LEF is a private family foundation that funds in New England and California. Through the LEF Moving Image Fund, the New England office supports the creation of new work by documentary filmmakers living in the region, engaging an open application process. LEF California funds projects proactively.

Moving Image Fund

Featured Work

Boston-based filmmaker Sally Wu's LEF-funded film THE GOOD DAUGHTER had its world premiere on November 13, 2019 at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Documentary. The film is a portrait of the fraught marriage between a Taiwanese man and his Vietnamese bride. Born out of a disabled man's wish to obey his mother and a woman's effort to help her family escape poverty, the marriage has produced two daughters and a complicated drama. The film takes us inside a household simmering with tensions.


Connecticut-based filmmaker Jenifer McShane's LEF-funded film ERNIE & JOE had its New York and Los Angeles theatrical premiere on November 15, 2019, and its broadcast premiere on HBO on November 19, 2019. The film is an intimate portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together their experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. These two officers are not your everyday cops. They are part of the San Antonio Police Department’s 10-person Mental Health Unit.


The LEF-funded film KRABI, 2562, directed by Boston-based filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong in collaboration with UK-based filmmaker Ben Rivers, was nominated for the Achievement in Directing award at the 2019 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. It had its world premiere at the 2019 Locarno Film Festival, and its North American premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Exploring the landscape and stories within the community of Krabi, Thailand, the film captures the town in this specific moment where the pre-historic, the recent past and the contemporary world collide.

Moving Image Fund

News & Announcements

Nov 20, 2020: The LEF Moving Image Fund is now accepting submissions! We invite eligible New England-based filmmakers to submit an online letter of inquiry (LOI) submission form for feature-length (40+ min) non-fiction film/video projects in Production and Post-production. Learn more about the process from our updated guidelines, details on how to apply, and frequently asked questions. The LOI submission deadline is Friday, January 22, 2021. Begin an LOI submission form here and feel free to reach out to LEF Program Officer Gen Carmel if you have questions!

July 31, 2020: LEF is excited to announce 12 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $50,000 in Early Development and Pre-production support for New England-based filmmakers. 

May 22, 2020: LEF is excited to announce 11 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $205,000 in Production and Post-production support for New England-based filmmakers.

May 21, 2020: LEF and the Harvard Film Study Center are excited to announce that Kathryn Ramey has been selected as the 2020-21 recipient of the Film Study Center-LEF Foundation Fellowship with her project “El Signo Vacío (the empty sign)”. The FSC-LEF Fellowship, open to Boston-area nonfiction filmmakers who are not currently affiliated with Harvard, aims to foster connections between Harvard filmmakers and those in the surrounding filmmaker community. Fellowship applications are accepted in the January round of the LEF Moving Image Fund Production and Post-production grant cycle and the final recipient of the FSC-LEF Fellowship is selected by the Film Study Center. See the full announcement here

The next LEF Moving Image Fund deadline will be for Production and Post-Production Letters of Inquiry in January 2021. Please read our eligibility guidelines here. Because the LEF Moving Image Fund has adapted its application from the Documentary Core Application, you might already have a head start on your LEF application or letter of inquiry if you've submitted a grant proposal to another funder that uses the Core. Learn more on the Core Application website

March 2020: The remainder of the Spring 2020 season of documentary programming at The DocYard has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, several Spring 2020 titles and filmmaker Q&As are being presented virtually. Learn more at The DocYard website

July 2019: LEF is excited to announce 6 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $30,000 in pre-production support for New England-based filmmakers.

May 2019: LEF is excited to announce 10 Moving Image Fund grants totaling $190,000 in production and post-production support for New England-based filmmakers.

LEF New England Newsletter: Sign up for the LEF New England monthly newsletter in the box below for a more thorough listing of LEF grantee news, COVID-19 resources, filmmaker opportunities, and New England film community events. 

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