New York City wants to see more women on screen — and behind the camera.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the city is launching a $5 million fund to support film and theater projects that are “by, for or about women.”
The effort is spearheaded Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, led by Commissioner Julie Menin, and the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
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Called the “Women’s Fund,” the $5 million will be distributed through grants to organizations that create film, television, digital, theatrical and other forms of media here that share the voices and perspectives of women.
This initiative will not only make women’s stories more visible, but aims boost women’s careers in these fields, officials said.
“We see discrimination women face in the media and entertainment industries every day, and we say enough is enough,” Glen said in a statement. “As we fight discrimination, we must ensure women are in front of and behind the camera. More than that, we intend to harness the power and talent of New York women to start businesses, grow jobs and industries – including the media industry.”
Women’s Fund grants will go toward funding the late stages of film and theater projects. Grants will award up to $50,000 based on the project category.
Applicants will compete in several categories for awards, the city said, including short- and long-form fiction and nonfiction film and theatrical productions. Those winning projects may air on NYC Media, the official television network and media production group of the City of New York.
“As the Me Too and Times Up movements have made clear, we need to do more to empower women to take leadership roles in film, television and theater and all media,” Menin said in a statement. “This fund is a huge step in the right direction and reflects this administration’s commitment to fairness and inclusion. It’s time for women to get equal representation on screen and behind the scenes.”
To be eligible for a grant, the content must be “Made in NY,” with at least 75 percent of production activity taking place throughout the five boroughs. The project must also be “produced by, for or about women, include a meaningful female production or writing credit, or include a female protagonist,” the city said. The Women’s Fund will support up to 100 total projects.