Outstanding Women Pursuing Careers in Entertainment Given Inside Track to Network With Industry Leaders; To Obtain an Application, Visit www.women-in-film.com; Deadline Submission Is Sept. 1, 2006. Winners to Be Announced Oct. 16th
The second annual “Acceleration Grant for Emerging Filmmakers” competition was announced today by the national organization of Women In Film (WIF) and the General Motors Corporation (GM). The grant, awarded annually, is a program of the WIF/GM Alliance, the goal of which is to support talented filmmakers from under-represented communities.
The WIF/GM grant, announced in 2005, will again be awarded to five up-and-coming female filmmakers, chosen through an application process overseen by a WIF Selection Committee comprised of professional filmmakers and entertainment industry executives from across the nation. The grant will provide recipients with a broad-based understanding of the business of filmmaking through a five-day, full-immersion mentoring program shepherded by members of WIF, which includes much of the industry’s most successful female talent.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for new, female talent,” said Judith James, chair of the WIF/GM Alliance. “Women In Film steadfastly believes in mentoring, fostering and supporting exceptional women who want to work in the entertainment industry. And the emphasis of the grant is to support emerging filmmakers from diverse communities.
“Last year’s inaugural launch was tremendously successful,” James continues, “and the recipients have clearly been able to advance their careers as a result. This type of business and creative foundation has proven to open doors and will benefit both the new talent and the industry for years to come.”
Yasmina Cádiz from Chicago, Ill., was a winner of a 2005 grant, based on her eight-minute short, “Mama Said,” about the unbreakable spirit of a nine-year-old girl left by her mother. The short has since screened to critical acclaim at 15 film festivals and is scheduled at two more. Recently relocated to Los Angeles, she is at work on her first feature film.
Said Cádiz, “Access is far more valuable than money to someone in the beginning stages of a career. I acquired such a better understanding of the business side of the equation. Sure, you need the passion and creativity, but unless you understand that filmmaking is a business, you’re not going to make it. My entire experience was extraordinary because it was all about the sharing of information — without ego, jealousy or insecurity.”
This year’s winners will be hosted by the WIF/GM Alliance Nov. 3 – 8, in Santa Monica, Calif. Awardees will attend individual and group meetings with film industry professionals who will review with them the national and international aspects of finance, marketing, distribution and legal subjects.
Additionally, they will meet as a group with a panel of studio executives and distributors in film and television to discuss the trends and criteria shaping the industry. They will also meet with one or more international sales agents to discuss the current trends in buying and selling product for the international market. And they will receive full access badges to the American Film Market (AFM)* to attend AFM seminars and conferences.
“By providing the opportunity to attend dedicated workshops and to network with professionals from all aspects of the filmmaking industry,” said James, “these grants will provide these women with a broad base of skills and knowledge of how to turn creative ideas into reality.”
Applications and entry guidelines for the “Women In Film/General Motors 2006 Acceleration Grant for Emerging Filmmakers” can be obtained at www.women-in-film.com. The grants are open to any woman pursuing a filmmaking career in entertainment.
All entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Sept. 1, 2006. Applicants are required to submit two complete sets of their application, each including a candidate’s statement; a description of current projects; two letters of recommendation; a resume; a 15-minute DVD or VHS sample of previous work; a statement of warranty. Submitted materials will not be returned. Those who have won a WIF/GM Filmmaker grant in the past are not eligible. Those who have attended AFM in the past are not eligible. Applicants do not have to be WIF members. Complete instructions are available online.
A selection committee comprised of industry representatives — including executives, directors, producers and distributors — will evaluate all applications. Winning applicants will be notified Friday, Oct. 6, 2006 and winners will be announced Monday, Oct. 16, 2006.
The Women In Film/General Motors Alliance was created to support women in the entertainment industry and to expand Women In Film chapter programs across the country. The initiative was announced in Los Angeles in January 2005 and is supporting programs as diverse as the Film Finishing Fund, Women’s Film Preservation Fund, Legacy Series, PSAs, scholarships, mentorships and local WIF chapter award events across the nation. For more information about the WIF/GM Alliance and WIF/GM programs, visit www.women-in-film.com.
Founded in 1973 in Los Angeles, Women In Film (www.wif.org) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to women in the global entertainment industry. Its purpose is to empower, promote, nurture and mentor women in the industry through a network of valuable contacts, events, programs, workshops, finishing funds and scholarships. In the U.S., there are chapters in Arizona, California (3), Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas (2), Washington and Washington, D.C. The international network, Women In Film and Television International (www.wifti.org), of which WIF-Los Angeles is a founding member, boasts 35 chapters on six continents. Member chapters range from developing nations to countries with established industries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, to name a few.