Tribeca Film Institute launches New Media Fund

$750,000 fund aims to promote social change.

by Amber Wilkinson

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has announced a long-term partnership with the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative and the launch of a New Media Fund.

The $750,000 (£468,000) fund will provide support and funding to film projects which go beyond traditional screens – integrating film with content across newer media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and micro-blogging. All projects will activate audiences around issues of contemporary social justice and equality.

In its inaugural year, non-fiction projects accepted into the TFI New Media Fund will each receive between $50,000 (£31,000) and $100,000 (£62,000) in funding "to directly support ambitious projects that demonstrate the power of direct audience engagement and cross-platform storytelling".

Beginning in 2012, JustFilms will increase its support of TFI by contributing $1 million (£624,000) a year over five years to support TFI New Media Fund projects.

Co-chairman of the board of the Tribeca Film Institute, Jane Rosenthal commented, “As we enter our 10th year at TFI and join the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative in a new partnership, we have the opportunity to make an even deeper impact. TFI New Media Fund was created to take social justice films beyond the theatre, bringing them into everyday life and allowing audiences to affect change.”

Director of JustFilms Orlando Bagwell added: “Our JustFilms initiative reflects our recognition that stories can be powerful instruments of change.

“Our partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute is an exciting step forward into a new world of storytelling that leverages cross-platform media to help capture imaginations and engage audiences around the world in addressing some of the most pressing social issues of our time.”

Submissions will be open from April 4 through May 25, 2011. TFI will require select grantees to document their process, and help build an open online resource for media producers with the goal of establishing best practices in this new ‘transmedia’ field. The TFI New Media Fund is currently soliciting online feedback from a variety of disciplines and industries on the proposed submissions guidelines for the fund in order to foster an open dialog about what is possible in this new field.

The TFI New Media Fund will consider projects which present a non-fiction story focused on social issues and include an integrated cross-platform or new media component designed to engage and activate audiences. Producers from the US and internationally are invited to apply.

The TFI New Media Fund will be highlighted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 20 to May 1, 2011), and the grant recipients will be announced in September 2011.

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