LEF is a private family foundation that funds creative endeavors in California and the New England region. LEF values strong aesthetics, entrepreneurial thinking, and a spirit of adventure in all of the projects it supports. Learn more »

In Production

For several years, filmmakers Ken Winikur and Ben Avishai have been following an ambitious team of lobbyists trying to change the nature of the conversation about Israel and Mideast policy in Washington. J STREET (the name of both the lobby group and the film) is a young, progressive, pro-Israel advocacy group challenging the establishment and pushing the Obama administration to take a more active role in negotiating a two-state solution. The film is near completion and, as tensions in the Middle East escalate, the project is ripe to start conversations across the country about what it takes to broaden opportunities for peace, what’s at stake for the Jewish community in the US, and how to penetrate a Washington culture long-committed to one vision of what being pro-Israel means. LEF Program Director Sara Archambault checked in on this filmmaking team to find out more about their process and approach to this story. Read the interview here.

News & Announcements

The LEF Foundation is excited to announce 6 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $30,000 in pre-production support to New England-based independent documentary filmmakers. Congratulations to these grantees! Read the full announcement.

Three LEF-funded projects will be showcased at the Camden International Film Festival, taking place Sep 25-28 in Camden, Maine! JP Sniadecki's THE IRON MINISTRY will have its New England premiere at the festival, and two LEF-funded works in progress have been selected for the Points North Fellowship at CIFF, including Adam Mazo & Ben Pender-Cudlip's DAWNLAND, and Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill, & Daniel Garber's THE REAGAN YEARS. Congratulations to these filmmakers! Festival info

On September 20-21, see Paul Turano's LEF-funded work WANDER, WONDER, WILDERNESS at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston's Spotlight on New England Filmmakers! Screening Details

On October 2 at 7PM, Lauren Shaw's LEF-funded work ANGKOR'S CHILDREN will screen at the Bright Lights Series at Emerson College (Paramount Center, 555 Washington St, Boston). This free screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A and reception with the filmmaker and film subjects. Screening Details.
LEF-grantee Eric Gottesman's new photographic book Sudden Flowers, is slated to have its UK release this month. Related to his LEF-funded work OROMAYE, Sudden Flowers is based on the past 15 years that Gottesman spent in Addis Ababa, photographing the impact of HIV/AIDS on children. Publication Details.

Three LEF-funded films are among the 15 documentaries selected for this year's New York Film Festival, taking place Sep 26-Oct 12! Congratulations to the filmmakers behind ONE CUT, ONE LIFE (Lucia Small, Ed Pincus), THE IRON MINISTRY (JP Sniadecki), and NATIONAL GALLERY (Frederick Wiseman). See the full slate

Two LEF-funded projects, THREE DAYS TO SEE (Garrett Zevgetis) and THE GUYS NEXT DOOR (Allie Humenuk, Amy Geller), have been selected for IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries at Independent Film Week, taking place Sep 14-18. Read the full announcement

Did you miss THE GENIUS OF MARIAN on POV? The LEF-funded film will also be available to watch online until Oct 8Check local listings for details. If you would like to help raise awareness of the film, check out the POV partner toolkit.

COME HELL OR HIGH WATER: THE BATTLE FOR TURKEY CREEK (Leah Mahan) was broadcast on Aug 26 on the PBS WORLD Channel's series America ReFramed. If you missed it, you can still watch online until Sep 24. Learn more.

LEVIATHAN, by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, has been nominated for the Grierson Trust's 2014 Documentary Awards in the category of Best Cinema Documentary. The award winners will be announced on November 25. Learn more.  

The DocYard will return to the Brattle Theatre October 6More info.

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