As a first time filmmaker, Yolonda Johnson-Young knew that post production was a very important piece to completing her film, “Finding Elijah.” She wanted to make sure that the film was worthy of viewing.
Told from a mother’s perspective, Finding Elijah follows a young man’s journey from home, into mental illness, to homelessness and, ultimately to suicide. Johnson-Young has a personal connection to the topic of the film. She lost her son Elijah, who was also a filmmaker, to suicide after he voluntarily walked out of a mental crisis unit at age 19, and lived in homeless shelters in both Philadelphia and New York City.
With the film, Johnson-Young added that she wanted to honor her son’s memory — deciding to share their story in the hopes to help another family avoid the tragedy that their family endured.
“The Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund afforded me the opportunity to have an editor, whom I worked closely with, to shape the story of my film,” Johnson-Young said.
The Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund, administered by Scribe Video Center, fills a need for local filmmakers like Johnson-Young, who often struggle to obtain funds to complete their films.
“The Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association, which was founded in 1979, administered a grant to assist local filmmakers with post-production. When PIFVA closed a few years ago, there was an urgent need in the filmmaking community to provide finishing funds,” Kristal Sotomayor, communications and outreach coordinator for Scribe said. “In the wake of the closure of PIFVA, Scribe Video Center founded the Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund in 2017 to provide a local grant for filmmakers.”
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The organization awards up to $2500 paid directly to cover post-production services providers, and is open to producers and directors who are current members of Scribe Video Center. However, if you’re interested in applying and are not a member, don’t stress. The basic membership is $35 and provides discounts on almost all Scribe workshops, screenings, and events.
For the finishing funds, Scribe Video Center assembles a rotating panel of local indie filmmakers and representatives from nonprofit independent media organizations to review all written, audio and visual application materials, Sotomayor added.
“There are two goals for the grant. The first is to fill a need for local filmmakers that often struggle to obtain the funds to complete their films,” Sotomayor said. “The grant is also paid directly to post-production service providers so that filmmakers do not need to have a fiscal sponsor. The second goal with the fund is to have the films seen by local audiences.”
The deadline for all applications will be July 15, so act fast if you’re interested. Some post-production services that the fund covers include but are not limited to editor consultations, fine cut editing, sound mixing; scoring, and color.
“I would most definitely recommend the Philadelphia Independent Media Finishing Fund,” Johnson-Young said. “Why? It gives media producers a chance to employ quality individuals to get your project completed.”-30-
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