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's Moving Image Fund (MIF) 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.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 supported over 300 independent filmmaker projects with approximately $4 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

  •  Projects must be long format; running times of 40 minutes or more.
  •  Primary creative personnel (director and/or producer) must reside in New England.
  •  Priority will be given to smaller scale projects with budgets under $400,000.
  •  Students enrolled in degree-granting programs may not apply.
  •  Multi-channel or installation work will not be considered.
  •  Applicants MUST have a fiscal sponsor (a nonprofit with a 501[c]3 designation from the federal government) that has agreed to manage the fiscal activity of the grant.
  •  For prior grantees, a final report on previous LEF grant funding is required. Previous LEF grantees, please click here for important eligibility information
  • To be eligible for post-production funding, the project for which you are applying must have received previous LEF support. 


The next LEF Moving Image Fund deadline will be Friday, January 25, 2019 at 11:59pm (midnight) for applicants seeking production and post-production funding. 

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

Production Grants

A maximum of (6) grants of $15,000 each will be awarded to projects in the production phase during LEF’s major grants review.

Appropriate Use of Funds: Production funds may be used for shooting picture and sound, early stage editing, equipment costs, materials, travel, and staffing (creative, technical, or otherwise).

The Moving Image Fund’s Production Grants have a two-part application process. Filmmakers interested in applying for project support must first submit a letter of inquiry. From these initial inquiries, a smaller pool of applicants is notified in early March about whether they are invited to submit a full application. 

Prior to submitting a letter of inquiry, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to read our guidelines and frequently asked questions, and to contact the LEF New England office to determine whether the film is eligible and a good fit for LEF's funding priorities. 

Letter of Inquiry Deadline

  • Friday, 25 January 2019 - 11:59pm

Letter of Inquiry

Interested applicants should submit a completed form (click on the Submit button to begin) with required attachments. 

Note: Please keep descriptions brief.

LOI Checklist


The LOI form asks for the following information:

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Fiscal Sponsor Contact Information
  • Project Title
  • Project Website (optional)
  • Estimated Running Time
  • Log Line (Suggested Length: Approximately 2-3 sentences)
  • Story Summary/Synopsis (Suggested Length: Approximately 1-2 pages)
  • Artistic Approach  (Suggested Length: Approximately ½ page)
  • Project Stage and Timeline (Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph)
  • Key Creative Personnel (Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph/short bio - approximately 50-150 words - each)
  • Budget 
  • Work Sample Information
  • Previous LEF Support Information. If you are a previous grantee, please make sure you have  sent a final report on your last funded project to LEF Program Director Sara Archambault at sara@lef-foundation.org. The final report form is here.

Work Sample

  • Please submit up to 10 minutes of sample footage from the current project for review. If your sample is longer than 10 minutes in length, please  specify which 10 minutes the jury should prioritize when viewing. If you  don't specify the time segment, the first 10 minutes will be reviewed. The sample can include research footage, character sketches, rough edited scenes, and/or a trailer. Sample work should be submitted via a DOWNLOADABLE Vimeo link or on a DVD (clearly labeled with the applicant's name, date, and title of the work). Send DVDs to the LEF Office at LEF Foundation, PO Box 382066, Cambridge, MA 02238. You may also supplement this current work sample with a sample from a completed past work for review, if relevant to the style or execution of the current project. Please complete all fields per work sample. Any DVDs must arrive in the LEF office on the deadline.

Additional Materials to Submit

In addition to filling out the letter of inquiry form, you will be asked to submit the following:

  • (Required): Budget Form: A two-page budget for your project that indicates total costs for pre-production, production, and post-production. Please show which line items will be covered by LEF funding. You may use your own budget form and/or the LEF Budget Template here
  • (Required) One copy of fiscal sponsor organization's 501(c) 3 letter of tax-exemption status from the IRS. Find more details about fiscal sponsorship on our FAQ page.

IMPORTANT - You may begin filling information on the submission form, leave and return later as many times as necessary to complete the form. However, you must hit the SAVE button at the end of the page before leaving. ONCE YOU SUBMIT THE FORM YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EDIT YOUR APPLICATION INFORMATION OR SUBMITTED FILES.

There is a 21 day limit on saved applications, which can be refreshed each time you re-save your application.

We recommend drafting and saving your work in an offline file, in case you encounter any issues when saving your work online.

Global Data Protection Regulation Consent:
By submitting this letter of inquiry, you agree to allow LEF to use the information you provide to be in touch with you by phone or e-mail about updates on your application, to process this information in order to make a funding decision, and, if your project is selected for funding, to share your project's title, brief description and direction/production team members in our public Moving Image Fund grant directory and public grant announcement. If you are awarded a grant for a project that has sensitive subject matter, and would like to take additional measures to protect the privacy of those involved with the film, please contact LEF staff, and we would be happy to discuss this with you after an award decision is made. 


