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MIF Frequently Asked Questions

In order to apply for funding, the main creative personnel, which is the director and/or producer, must live in one of the six New England states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine.
You are not eligible to apply, as New York is not a part of New England. 
No. The spirit of our fund is to support filmmakers who are living and working in the New England region. LEF’s approach is to support the overall ecology of regional filmmaking in New England.

LEF focuses its funding on the production of new work; distribution efforts are not eligible for LEF funding.

We do not offer funding to high school, undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree (even in a non-film related field). If you are a professional taking a class (not pursuing a degree), then you are eligible to apply.

Yes. However, if awarded a grant, you must have a confirmed fiscal sponsor in place in order to receive grant funding.
A fiscal sponsor is a non-profit (tax exempt) organization. They have a 501c3 status from the federal government and act as a fiscal manager of your grant. If you are awarded a LEF grant, the check is made out to the fiscal sponsor. They then pass those funds along to you, minus a small administrative fee (usually between 5 – 7% of the grant).

If you are staff or faculty at a school, ask if they might be willing to act as your fiscal sponsor. Are you a member of any filmmaker organizations? Sometimes those organizations offer fiscal sponsorship as a benefit to their members. There are also local film organizations who will act as fiscal sponsors, but you need to contact them directly. Some places to start include The Center for Independent Documentary, Filmmakers Collaborative, and Documentary Educational Resources.

Other common documentary fiscal sponsors outside of New England are International Documentary Association (LA), Fractured Atlas (New York), Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) (New York), and Women Make Movies (WMM) (New York).

You might decide to partner with a 501c3 that is more closely mission-aligned with the subject of your film, if you’d like for the fiscal sponsorship fee to go toward their work. You can choose any 501c3, as long as they can fulfill their fiscal sponsorship responsibilities for your project.

Other Resources:

Absolutely. There is not a limit as to how many times you may apply. If you are re-submitting a project, we do recommend that you contact us ahead of time to discuss the project and assess its fit with LEF’s funding priorities.

LEF will accept only one project submission from a New England-based director or core creative producer per round. If you are a primary creative team member on multiple projects, and unsure of which one to apply with, please contact us.

Unfortunately, no. LEF does not fund retroactively – any expenses LEF funds cover must be anticipated and not already incurred.

We encourage both first time filmmakers and more experienced filmmakers to apply for LEF funding.