Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting Ducks In a Row

I have four a applications filled out and submitted that only the DVD of our material and some printed and signed forms sent in to be done.

My editor is currently working on the scenes and clips that will go on the DVDs to send

My brother, a graphic designer, is working on a face lift for the official website and on the graphics for a catalog-quality hard copy of our prospectus

My aunt who is a writer is helping me polish and perfect the text for the prospectus- and help me get a logline I like!

A friend of mine in Guatemala, who is also in film, is helping me track down the necessary news footage from the trial in 2008. Huge task that I cannot do without being in Guatemala.

And I am still applying, writing, sending, checking, submitting, burning, etc etc etc trying to get all my ducks in a row.

This is what I feel like:

And yet, after being scattered all over, the duckies all fall into place and keep going. Aw.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Log Line difficulties

In the past years I have written many, many versions of this film's logline. I have never been happy with them. I am usually fairly good with words, and yet it seems when it comes to my own project, I cannot seem to find a way to say what I need to say.

My brother recently sent me the initial design for the brochure/catalog thing that I am going to be sending out to friends and family. The design, I told him, was great! But the text, he told me, wasn't. So I have been trying to revise it.

I think I get lost in the text. I have to say the same thing so many different times in so many different ways for all these grants and proposals and websites and stuff. Each time I have to cater to a slightly different reader, splitting hairs as to what to say or what not to say, counting words and worrying about saying too much, being too sensationalist, not saying enough and being dull. Arg!

i can get very frustrated, despairing that I don't know what I am doing. I guess that is a normal way to feel, but knowing that fact comes as little consolation when you are actually feeling that. So I will return now to my drawing board. If I had written all these different texts on paper Id be drowning in little crumpled paper "basket balls," gnawing at my pencil.

Ok then, more coffee....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

perfect weather to fill out grant applications

My editor, Alan, just stopped by my place. I appreciate him coming to me while he was in the area because it is a miserable day in terms of weather- just icy cold rain all day long. Which is why I have spent most of the day in my jammies, filling out grant applications form my bed.

POV is now complete and I am working on the Sundance Documentary Fund. Alan came over to discuss the DVD submission materials. What to include, what is too rough, what is important enough, etc. Fun fun fun.

NYWIFT sent out this email earlier this week, which I have found very helpful:




Deadline: February 4, 2011
For complete information visit: http://www.fullframefest.org/garrett2011.php

The grant supports first time documentary makers with travel and accommodation at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, April 14-17, 2011. For four days, grant recipients will be given access to films, participate in master classes and be mentored by experienced filmmakers.

Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder and live in the continental United States; any age 18 or older. By "first time filmmaker," they mean someone who is in the early stage of their documentary career and has not yet received significant recognition (such as major festival play or broadcast). All applicants should anticipate finishing their first project by March 2012. You still qualify as a "first time filmmaker" if you've made shorts or student projects, worked professionally as a crew member on other people's films, or if you've recently completed a documentary that hasn't been released yet. The grant is open to students and non-students alike.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
ATTN: Garrett Scott Documentary Grant
324 Blackwell Street. Suite 500
Washington Building, Bay 5
Durham, NC 27701
Email: submissions@fullframefest.org
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2. RISING VOICES MICRO-GRANTS: Citizen Media Outreach Projects
Deadline: February 4, 2011

It has been more than three years since Rising Voices began with a simple mandate: to help bring new voices from underrepresented communities to the global conversation through the use of citizen media. They have been accomplishing that by providing microgrant funding, as well as technical and mentoring support to their grantee communities. Ever since the first microgrant competition was announced in May 2007, they have provided seed funding to 24 projects from around the world to help turn ideas into reality. The diversity of these grantee projects has made Rising Voices a unique place on the web to have a firsthand look at places around the world, such as Tamatave, Madagascar and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, through the first-person accounts of these new bloggers.

Beginning on January 11th, 2011, Rising Voices is launching the latest round of microgrant funding and is now accepting project proposals from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or individuals for funding of up to $4,000 USD for digital media outreach projects around the world. Ideal applicants will present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to underrepresented communities that are poorly positioned to discover and take advantage of tools like blogging, video-blogging, or podcasting on their own.
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Deadline: February 9, 2011

Sundance Institute Documentary Fund grants are announced twice a year. Since its inception, the Fund has supported more than 500 films in 61 countries. A committee of human rights experts and film professionals make recommendations from projects submitted by filmmakers from around the world. The Fund reviews between 1,400 and 2,000 proposals annually, choosing 35-50 for support each year. In funding such work, the Documentary Fund encourages the diverse exchange of ideas that is crucial to fostering an open society, raising public consciousness about human rights abuses and restrictions of civil liberties, and fostering an ongoing dialogue about these and other pressing social issues.

