

LEF Moving Image Fund Grants

The goal of LEF New England is to fund the work of independent documentary film and video artists in the region and to broaden recognition and support for their work, both locally and nationally. It also supports programs that highlight the rich history and ongoing legacy of innovation within New England’s independent film community.

LEF New England launched the Moving Image Fund (MIF) in 2002 to support new film and video work. The Moving Image Fund provides funding across all phases of production, supporting films from the early risk-taking stage, through a film’s completion. In this way, MIF offers a continuum of support for selected projects while also identifying new talent. The peer review panel process lies at the heart of LEF's grant review. 

Through MIF, LEF New England champions work that is provocative, heartfelt, and challenging in style and substance. Since its inception, LEF’s Moving Image Fund has awarded approximately 450 grants to New England-based independent filmmakers with over $4.7 million in funding. The overarching goal of LEF New England’s philanthropic investment is to help build a sustainable and strong community of support for artists and their work.

The strongest proposals will be those that clearly articulate the ways in which the proposed project aligns with the program’s funding criteria.

Funding Criteria

  •  Quality of cinematic form and technique
  •  Originality of filmmaker’s voice, vision, and point of view
  •  Resonance and power of the film’s core idea or story
  •  Feasibility of production

Eligibility Requirements

  • Projects must be long format; running times of 40 minutes or more.
  • Primary creative personnel (director and/or producer) must reside in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont).
  • Projects with directors or producers enrolled in high school, undergraduate or master’s degree programs at the time of application are ineligible for consideration.
  • Multi-channel or installation work will not be considered.
  • LEF does not require you to have a confirmed fiscal sponsor at the time that you submit a letter of inquiry or application. However, if you are awarded a grant, you must have a confirmed 501c3 fiscal sponsor in place in order to receive any grant funding. (Find more details about locating a fiscal sponsor on our FAQ page, and reach out to us if you have other questions.)
  • For prior grantees, a final report on previous LEF grant funding is required. Previous LEF grantees can visit the For MIF Grantees page of LEF's website for more information.
  • To be eligible for Post-production funding, the project for which you are applying must have received previous LEF support. 

Learn more about application requirements and how to apply here.

2023 Moving Image Fund Deadlines

  • The next Production & Post-production LEF Moving Image Fund deadline will be in January 2024. The submission forms open in November 2023.   
  • The next Early Development & Pre-Production LEF Moving Image Fund deadline is Monday, August 7, 2023 at 11:59pm (midnight) Eastern. The submission forms open in May 2023. 

Nonfiction Core Application

Because the LEF Moving Image Fund has adapted its submission forms from the Nonfiction Core Application, you might already have a head start on your LEF application or letter of inquiry if you've submitted a grant proposal to another funder that makes use of the Core. Learn more on the Nonfiction Core Application website.  

LEF Foundation