Six Documentaries Get AFI/NBCUniversal Funding

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Fri, 12/16/2016 - 12:01 -- Nick Dager

Six documentary projects have been selected to receive funding from the AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants. They include Almost Sunrise by Michael Collins, Care by Dierdre Fishel, Check It by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor, Newtown by Kim A. Snyder, Raising Bertie by Margaret Byrne, and They Call Us Monsters by Ben Lear.

Now in their second year, the grants will support the outreach and social action campaigns for these six documentary projects that participated in the AFI Docs 2016 Impact Lab, a two-day filmmaker workshop sponsored by NBCUniversal and presented in partnership with Picture Motion.

"Each year, AFI Docs leverages the power of documentary storytelling to catalyze change through not only screenings and events but also through professional development for our filmmakers. The AFI Docs /NBCUniversal Impact Grants will help turn their training into action," said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI Docs.

"NBCUniversal is excited to have joined with AFI on this initiative to help filmmakers find innovative ways to create a positive impact through their films. We believe these grants will drive awareness and education around important social issues by engaging consumers, communities and government, and help these filmmakers also be change-makers," said Jessica Clancy, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at NBCUniversal.

The 2016 Impact Lab took place in Washington, DC, from June 21–22, 2016, during AFI Docs, the American Film Institute’s international documentary film festival held annually in the nation’s capital — with the goal to inspire change by bringing together the nation’s leaders and leading artists. Led by Heidi Nel (formerly with Picture Motion in Washington, DC), the Lab introduced participants to policymakers addressing a range of issues from the moral injury of American military veterans to caregivers, LGBT youth, gun violence, education and juvenile incarceration, and imparted filmmakers with the skills to engage with those policymakers at a grassroots level to catalyze lasting social change.

Spanning some of the most critical and urgent problems facing the world today, the projects supported by these grants demonstrated their ability to leverage distribution in 2016. The documentary projects receiving a total of $75,000 in support from the 2016 AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants are: 


American Film Institute