Sundance Documentary Film Program
8530 Wilshire Boulevard, 3rd Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3114
Tel: 310-360-1981
Fax: 310-360-1969
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Deadline: February 14, 2011

The Sundance Institute Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship is a year-long program for emerging American producers ready to take their next project to the screen. The Fellowship focuses on supporting the next generation of independent producers to help develop their creative and strategic skills for a complex marketplace and encourage a holistic approach in their collaboration with directors and writers. Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film (no more than two narrative features total) and have a legally-optioned scripted narrative project in hand with a director attached. Candidates may not be the writer or director of the submitted project. For guidelines and the application, visit:

Please submit your application package to the following address:
Attn: Rebecca Green
Creative Producing Fellowship
Sundance Institute
8530 Wilshire Blvd, 3rd Floor
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Email: rebecca_green@sundance.org
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5. WGBH LAB OPEN CALL: Stonewall Uprising and Gay Rights in 2011
Deadline: February 14th, 2011

The WGBH Lab TeamWe have a great new opportunity for all aspiring filmmakers, video journalists and new media makers. In partnership with the PBS show American Experience, which is airing the film Stonewall Uprising next spring, they are asking for videos that tell the story about the gay rights movement happening today in your community. Help share new views of this important civil rights story by contributing your own.

Your video could be one of five to win a $1000 prize and maybe even a chance to air on PBS after the film. Video submissions will become part of a contest and guest judges, including prominent gay rights advocates Cyndi Lauper and Dan Savage, will help decide who wins. The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2011. Find out more about the application process and what makes a winning video on the open call home page.

WGBH Educational Foundation
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
Tel: 617-300-5400
Attention: WGBH Lab/Filmmakers in Residence
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New Deadline: 5 PM, February 18, 2011

POV, public television's premier showcase for independent, non-fiction film is seeking to support emerging filmmakers through its Diverse Voices Project, a co-production fund supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

POV, public television's premier showcase for independent, non-fiction film is seeking to support emerging filmmakers through its DIVERSE VOICES PROJECT, a co-production fund supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. POV values exemplary storytelling, well crafted aesthetics, compelling characters and real-life drama shaped by the unique perspective of a filmmaker with something to say to a large audience. POV believes in presenting the work of filmmakers that reflect experiences not commonly represented on television, offer a springboard for discussion, and provide a deeper understanding of the world we live in. All submissions must be received by 5 PM, February 18, 2011. This is an arrival deadline, not a postmark deadline. Submissions received after January 14th shall be entered in the following submission cycle unless an extension is granted by POV.

Diverse Voices Project
American Documentary | P.O.V.
32 Broadway, 14th floor
New York, NY 10004-1635
Tel: 212-989-8121
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Deadline: Ongoing

Firelight Media’s Producers’ Lab is a mentorship program for independent producers of color. Participating producers work with award-winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, and his team of senior producers, writers, editors, new media, and fundraising specialists to complete their projects for a national broadcast. The Lab also provides quarterly workshops and seminars to their producers on relevant and contemporary topics.

Mable Haddock spearheads this exciting project as Director. Haddock served as founding President and CEO of the National Black Program Consortium (NBPC) for 25 years.

Firelight Media started the Producers’ Lab as a way to provide infrastructure support for producers of color to help overcome some of the barriers to completing their film or video. Services include support and consultation in the areas of writing, treatments, budgeting, script development, editing, and other areas as needed. In the future, they will have editing suites, a screening room, and a safe place for producers to create and complete their work.

Mable Haddock
Director, Producers’ Lab
Firelight Media
68 East 131st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10037
Tel: 212-234-1324
Email: mable@firelightmedia.org
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Deadline: Initial Letter of Inquiry: February 21, 2011
(Spring Funding cycle opens online: January 17th, 2011)

The Fledgling Fund supports innovative media projects that can play critical roles in igniting social change. We believe that film and other creative media can bear witness to the challenges faced by vulnerable individuals, families and communities in ways that statistics can not, and that it can create a broader understanding of social problems and inspire concrete action. We also believe that well-structured and creative audience engagement initiatives can leverage media's ability to ignite social change by moving people from awareness to action.

