Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant 2018

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The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is an annual grant that will be awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. Work can be experimental animation, experimental documentary, experimental narrative, cross-genre, or solely experimental. Applicants must be based in the U.S. This grant was established by Hammer in 2017 to give needed support to moving-image art made by lesbians. The grant is supported directly by funds provided by her estate and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. The grant is $5000.

Applications for the second year of the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant will be open August 1st – October 1st, 2018. The 2018 awardee will be announced on Monday, December 3rd, 2018 at the IFC during a special edition of Queer|Art|Film, which will feature an evening of short experimental films and conversation to honor Hammer and the women filmmakers who have been inspired by her career. Vanessa Haroutunian, who has been the Grant Manager for the Hammer grant since its initiation, will curate the screening. Information on how to apply here

Barbara Hammer is a visual artist primarily working in film and video.  Her work reveals and celebrates marginalized peoples whose stories have not been told. Her cinema is multi-leveled and engages an audience viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. She has been honored with 6 retrospectives: The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Tate Modern in London, Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Toronto International Film Festival, Kunsthalle Oslo in Norway and The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. Her book Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life was published in 2010 by The Feminist Press at The City University of New York. 

She is most well-known for making the first explicit lesbian film in 1974, Dyketactics, and for her trilogy of documentary film essays on queer history: Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), and History Lessons (2000). She is represented by galleries KOW in Berlin and Company in NYC. She lives and works in New York City and Kerhonkson, New York

"It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen. Why? Because when I started I couldn’t find any! ...I picked up a camera in the 60s, late 60s, made Super 8, 8mm, finally went to school and got a 16mm camera.  Made 13 films in two and a half years. All experimental. Because I think that as a lesbian at that time I was living an experimental lifestyle. Well let’s just say, I was experimenting.  And I still am.  And I think that lesbian film really calls out for experimental work. ...Working as a lesbian filmmaker in the 70s wasn’t easy in the social structure — the educational institution that I was in. It was difficult. And I want this grant to make it easier for lesbians of today.  So you can make work that you want to make.” Barbara Hammer


Carmel Curtis is a moving image archivist and curator. Over the past decade, she has been committed to increasing access to film and video by supporting viewing of diverse media to diverse audiences. Carmel currently works in the Moving Image Archive of Indiana University; is a board member of the non-profit Screen Slate, a daily resource for independent, repertory, and gallery screenings in New York City; and is a is a proud member of XFR Collective (pronounced transfer collective), a volunteer run group that works to increase community access to at-risk audiovisual media.

Cecilia Dougherty is a video artist, photographer, and writer. She has screened and exhibited her work in numerous film festivals, galleries and museums internationally for over twenty-five years. Her videos are included in many university and private film collections and are archived at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. In addition to explorations in electronic media itself, her themes range from lesbian and female sexual identity to family psychologies and the outsider experience of popular culture. She has contributed articles, interviews, and other writing to a wide range of publications from chapbooks to contemporary art periodicals. Much of her writing is about film, video, and the contemporary cultural moment. She has published poetry and short stories as well. Her first book, The Irreducible I: Space, Place, Authenticity, and Change, was published in 2013. She is currently writing a feature film script based on the award-winning novel Zipper Mouth by Laurie Weeks. She holds a PhD in Media Philosophy and teaches filmmaking at the College of Staten Island, CUNY and media theory at the New School University.

Ayanna U’Dongo has utilized video to explore desire, self-pleasuring, sexual independence, sexuality, and gender diversity in post-slavery America since 1992. Edges; MoonSong of the Nubiánts; Passion/Fruits & Whisperings; Lypsus Rising and Aborigitron: Affairs of the Hybrid Heart were her earlier video works. Her photography has been published in Instinct and Out magazines. Last April, Dirty Looks published her essay entitled, “MorphallaxUS: Nubiánt Power and  Sexual Healings.” Nubiánt Lounge is an African/American erotic arts magazine currently in development for public access television. She occupies a newly established digital arts studio, ABORIGIX MEDIARTS LAB in Hunters Point, San Francisco. The Lab is designed to elevate, explore, and celebrate the beauty, power, and potential of the African/American sexuality and gender experience.


Complete application - Due October 1st, 2018

***There is a $6 application fee***

Queer|Art uses the online application software SlideRoom to organize applications. SlideRoom charges applicants for the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant a fee of $6 for each individual application. The fee does not profit Queer|Art. 

What information does the application require?

  • Contact info, narrative bio, and headshot
  • Synopsis of project and strategy for exhibition
  • Budget
  • Work samples (2 samples, no more than 7-10 minutes total)
  • 2 professional references
  • CV

What is required in the synopsis and budget?


  1. Description of the project and the process by which it will be made. (Up to 300 words) *Required
  2. What is your timeline for completing the work and strategy for its exhibition? (Up to 125 words) * Required
  3. Are there any additional aspects of this work you would like the panel to be aware of? (Up to 125 words) *Not required

Budget (one page, uploaded as PDF):

Your budget should account for how the work will be made (you do not need to include presentation costs). If the cost of production exceeds the grant amount, please indicate within the budget any confirmed funding you have received or additional funding you anticipate that will enable you to complete this project.

Fecha límite: 

Lunes, Octubre 1, 2018 (Todo el día)

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