CAAM Offers Emergency Grants for Asian American Filmmakers

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Funds for the emergency grants come from the Sundance Institute. (iStock)

No industry remains untouched by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and independent filmmakers, already in a precarious financial state, are no exception. Film festivals have been canceled or rerouted into streaming events; releases have been delayed; the gatherings that allow filmmakers to share ideas, resources and enthusiasm for each others’ projects are all suspended for the foreseeable future. (Will we really be flying to Park City in January 2021?)

And like many industries forced to fill gaps in government spending on health care and coronavirus-related relief funds, the filmmaking community has had to step up to ensure its members can weather this global health crisis and emerge with stories to tell (and the means to do so).

To that end, the Center for Asian American Media, with support from the Sundance Institute, is awarding as many as 15 emergency grants of up to $1,000 each to Asian American filmmakers with demonstrated financial needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds come from the $1 million Sundance Institute Respond and Reimagine Plan, which awarded grants directly to artists, as well as through Artist Relief, and selected organizations to redistribute a remaining $405,000 to artists from historically marginalized communities. Sundance picked 39 grantees across the world, including local media orgs CAAM and Frameline.

Applicants for the CAAM emergency grants, among other requirements, must identify as Asian American; cannot be current students; must be directors, producers, cinematographers or editors experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the pandemic; and must have completed at least “one nonfiction film or interactive media project that was publicly exhibited in a curated and/or noncommercial environment.”

Applications are due by Monday, Aug. 31. Details here.