The Fledgling Fund
162 Fifth Avenue Suite 901
New York, New York 10010
Tel: 212-242-1680
Email: info@thefledglingfund.org
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9. "smARTpower" Artists Exchange Initiative of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Deadline: February 28, 2011

smARTpowers will send fifteen U.S. artists abroad to work with local artists and young people around the world to create community-based art projects. Travel opportunities of up to 45 days will be awarded to selected artists to design and develop programs in cooperation with local arts organizations in host countries including China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Venezuela. smARTpower will support the development and implementation of community-based art projects that engage youth and other local residents, including artists. The projects are strongly encouraged to create a tangible legacy of the work accomplished through smARTpower in a variety of visual arts media, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, drawing, video, installation, photo-based work, public art, and interdisciplinary projects. Participatory work is strongly recommended and encouraged. Artists will address a full range of relevant subjects including, but not limited to, women's empowerment, the environment, health, education, and civic engagement.

Emerging to mid-career artists are encouraged to apply. Finalists will be identified through open competition and selected by a national advisory panel of artists and art professionals. Each recipient will be provided with an honorarium of up to $11,000.00, travel funding, a budget for materials of up to $10,000.00, resources for documentation (including photography, video, and web posting), and on-site logistical support. Proposals must be submitted ONLINE ONLY by midnight, February 28, 2011.
For complete information, visit: http://www.bronxmuseum.org/smartpower
Mailed applications will NOT be accepted. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

smARTpower is an initiative of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
administered by The Bronx Museum of the Arts
Email: egrady@bronxmuseum.org

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are You Traveling For Business or Pleasure?

I am now back in NYC after a near one month vacation. That was the purpose of the trip: to spend the holidays with my family, who all live far away, and go down to St. Lucia where my father now works. Sweet.

However, since there was/is still filming to do for the documentary, I once again had to tag that on to the trip, which is quite a mammoth thing to just "tag" on to an already hectic trip. Not only does it mean that on top of traveling with Christmas presents and clothes for weather from 0°-100° F, my laptop and my dog, (yes, I travel with my 5lb dog Cosmo,) I also had to carry a twenty lb tripod and a camera and a mic stand and cassettes. Which was fine, sure, I live in NYC and am used to lugging all sorts of things around in transport. I didn't even mind the fact that the mic stand (a metal disk and foot long pole that screws on) apparently looked like some sort of explosive device because I got asked to step aside so they could swab all of the stuff down with gun-powder-detector-wipes.

The main difficulty was the fact that I was supposed to interview my family but both them and I were supposed to be on vacation. So lets just say it was hard to get them to cooperate, especially since I had to get ALL of them to cooperate simultaneously. We had a full house with brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents and three small dogs, so even if I got one person to agree to be interviewed, all the others had to agree to not be present, not use the dishwasher, toilet, air conditioner or washing machine, all of which were in pretty constant use that week. And finding the time to do these interviews, which all in all took over an hour each, was a challenge when there was Xmas shopping to do, gifts to wrap, restaurants to dine in, dogs to take out, and family members to chill with.

I lugged the equipment down to St Lucia for new years, with all my good intentions, and did not film a thing. Yikes! By then I was pooped, I wanted to also enjoy being in this new Caribbean country I had never been in, and I also had the task to re-decorate and re-upholster all of my parents' house there. My dad was also constantly working, and there was always either non-stop rain (which clanged loudly on the tin roof), or farmers using a weed-wacker to mow the substantial lawn. There just didn't seem ever to be a good time, and before I knew it, it was time to go.

I was able to get interviews from my sister (on Christmas day,) my grandfather (the day before he left,) and my mother (yesterday, the day before we both parted ways.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Email inquiry - Am I eligible?


My name is Christa Boarini. I am a born and raised in Guatemala (with citizenship), making a film which was filmed in Guatemala, is about Guatemala, but is being edited and largely produced in NYC. Am I eligible to apply? I have everything ready to send, I just want to make sure I am not wasting your time.


Dear Christa,
To be able to judge your situation we need more information about your living position. Are you going to be the director of the film? And please email me about your living situation of the past 5 years.
All the best,

Mélanie de Vocht
Producer Jan Vrijman Fund

Hello Melanie and thank you for your quick response.

I am the director/producer of this film. I was born and raised in Guatemala until I was 18. I left Guatemala just about exactly 5 years ago, after high school, to study university in NYC. Since then I have gone back to Guatemala but have spent most of my time in New York City.
I would be happy to give you any more information.

I look forward to your response
Christa Boarini

Dear Christa,

Then I'm sorry to inform, but you cannot apply. We're really a fund for filmmakers fully living and working in a developing country. That's our main goal.