Trouble submitting? Contact Submittable at support@submittable.com or 855.467.8264.

 

Proposal Questions? Call Sara Archambault at LEF New England (617)492.5333 or email sara@lef-foundation.org.

Post-Production Grants

A maximum of (3) grants of $25,000 each will be awarded to projects in the post-production phase during LEF’s major grants review. In order to be eligible for post-production support, the project for which you are applying must have received previous LEF support.

Appropriate Use of Funds: Post-production funds may be used for editing costs, rights, online, sound mix, color correction, transfers and distribution strategy.

The Moving Image Fund’s Post-production Grants have a two-part application process. Filmmakers interested in applying for project support must first submit a letter of inquiry. From these initial inquiries, a smaller pool of applicants is notified in early March about whether they are invited to submit a full application. 

Prior to submitting a letter of inquiry, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to read our guidelines and frequently asked questions, and to contact the LEF New England office to determine whether the film is eligible and a good fit for LEF's funding priorities. 

Letter of Inquiry Deadline

  • Friday, 25 January 2019 - 11:59pm

Letter of Inquiry

Interested applicants should submit a completed form (click on the Submit button to begin) with required attachments. 

Note: Please keep descriptions brief.

LOI Checklist


The LOI form asks for the following information:

  • Applicant Contact Information
  • Fiscal Sponsor Contact Information
  • Project Title
  • Project Website (optional)
  • Estimated Running Time
  • Log Line (Approximately 2-3 sentences)
  • Story Summary/Synopsis (Suggested Length: Approximately 1-2 pages)
  • Artistic Approach  (Suggested Length: Approximately ½ page)
  • Project Stage and Timeline (Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph)
  • Key Creative Personnel (Suggested Length: Approximately 1 paragraph/short bio - approximately 50-150 words - each)
  • Budget
  • Work Sample Information
  • Previous LEF Support Information. If you are a previous grantee, please make sure you have  sent a final report on your last funded project to LEF Program Director Sara Archambault at sara@lef-foundation.org. The final report form is here.

Work Sample

  • Please submit up to 10 minutes of sample footage from the current project for review.  If your sample is longer than 10 minutes in length, please  specify which 10 minutes the jury should prioritize when viewing. If you don't specify the time segment, the first 10 minutes will be reviewed. The sample can include research footage, character sketches, rough edited scenes, and/or a trailer. Sample work should be submitted via a DOWNLOADABLE Vimeo link or on a DVD (clearly labeled with the applicant's name, date, and title of the work). Send DVDs to the LEF Office at LEF Foundation, PO Box 382066, Cambridge, MA 02238. You may also supplement this current work sample with a sample from a completed past work for review, if relevant to the style or execution of the current project. Please complete all fields per work sample. Any DVDs must arrive in the LEF office on the deadline.

Additional Materials to Submit

In addition to filling out the letter of inquiry form, you will be asked to submit the following:

  • (Required): Budget Form: A two-page budget for your project that indicates total costs for pre-production, production, and post-production. Please show which line items will be covered by LEF funding. You may use your own budget form and/or the LEF Budget Template here
  • (Required) One copy of fiscal sponsor organization's 501(c) 3 letter of tax-exemption status from the IRS. Find more details about fiscal sponsorship on our FAQ page

IMPORTANT - You may begin filling information on the submission form, leave and return later as many times as necessary to complete the form. However, you must hit the SAVE button at the end of the page before leaving. ONCE YOU SUBMIT THE FORM YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EDIT YOUR APPLICATION INFORMATION OR SUBMITTED FILES.

There is a 21 day limit on saved applications, which can be refreshed each time you re-save your application.

We recommend drafting and saving your work in an offline file, in case you encounter any issues when saving your work online.


Global Data Protection Regulation Consent:

By submitting this letter of inquiry, you agree to allow LEF to use the information you provide to be in touch with you by phone or e-mail about updates on your application, to process this information in order to make a funding decision, and, if your project is selected for funding, to share your project's title, brief description and direction/production team members in our public Moving Image Fund grant directory and public grant announcement. If you are awarded a grant for a project that has sensitive subject matter, and would like to take additional measures to protect the privacy of those involved with the film, please contact LEF staff, and we would be happy to discuss this with you after an award decision is made. 


Trouble submitting? Contact Submittable at support@submittable.com or 855.467.8264.

 

Proposal Questions? Call Sara Archambault at LEF New England (617)492.5333 or email sara@lef-foundation.org.

LEF Foundation