1. Roy W. Dean Film Grants
• Catapult gives early support to projects that they feel have a unique perspective when told with film. They provide development funding, up to $20,000, to documentary filmmakers who have a strong story to tell, secured access, and are ready to create a fundraising piece to help unlock critical production funding. We will apply to this fund to support our fieldwork trips and any resources necessary for creating networks or technical skills.
2. Sundance Documentary Film Fund
• The Sundance Documentary Film Program supports non-fiction filmmakers worldwide in the production of cinematic documentaries on contemporary themes up to $20k. Projects that have not yet secured characters or subjects, are unable to articulate a story or structure, or are unable to explain the project’s driving central question are discouraged. The fund is also unable to consider proposals for story research. So we will have to apply to this after we have gone to Sierra Leone and understood what we want for our film and after we have gathered the majority of our fundamental research information.
1. The Filmmaker Fund
• This grant funds documentary films at all stages and is available for both professional and emerging filmmakers who have a story to tell. The grant offers up to $75,000 and they also provide access to low-cost Digital Cinema Package services (although the DMS provides this already), an invitation to retreats in Sonoma, California that will allow us to network with other directors, producers, and editors, festival navigation and distribution strategy. We will apply for this fund to support the distribution process of our film at the finishing stages. It will also give us the opportunity to network with other filmmakers who may inspire us or give us advice.
2. The Fledging Fund
• This grant offers between $10-20k to support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the health and well-being of vulnerable communities. We will apply for this grant to help support the distribution process since we need at least a rough cut to apply. This will help us with engaging the community, creating connections with people, and spreading the film out to others.
Identify five specific partnerships that you need to forge to advance your project forward with the ultimate goal of positively impacting at least one million people. Describe exactly how that partnership might help you achieve scale and why that entity might be willing to work with you.
1. Sierra Leonean filmmakers/students willing to help us film
• To ensure that this project is an ethical process of community engagement, we want to collaborate with local Sierra Leoneans and/or students who could join us in this documentary project. This would allow us to give back to the community and it would create networks within Sierra Leone. Although there are plenty of resources that enable us to distribute the finished film in America, it is difficult to do so in Sierra Leone so by including multiple people into our filmmaking process, they can also share it with their connections to create a broader impact. I think it would also be a great learning experience for us as well as the Sierra Leoneans involved.
2. Community Health Workers
• Because these workers are the mediators between the biomedical healthcare system and the rural community members, they are valuable assets to distributing the film and getting our message out there. These people are also elected by the community, so they have great connections and they know the problems that community members express which can help us understand what needs to be addressed in the film.
3. Other Ministry of Health Workers higher up the hierarchy
• Because we also want to include an educational piece in our documentary film that offers easy-to-understand things to do when pregnant, we would need to consult with the doctors or nurses who can provide us the necessary information and help us determine the best way to convey the advice in our documentary. Rather than consulting western doctors or other medical staff, it is important that we reach out to the medical workers in Sierra Leone who are familiar with the culture and resources available.
4. Maternal Health promoters (Traditional Birth Attendants)
• Similar to the community health workers, these women are respected and well-known by their community. But, in an environment where women and men have separate spheres and roles, it’s important that we collaborate with the maternal health promoters to reach out to female audiences. Perhaps they could even be the ones interviewing the women for the film. We also want to showcase the efforts they have made to ensure that women are getting the care that they need and how these efforts contribute to reducing the MMR.
5. American partnerships for film distribution
• This one is more general and not yet planned out but we hope to not only reach out to the Sierra Leone community but also American or western audiences who may watch and want to make an impact.