The Magnifying Glass
All selected films from Louisiana will screen at the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival
Please check for dates and submission information for projects based in other states.

Our country harbors unconscionable social inequalities that too many endure at the expense of their freedom, dignity, safety and lives. The American South and Midwest has a responsibility to investigate the system its roots continue to feed. Members of the regions' marginalized communities continue to see inequality personally magnified but publicly trivialized and, by way of silence and eventual omission, ignored. The Magnifying Glass works to pair individuals committed to making crucially important progressive short documentaries with humble financial support and the network of exposure its partners provide.

The purpose of this fellowship is to assist micro-budgeted, expediently produced progressive or radical short films that aggressively investigate social injustice. Ideal projects will run 2-5 minutes in length and require no more than $2,500 in total budget. Projects may broach a number of larger issues, including those of violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, and gun control, but the ideal proposal will be deeply specific. Projects applying in this granting cycle must plan to be widely accessible via social media or other means.

These grants aim to support projects about or made by individuals living or working in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, or North Carolina. The Atlanta Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival (Mississippi), Indie Memphis Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival, and the Documentary Institute at Indiana University will act as the granting agents.

Prospective filmmakers should submit a one-page treatment, an expected total budget for their project, a description of intention for funds awarded, key crew bios, a prior sample work no more than 5 minutes in length, and an outreach strategy.

Preference will apply to filmmakers who are invested in documenting oppressed communities of which they are a part. While all involved organizations champion creative allyship, these grants seek to support the lenses of those who know injustice firsthand and are able to quickly bring awareness to specific injustices within these communities.

Important Dates
Applications are currently being accepted for short films about or made by individuals living or working in Louisiana. Application deadlines for films about or made by individuals living or working in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, or North Carolina will be announced in the coming months.

Project proposals must be submitted by 11:59pm CST on July 14, 2017.

To be eligible for the Magnifying Glass Fellowship in Louisiana, your project must be completed and ready to screen by mid-September. All selected films will screen at the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival.

Working Project Title
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Name of Director
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Name of Submitter
(If different from the director's name)
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Contact email address
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Contact phone number
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Contact mailing address
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Short Synopsis
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Project Treatment
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Director's Connection to Subject Matter
Please explain your connection to the subject matter of your proposed project, if any.
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Proposed Completion Date
All projects must be completed by early October 2016 to be considered
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Key Crew Bios
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Sample of Prior Work
Please provide a link to a clip of sample work. Try to keep it as short as possible; the selection committee is guaranteed to watch the first 5 minutes.
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Password for Sample Work
Provide the video's password, if one is needed
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What is your project's expected total budget?
Please also email a complete estimated budget to
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How do you plan to use the funds awarded by this grant?
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Please describe your outreach strategy for your proposed project.
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How will you use social media and other tools to raise awareness for the film?
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Where are you located?
Project proposals are currently ONLY being accepted for short films about or made by individuals living or working in Louisiana. Proposals for projects in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, or North Carolina will open in the coming months.
Is there any additional information about you or your project that we should know?
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