Foundations partner for social-activist films

The Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation has joined forces with the South Africa-based Bertha Foundation to launch two funds for documentary features totaling £1.5 million ($2.4 million) over three years.

The Bertha Britdoc Connect Fund and the Bertha Britdoc Documentary Journalism Fund will each hand out $400,000 a year to support social activist filmmaking.

The Interrupters,” by Steve James, has won the first grant from the Connect Fund, which is intended to back “outreach and engagement” campaigns for completed films. Soniya Kirpalani’s “We the People” is the first project to get backing from the Documentary Journalism Fund, which will support the production of investigative docs.

As part of the partnership, a representative of Bertha, a family foundation dedicated to promoting social activism, will join the board of Britdoc, a nonprofit org launched by the U.K.’s Channel 4 in 2005.

“The Bertha Foundation is a visionary organization with a track record in supporting social justice causes through documentary film,” said Britdoc CEO Jess Search. “We believe that by joining forces, we can enable documentary filmmakers globally.”

Rebecca Lichtenfeld, an adviser to Bertha, said, “The Bertha Foundation supports passionate individuals, strong leadership and activism to create social change. The foundation believes in the importance of documentary film and ability to have a positive social impact.”

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