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IFP Festival Forum Asks Academy to Reconsider Festival Grant Freeze

In an exclusive post, The Wrap reports on IFP Festival Forum’s open letter to The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences:

IFP Festival Forum asks Academy to reconsider its freeze on grant programs that fund almost two dozen festivals.

The Independent Feature Project’s IFP Festival Forum has become the latest group to protest possible cuts in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ grant programs, sending a letter to the AMPAS Board of Governors asking the Academy to continue its grants and recognize “the critical role of festivals.”

As TheWrap reported exclusively on Oct. 9, the Academy has halted almost all of its educational, grant and internship programs and is considering cutting back or eliminating programs as it gears up to break ground on its expensive Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

“We cannot overstate the power and impact of the AMPAS imprimatur on festivals’ ability to leverage that stamp of approval for greater engagement from sponsors, donors and even local and state governments,” reads part of the IFP Festival Forum letter, which was signed by eight festival directors and given exclusively to TheWrap.

“Concomitantly, we cannot stress enough the positive impact for the field by festivals striving to attain the standards of excellence, professionalism and artistic vision to be considered eligible for an AMPAS grant.”

The Festival Forum letter has been emailed, mailed and faxed to the Academy between Friday and Monday. It is signed by the forum’s executive committee, which is headed by acting director Jody Arlington and made up of directors at the Sundance Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. It follows a similar letter sent to the AMPAS board by 22 recipients of Academy Film Scholar grants.

When that letter was revealed by TheWrap, an Academy spokesperson released the following statement:  “We’re taking this year to re-evaluate some of our grant-giving to ensure that each of these programs has the greatest benefit to the Academy and the communities it serves. No organization supports film education, programming and emerging talent more than the Academy — it’s part of our core mission and always will be.”

Currently, grant applications are not available at the Academy website.

Click to read the entire IFP Festival Forum letter and the rest of the article on TheWrap.com. 

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