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Independence Public Media Foundation Announces $485,000 in Support of 24 Local Films

Friday, November 4, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, November 3, 2022—The Independence Public Media Foundation (IPMF) announces grants totaling $485,000 in support of independent filmmakers and film projects in the Philadelphia region.

IPMF took a new direction with its community-led grantmaking process this year by hiring local filmmaker Kristal Sotomayor, a recipient of the 2020 film nominated-grant, to facilitate the nominations process alongside a diverse group of four local filmmakers and advocates.

“It was a humbling full-circle experience to facilitate the IPMF nomination process as a former grantee,” said Kristal Sotomayor. “Working with the nominators, it was a pleasure to lead the process with special consideration given to the projects' lasting impact on our communities.”

The nominators selected a total of twenty-four projects to receive funding. The filmmakers will join the 2022/23 Filmmaker Cohort program which provides beyond-the-grant support to IPMF-funded filmmakers such as capacity-building workshops, skill-sharing and networking.

"Through the film nominations process, we can see firsthand that those in the filmmaking community are best positioned to make the grant decisions," said IPMF President Molly de Aguiar. "This process, which is in its third year now, has helped us lay the groundwork to expand our community-led grantmaking work, which you will see more of from IPMF in the coming months and years.”

The 2022 nominators each recommended 2-5 local filmmakers to receive grants from IPMF. The funding criteria prioritized making grants to filmmakers from underrepresented groups based in the Philadelphia region. Other criteria included: the filmmaker’s relationships with their community, their demonstrated commitment to social justice, and the timeliness of their project.

Highlights of the grants include:

  • Sugod to Home! Directed by Anito Gavino, is a dance documentary about three Filipino-Americans visiting the Philippines: one grew up in the Philippines, one returns annually to see family, and one has never been to the motherland. The documentary captures their process as they return home, faced with the reality of post colonialism, and awakening to their own romantic notions of indigeneity. The three collaborate as film artists behind and in front of the lens. ($25,000)
  • Immigrant Mothers, directed by Gabriela Watson-Burkett, is a documentary feature-film about the challenges that immigrant women of color face throughout pregnancy and the initial stages of motherhood. Blending poetic and vérité styles, the film connects the director’s personal journey to the experiences of other Black and Brown immigrant women giving birth away from home. The topics discussed in the documentary range from navigating racism in the health care system to reflecting on the societal expectations of being the “perfect mother.” ($25,000)
  • Love Jawns: A Mixtape II, directed by Yolanda Wisher , is a sensory-rich short film created by a multidisciplinary team of Philly artists and residents. At the heart of the film is an epic poem created by a writers room of Black and Brown women with lived experiences of poverty and economic struggle. The film will illustrate the poem and the women’s journeys towards economic justice against the backdrop of the SEPTA bus 23 route, a former Indigenous trade route and a major artery of Philadelphia’s transit system. ($30,000)

Click HERE to see a full listing of all 24 grants.

About Independence Public Media Foundation

The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports creative, community-centered media and media making across Greater Philadelphia. The Foundation’s goals reflect an expansive definition of media, including journalism, digital equity, and creative expression, as a pathway for building power with communities. Through grant-making and other programs, IPMF supports building and strengthening networks of people who are creating and sharing information, ideas, and stories for justice and change.

For more information, contact Enni Aigbomian,

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