When it comes to things that are really, really expensive to do well, making a film ranks somewhere between building a house and raising a child. Even in the gleaming future of relatively inexpensive digital equipment and online distribution, funding a proper film can be a headache-inducing and soul-crushing challenge. Sure, there’s Kickstarter and any number of other crowdfunding options, but wouldn’t it be nice if, say, a local film organization put its money where its mouth was and offered some concrete financial support to local filmmakers?
Enter Milwaukee Film, which today announced the creation of the Brico Forward Fund. In its inaugural year, the granting program is offering a total of $50,000 in cash and $76,000 in sponsor-donated production resources, to be awarded to 3-5 jury-selected recipients. Cash for the fund is being provided by the Brico Fund, with additional support coming from John Axford, Michael Drescher, Kelly and Jeff Fitzsimmons, Alexander Lasry, Madeleine and David Lubar, and Andrew Nunemaker. Equipment and production support is being provided by The Electric Sun Corporation, Independent, North American Camera, and RDI Stages.
“Milwaukee Film is dedicated to growing the local filmmaking community,” says Milwaukee Film Artistic and Executive Director Jonathan Jackson in a press release. “No one doubts the incredible talent here, but over the years we have noticed a lack of funding opportunities that go directly to artists and their work. We are attempting to do our part to address that with the launch of the Brico Forward Fund.”
Online applications for the 2015 program are open now, and will close August 16. Residents of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, Walworth, or Washington counties are eligible. Applications can be found here. Winners will be announced during the 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival, which is scheduled for September 24-October 8. Kick-fucking-ass, Milwaukee filmmakers! You got a $126,000 granting program! Life is kinda cool sometimes.