For those who may like to know, National Geographic has an ongoing initiative called the All Roads Film Project, in which they offer grants ranging up to $10,000 for “indigenous and under-represented minority culture filmmakers, as well as filmmakers who can demonstrate that they have been designated by indigenous or minority communities to tell their story.”
I think this is pretty useful; especially to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to share their stories. Ontop of that, film has come to play an important role in human rights and awareness-raising efforts today. So often the truth is relegated to personal opinion while lies and assumptions are treated at facts; It becomes nearly impossible to inform others and intellectually defend ourselves without having the proof that video affords us… Unless of course we are confronted with delusional megalomaniacs, but that’s another story for another day.
If you’d like more information about this grant program, please visit National Geographic website for complete guidelines and application procedures.
Speaking of which, there’s another initiative worth mentioning that’s equally useful–perhaps moreso.
Witness, a group founded by Peter Gabriel, has a partnership program in which they act “as advisors, collaborators, and facilitators rather than as funders.” They offer video equipment donations, training, technical assistance, and assistance with editing and distribution.
According to the Introduction for Partnership (pdf)
“Our partners’ videos have been used as evidence in legal proceedings; to produce shadow reports for the United Nations and regional commissions that provide a counterweight to official versions of a country’s human rights performance; to stimulate grassroots education and mobilization; to corroborate allegations of human rights violations; as a resource for news broadcasts; to promote human rights advocacy via the worldwide web; and to produce documentaries for broadcast on television worldwide. At WITNESS, we do not focus on any particular rights issues or on specific regions of the world, but do seek to find ways to create synergies between partners with overlapping thematic emphases. We look for collaborations involving specific opportunities where video can play a critical role in helping tip the balance between success and failure, as well as situations where a group is looking to build a long-term capacity to use video effectively.”
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