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New York Mayor’s Office Details New $5 Million Women’s Fund for Film, Theater

The New York City Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) have locked in the details of a new grant program for film and theater projects by, for or about women.

The $5 million fund, called the Women’s Fund, is part of an overall push to support gender parity in the entertainment industry, spearheaded by MOME (led by commissioner Julie Menin) and the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Other initiatives on the docket include the MOME Script-Writing Competition and a study on the disparity between the careers of male and female directors.

The MOME Women’s Fund will hand out grants of up to $50,000 to female-led projects that are works in progress, with at least 75% of production activity taking place within the five boroughs of New York City. Applicants in film and theater will compete for awards in categories broken down by short-form and long-form, as well as fiction and nonfiction, with grants awarded through the New York Foundation for the Arts.

“As we fight discrimination, we will ensure women are in front of and behind the camera,” said Alicia Glen, New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. “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.”

The city’s filmed entertainment industry contributes more than $9 billion to New York City’s economy on an annual basis, and creates more than 130,000 full-time jobs. The new fund is one of the ways MOME aims to leverage the health of the city’s media sector to combat the gender disparity that has been an ongoing concern in Hollywood and beyond for the last several years.

The submissions period for the Women’s Fund could open as soon as this summer, with full updates on the Women’s Fund available through the MOME website.

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