Film Independent is one of the largest and most prominent film organizations dedicated to independent films in the United States. FI sponsors screenings, special events, film education and talent development for its 6,000 filmmaker members, who include established Oscar-winning actors and directors.
Film Independent performed very well with the one previous two-year grant they received, yielding two outstanding projects: Basmati Blues, a romantic comedy with Bollywood elements about a female geneticist from the U.S. who goes to India to help farmers with genetically modified rice; and The Man Who Knew Infinity, a tale about the great Indian mathematician Ramanujan.
FI requests a renewal for two years of continued support for the Producer's Lab grant, an intense seven-week program that focuses on ten scripts each year, and would also like to establish a $25,000 named fellowship for a second science-themed project. This fellowship would include a $10,000 production grant, underwriting for participation in Fast Track, an intensive film financing market that takes place at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and year-round support and resources from FI, including mentorship from science advisors.
The thrust of both these programs, as with projects like Hedy Lamarr, is to try and push more of these science and technology film projects into production and distribution.