All the best,


The Jan Vrijman Fund - ineligible again?!


I look for organizations that are open to funding largely international films, and I seem to keep hitting a gray area. Yes, it is great that I am Guatemalan, that the film was shot in Guatemala and is ABOUT Guatemala, but since the funds I am requesting are going to be spent in the US, I guess I am once again ineligible.

This blows. Fine then, be that way. I'll just move down the list. :(

Monday, January 10, 2011

Global Film Initiative

Turns out I do not qualify for this grant, as I am not spending my dollars in Guatemala. Dammit Alan (my editor), why cant you move to Guatemala!

hmph. Oh well. I'll worry about the next grant to apply to then, which is already pressing that deadline too.

ps- sorry about the spelling error.

Friends & Family Fundraising Proposal Almost Finished

I have been working on a new website lately - no, not www.theviewfrombellasluces.com, although that desperately needs to be re-vamped. I have been creating an online prospectus to send to friends and family, asking for support. I did do this rather unsuccessfully with Indie GoGo, but I am trying to put a lot more effort into the presentation and followup of this new initiative.

Today I have to add a section to it that I completely forgot about and which is very very important! The "Where This Film Can Go After It Is Finished" section (working-title.) I also have to re-create the entire page in Spanish, which is a pain in the ass but I can do it.

More about that website later, which is a free website and so has a webs.com at the end of it, but whatever.

I also need a new trailer. sigh. Just thinking about that is exhausting right now. But first, my fundraising website...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Upcoming Grant Deadlines!! Check it out :)

Writing these in the blog helps me by forcing me to check again when the deadline for each grant is. Links will also be provided, should any reader want to take advantage too.

ITVS Open Call
: All materials RECEIVED by Jan 07 2011
Global Film Initiative: Jan 12 2011
POV Diverse Voices Project: All materials RECEIVED by Jan 14 2011.
Jan Vrijman Fund: Deadlines Jan 15 2011 and May 15 2011
Women in Film Finishing Fund: Jan 31 2011
Sundance Documentary Film Program: All Materials received by Feb 9 2011
Jerome Foundation: Feb 28 2011
Hubert Bals Fund (International Film Festival of Rotterdam): Deadlines (twice a year) March 1 and August 1
World Cinema Fund (Berlinale): March 10 2011
From the Heart Grant (NYC only): April 30 2011
Cinereach (Summer 2011): Letter of Inquiry deadline June 1 2011
Latino Public Broadcasting: Applications will be available Spring 2011.
Impact Partners: No deadline?

As I come up with more, I will post them. For now, I have to go work on my Global Film Iniciative application....

ITVS Open Call - Making a deadline

ITVS is a main source of funding for many tv docs. Every time I meet someone with knowhow and they inquire about my fundraising, ITVS is one of the organizations that always comes up. And, sadly, it has been an application that has slipped through my fingers every time. And it almost did again-

The deadline for this application is tomorrow. Tomorrow. And I am in the west indies where international packages are only sent out once a week and they dont do overnight and it is very expensive.

So for the last couple of days I have been putting my application together and I asked my brother Jonathan, in Miami, to print out 5 copies of the 8 page long application and send them to San Francisco! He is saving my butt.

I know, leaving this all to the last minute is very very bad. I have no excuse, and I have all these other deadlines coming up and I should have sent all of those in a while ago to avoid this time crunch. But you have to admit, January is a tough deadline- it means all of the work has to be done over the holidays!

I have also been working a lot on the next fundraising proposal, which I am going to send to friends and family. More about that soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolution: Write on Blog!

I admit it, I let this blog slip through my fingers. However, it is high time I remind everyone out there that WE ARE STILL HERE!

A lot has happened since August. Most of it will be told little by little, but the main thing is that, thanks to my mother, patricia, my editor and I have been able to progress on the edit for the first time in like 10 months! What a lull. Thus we made some dramatic changes to the cut that no one has seen anyway so you don't know what they are, but they're all good.

Also, I am trying to make sure I apply to all of the grants whose deadlines are coming up. I already submitted my application to the brand new Tribeca Documentary Fund, in association with HBO. My next grant to submit will be Women in Film Finishing Fund, which I hope to get done today or tomorrow.

Some more filming has been done, such as the much needed interview with my sister which I did Christmas day. We have a little squabble which was caught on camera. :)

I know New Year's Resolutions are usually forgotten, but this is more than a resolution, this is a personal and a career goal for me.

It feels good to be back...