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Other Money: Grants and Crowdsourcing

This panel will explore alternative sources of funding and ways to build financing from several different sources including tax subsidies (refunds, rebates, etc), grants from foundations and crowd sourcing, in-kind donations, and sponsorship deals. Discussion will also examine the balance between using grants with other types of financing, and how sometimes this can become tricky once private equity investors get involved.


Erica Anderson
is Seed&Spark's Director of Crowdfunding & Community and one of its founding members. Seed&Spark is a curated crowdfunding and integrated distribution platform that was developed specifically for film and film related projects. Anderson has advised over 200 crowdfunding projects and splits her time advising and traveling the country teaching entrepreneurship for creative professionals on the #StayIndieTour. As a producer, educator, and actress, she brings 15 years film, theatre and commercial experience to her role working with filmmakers to build audiences at Seed&Spark, where she is responsible for the highest crowdfunding success

Leah Giblin
is the Head of Grants at Cinereach. Giblin ensures that relationships with Cinereach’s supported films flourish, while also serving as an antenna for new projects and ideas of potential resonance. Her previous experience includes work with the Tribeca Film Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowships and the programming department of the Tribeca Film Festival. She is also part of a proud lineage of former video store clerks.

Afia Nathaniel's debut feature film Dukhtar (Daughter) premiered at Toronto in 2014 and was Pakistan’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards®. The film has played to critical acclaim in over 20 countries becoming a Critics’ Pick (Village Voice) 2015 and People Magazine’s Pick of the Week, winning several awards along the way. Nathaniel is the recipient of the Adrienne Shelly Award for Directors and was nominated for a 2013 Gotham Award. She has been a fellow of: NYFA, World Studio Foundation, AAUW, Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund; a recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grant and Ezra Litwak for Distinction in Screenwriting Award. Her screenplay for Dukhtar has been invited to the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences as part of their Permanent Core Collection. Nathaniel is in development with two feature length films and a TV series. She teaches film courses at Princeton University as the Peter B. Lewis Fellow (2016-18).

Jason Ward
is the CEO and founder of Candy Factory Films, a forward-thinking, filmmaker-friendly multimedia company which, since 2007, has been dedicated to producing and distributing unique, compelling and high-impact films such as The Midnight Swim, Being Canadian, 2016 Tribeca Film Fest Award-Winner Children of the Mountain and 2017 NY Times Critics’ Pick Saving Banksy. Their sister company, Candy Factory Productions, also lead by Ward, oversees all facets of film production and recently launched an aerial cinematography (drone) production arm. CFP has produced films for NY State Parks, LaGuardia landscape architecture firm in the Hamptons and Summit Senior Living facilities.

Terry Lawler
(Moderator) is Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television. She is a Vice President/Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance. She also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Katahdin Foundation. Prior to joining NYWIFT, Lawler was Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies and National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has served on the advisory committee of Reel New York, an independent film and video series broadcast on Thirteen/WNET. She has been a media consultant for foundations and non-profit groups including the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Goethe Institute, among others. She was production executive on several network television specials. She also was Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992), which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle in 1992, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990.

Produced by Thea Kerman and Terry Lawler