NewFest and Netflix announce New Voices Filmmaker Grant to support emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers

In partnership with Netflix, New York’s leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization NewFest, announced the New Voices Filmmaker Grant, a new initiative to support emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Through the New Voices Filmmaker Grant, a cohort of four filmmakers will each receive a $25,000 grant to support professional development and create new work, as well as network-building opportunities through a customized mentorship track facilitated by NewFest. 

In addition to the $25,000 grant and the opportunity to be connected with an industry mentor relevant to their work, fellows will also have their work showcased and participate in events at NewFest’s New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival, one of the largest queer film festivals in the world. Fellows will also have the opportunity to travel as guests of NewFest to other North American film festivals. 

“NewFest is thrilled to partner with Netflix in launching the New Voices Filmmaker Grant to equip emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers with the resources, tools and exposure they need to succeed. This is how the industry changes – focusing on the pipeline. By supporting the next generation of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, NewFest and Netflix can work to combat the structural barriers that have historically led to lack of representation, and at times harmful decisions and inauthentic representation. This program is a step toward increasing queer representation and supporting authentic stories that showcase the talent and skill of queer storytellers,” said NewFest executive director David Hatkoff. 

With support from Netflix, the program will bolster four filmmakers a year, over the next two years. This partnership between NewFest and Netflix is part of Netflix’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries. 

The program will be eligible to LGBTQ+ filmmakers in America who have not previously made a feature film or had a film (short or feature length) publicly distributed by anyone other than themselves. Fellows will be selected in May 2022 by a jury made up of LGBTQ+ programmers, community leaders, established filmmakers and industry professionals. Submissions are now open for the first class of fellows, with an application deadline of 28 February 2022.