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Poster of Growing Up Female, a 2010 WFPF Grantee
Poster of Growing Up Female, a 2010 WFPF Grantee
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Eligibility & Requirements
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Application FAQ’s
Submission Deadline
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Apply for a WFPF Grant

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2016

The Women's Film Preservation Fund, founded by New York Women in Film & Television, seeks proposals for the preservation or restoration of American films, from any era, in which women have held significant creative positions, including, but not limited to, writer, director, producer, editor and performer. Applicants are encouraged to apply early so that we can check to make sure the application is complete.

What the WFPF funds: Currently the Women’s Film Preservation Fund grants film-to-film preservations. We believe that a film master is still the most stable archival medium and one that doesn’t require continued migration, as does a digital master. WFPF is continually looking at contemporary preservation practices. We consider what the best preservation option is for each application on a case-by-case basis.

Due to the wealth of material shot on video by women artists during the second wave feminism movement, WFPF has begun limited video preservation in recent years. These preservations are by invitation only at this time until WFPF fine-tunes its policies and procedures around video preservation. 

Criteria for grant selection includes:

  • Artistic, historic, cultural and/or educational importance of the film, especially its relation to the role of women in film history;
  • Significance of the key creative women in the production;
  • Evidence of the artistic and technical expertise of those planning and executing the project;
  • Urgency of the need to preserve the film;
  • Appropriateness of the budget for the proposed work;
  • Realistic plan for making the film available to professionals, scholars, and interested audiences.
Grant Amounts: Grants are usually under $10,000, although occasionally larger grants may be awarded. The grants may only be used for actual costs connected with the restoration and/or preservation, not for salaries or general administrative costs.

Eligibility & Requirements
Individuals and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Grants will be reported for tax purposes. Organizations must submit evidence of tax-exempt status. Films may be of any length, on any subject matter and in any format or base.

WFPF seeks proposals for the preservation or restoration of: 

Films made by American women filmmakers anywhere in the world and women filmmakers from abroad whose films were made in the United States.

  • Films in which women have held significant creative positions, including, but not limited to: writer, director, producer, editor and performer.
  • Works must have been originally made on film.
  • Films must have preservation elements available.
  • Films can be from any era.
  • Films can be of any length.
  • Films can be on any subject matter.
  • Films can be of any genre, including but not limited to narrative, documentary, animation, experimental, industrial, and other types of films.

Preservations that WFPF does NOT support:

  • In-progress films in search of production funding. THIS IS A PRESERVATION GRANT ONLY
  • Transfers of film to make video masters in place of film preservation
  • A preservation in which no new film elements are created

Requisites for Selected Projects: Grant awardees must agree to the following requisites:

  • Presentation of Restored Films: NYWIFT will have the right to screen the restored films for its own members and guests and be able to use the film for publicity. The Fund will make every effort to help grant recipients present the restored films in a manner that will reach a significant number of professionals, and in a context that will increase awareness of women's contributions to the industry.
  • Credit to NYWIFT: Films receiving a WFPF grant must carry an on-screen credit line and logo (to be supplied by WFPF) which should read as follows: Preservation of this film was made possible by a grant from the Women's Film Preservation Fund of New York Women in Film and Television. Placement of the credit will depend on the size of the grant and number of other funders.
  • Materials Provided to NYWIFT: Before or upon the completion of the preservation, three still images in TIFF format from the work (at least 300 DPI) must be delivered to NYWIFT, plus a Blu-Ray Disc or an ProRes HQ Quicktime file.

Preparing to Apply

You can you download a pdf version of the WFPF grant guidlines located below the related links section.

My Lady of the Lilacs, Beta Breuil (1916)

I. Locate the film’s original materials: If you’re unsure about the location of the film elements, we suggest you begin by making a list of possible locations the originals or other copies are, or might be, located.

Your list might look like this: 

  • Off-site storage
  • Distribution Company the film was distributed through
  • Professional archive; the film lab where the A&B rolls or Kinescope was processed, etc

Please note: it is preferable to work from the original negative, however, if it no longer exists, or cannot be found, preservation can be considered using an internegative, interpositive, print, or other elements.  In that case here are other resources:

  • If the film won an award, there may be a copy with The Academy Film Archive, the UCLA Film Archive where Sundance keeps its collection or other archives associated with awards.
  • IndieCollect, a nonprofit organization, which helps independent filmmakers locate their films and archive their preservation masters.

II. Previously preserved: Check that the film hasn’t already been preserved through another archive or nonprofit organization that the film may have been associated with.

III. Rights Information: If you’re unsure, we suggest checking any contracts or agreements you may have on file for the film, current or previous distribution companies as well as the collaborators on the film, such as an Executive Producer, Co-Producer, or Producer. These are just some examples. 

If the copyright was filed at the U.S. copyright office, you can contact the office (www.copyright.gov) to begin a search. Please keep in mind that copyrights can be transferred without filing with the copyright office so findings can be inconclusive. 

