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Queer Cinema Pioneer Barbara Hammer Announces Lesbian Filmmaking Grant

Barbara Hammer
Barbara Hammer

"It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen."

"It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen," Says legendary lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer. "Why? Because when I started I couldn't find any." To help generations of lesbian directors beneath her, Hammer has joined forces with NYC-based non-profit Queer | Art to create an annual $5,000 grant with a rotating panel of judges.

When Hammer first picked up a camera in the '60s, she made 13 experimental films in just over two years "because I think as a lesbian at that time, I was living an experimental lifestyle," she says. "Well let's just say, I was experimenting, and I still am." Hammer adds that "lesbian film really calls out for experimental work" because "working as a lesbian filmmaker in the '70s wasn't easy in the social structure [or] educational institution I was in."

The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is application-based and will be awarded to benefit projects in any stage of development, from concept to exhibition. Animation, documentary, narrative, cross-genre will all be considered, as long as they fall within the experimental genre. Applications for the first year will be open August 1 through September 30, and the winner will be awarded on December 4 by judges including filmmakers Cheryl Dunye and Dani Leventhal.

"I want this grant to make it easier for lesbians of today," Hammer says. "So you can make work that you want to make." Click here for more information on how to apply.

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