The Ford Foundation seeks to reduce inequality in all of its forms, and artist-driven documentary and emerging media projects are crucial to this effort. As part of the Creativity and Free Expression program, JustFilms funds social justice storytelling and the 21st-century arts infrastructure that supports it. The projects and people we support inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes, and help transform the conditions that perpetuate injustice and inequality.

What we do

We believe that artist-driven moving image storytelling is vital to the pursuit of justice and equity in the 21st century. To flourish, storytellers and their networks need aligned creative, financial, and professional support, as well as distribution systems that enable them to reach a wide range of audiences. Historically, the field of independently produced film and emerging media has been under-resourced—and affordable, reliable access to the work for audiences remains a challenge.

To address this, JustFilms supports ideas, individuals, institutions, and networks that work to reduce inequality through film, video, and emerging media platforms, with a special focus on documentary practices. We strive to increase resources in the field, develop artists as leaders, and connect storytellers with the tools and talent they need to do their best work, amplify their message, and extend the impact of their projects.

JustFilms projects are inspired by courageous individuals and undaunted communities seeking justice. These powerful stories expand opportunities for civic engagement and affirm the central role of cultural strategies in social transformation. Our strategy is informed by the foundation’s long history of supporting independent documentary film, public media institutions, artists, and freedom of expression—all of which have had a profound effect on the public consciousness.

Learn about the projects we’ve funded

We support independent, documentary film, video, and emerging media projects that explore timely social justice issues, with a focus on reducing inequality. We also fund organizations, individuals, and networks that raise the quality and extend the impact of these projects.

The projects listed represent a sampling of the work we have supported over the years.

For grant seekers

We review grant inquiries regularly and are interested in learning about projects that meet our guidelines. To learn more, please visit our JustFilms grant inquiry page.

JustFilms inquiry 

JustFilms supports independent film and emerging media projects that explore urgent social justice issues and seek to challenge inequality in all its forms. We also support the organizations and networks that help further these projects. Funds are distributed in two areas, social justice storytelling and 21st-century infrastructure, which together aim to transform pervasive narratives that produce and maintain inequality, and attract more resources for artist-driven creative visual storytelling around the world.