IV. Budget, Costs, and Lab Report: If you obtain a proper estimate from a film preservation lab, this usually acts as your budget, as long as it includes the items below. However, some variation will occur because of the unique nature of each project:

Please note: The Women’s Film Preservation Fund requires the estimate be completed BEFORE applying for a WFPF grant and all shipping or evaluation/inspection costs are at the applicant’s expense. An incomplete budget or one that does not reflect realistic costs, or use of an appropriate lab will disqualify the application. Questions and request for guidance are welcome, but we encourage contact as early as possible, and before the project is submitted. If you have questions, please contact  wfpf@nywift.org with the subject line “WFPF Application question”.

If you obtain a proper estimate from a film preservation lab, this usually acts as your budget, as long as it includes the items below.  However, some variation will occur because of the unique nature of each project:

 

    Lab Report: Upon receipt of the estimate from the lab, there should also be a report on 1) the condition of the original materials and 2) what type of preservation the lab recommends. You will need to include this information as part of the application.

    Preservation Labs: A short list for reference.
    Cineric (WFPF sponsor)
    New York, New York

    BB Optics
    New York, New York

    Film & Video Solutions
    North Bethesda, MD

    FotoKem
    Burbank, CA

    Other labs:
    If you want to work with another lab but are unsure whether their work meets preservation standards, please contact wfpf@nywift.org with the subject line “WFPF Application question,” and we will help you assess the lab, or provide additional lab suggestions.

    V.  Storing preserved works: WFPF preservations are required to be stored in a professional archive, which makes their titles publicly accessible. It is the grantee’s responsibility to find and secure an archive.

    A letter of acceptance from the archive will be required as part of the application. WFPF will provide archive suggestions upon request. Please contact wfpf@nywift.org with the subject line “WFPF Application Question.”

    Any further questions, please contact wfpf@nywift.org with the subject line “WFPF Application Question.”

    Application Instructions 

    All applications must be submitted online. The link to the application is here

    Raisin' Cotton, Emma Knowlton Lytle (1938-1941)

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE APPLICATION:

    PLEASE NOTE: Separate applications with separate budgets must be submitted for each individual Film. 

    Please answer all of the questions in the application. The following are a few items to note.

    SECTION I 

    A. The Preservation Fund requests that awardees appoint a Project Manager to oversee the preservation and restoration work on the picture through to completion. The Project Manager will serve as a contact person with the committee and the preservation lab. 

    SECTION 2 

    J. Credit List: Please include a full credit list, including both women and men.
    K.
    Budget: Please refer to above Preparing to Apply, IV. Budget & Costs.
    L.
    Reviews and critiques of the film, if available: Please submit no more than 5 pages of supporting materials per film.
    M.
    Film Archive Letter: All individuals and for organizations that do not have professional archive storage facilities, must provide a letter from an established film archive or similar organization stating its ability and willingness to store the preserved material on deposit. 

    Application FAQ’s

    Unmasked, Grace Cunard (1917)

    When are grantees notified they’ve been awarded a WFPF grant?
    All applicants are notified as soon as award decisions have been made. Grantees receive an email notice, followed by a Grantee Agreement to sign and return to WFPF at the NYWIFT office.

    Who makes the decision on WFPF grant awards?
    The decision is based on careful review and recommendation by the WFPF Steering Committee to the Fund’s Selection Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of NYWIFT members from many disciplines of film, television and media. The Selection Committee is specifically made up of professional archivists and film historians. The final decision on grant awards is made by the Steering Committee following Selection Committee feedback.

    Will I be notified if I did not receive a WFPF grant? Will I be told why I didn’t receive the grant? Yes, all applicants will be notified whether they are receiving a preservation award or not. Notification is given by email.

    How long should I expect the preservation process to take?
    The preservation process varies widely and depends on the condition and circumstances of each film. It can take anywhere from a few months to a year, or sometimes several years.

    Does the preservation grant include guidance through the preservation process?
    Yes. Each grantee is shepherded through the process by a member of the WFPF committee. This is primarily done through email and an occasional phone call. The committee member assigned to the grantee checks in with its project manager after the grantee contract has been signed and returned to the NYWIFT office. Once the grant shepherd has confirmed with the project manager the elements are at the film lab and the preservation is in the queue, they will check in approximately every other month to obtain the status of the preservation. If the project manager has any questions at any time, they are encouraged to contact their shepherd. If further assistance is needed, any grantee can contact Terry Lawler at  wfpf@nywift.org with the subject line “WFPF grantee question,” or call the NYWFIT office at 212-679-0870 and ask for Terry Lawler.

    Do grantees work directly with the labs doing their preservation work?

    Yes, grantees are expected to work directly with the lab. If they need additional guidance, their grant shepherd can be of support and assistance.

    Do grantees receive the grant moneys directly?
    No. Grant funds go directly to labs when WFPF is invoiced.

    What will the confirmed archive receive once the preservation is complete?
    The archive will receive:

    • The original film elements used to create the preservation master
    • A preservation master (negative)
    • A Print

    Submission Deadline
    The next application deadline is June 1, 2016.

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    NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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