The New Orleans Film Society was one of 37 film organizations in the U.S. to receive funding from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as part of the re-launch of its grants program after taking a year off. NOFS received a $20,000 FilmCraft grant for its Emerging Voices Mentorship Program, the highest amount awarded for FilmCraft grants. NOFS was one of only three organizations nationally to receive a FilmCraft grant at the highest level.

The Emerging Voices program offers filmmakers of color in Louisiana mentorship opportunities with industry leaders. Now entering its third year, the program was launched with support from an Academy grant in 2013 and was founded on the principle that in order to create a more diverse storytelling landscape, filmmakers of color need greater access to gatekeepers.

“I am incredibly excited that the Academy has again invested in Louisiana filmmakers of color,” said Chloe Walters-Wallace, director of the Emerging Voices program. “Through this grant we will be able to build skills, create opportunities and share the unique perspectives and diverse experiences of our talented local film community with the rest of the world.”

Administered by the Academy Foundation, the FilmCraft Grant is designed to support high-quality educational programs that identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds. Other organizations receiving similar funding included Sundance Institute and the American Film Institute.

“It is incredibly rewarding to garner this attention for the New Orleans Film Festival and support for our work to build the capacity of filmmakers,” said Jolene Pinder, executive director of the New Orleans Film Society. “The Academy is a long-time partner and their belief in our work to nurture diverse storytellers is invaluable.”

The Emerging Voices program will be accepting applicants between May 16 and June 17, 2016. For more information, visit the Emerging Voices page on our website.