The Bigger Screen launches "Connecting Cultures Program II", supporting underprivileged filmmakers in 11 countries.
The Bigger Screen has announced 11 new countries for its Connecting Cultures Program, an annual program that provides opportunities for filmmakers from underprivileged locations: "As we, at The Bigger Screen, strive to connect people and cultures, this is where our focus is. Each year, we select a minimum of ten countries and grant filmmakers from those areas the ability to submit their work free of charge to partner festivals all over the world. This opens the door of film exposure to those who may not otherwise be able to enter. As we support inclusivity and shareable films, this program exemplifies our mission."
The Bigger Screen's country selections are far from random. Their committee chooses locations based on humanitarian aspects, cultural needs and the financial situation of that specific region. They strive to provide support to filmmakers in these countries and allow them opportunities to share their art. In the first year of this program a total number of 4,750 films were submitted for free, generating a financial support of at least $45,000.
Filmmakers based in the selected countries are entitled to enter their work free of charge by using the “The Bigger Screen Connecting Cultures Program” section on the FilmFreeway film submission page.
From March 2022 until February 2023 included, The Bigger Screen Connecting Cultures Program has chosen to support filmmakers based in the following 10 countries: Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, Ukraine, Venezuela and Yemen.
From mainstay film festivals to emerging new events, nineteen partner film festivals have implemented the “Connecting Cultures Program” on their FilmFreeway submission pages: Brussels Independent Film Festival, Venice Film Week, Boston Short Film Festival, Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, Super Shorts Film Festivals (London, New York and Los Angeles), Toronto Arthouse Film Festival, Verona International Film Festival, Amsterdam Independent Film Festival, Sydney World Film Festival, Bruges International Film Festival, Doc.Berlin, Doc.London, Doc.Sydney, Doc.Boston, New Jersey Independent Film Festival, and Obskuur Ghent Film Festival.
The Bigger Screen aims to make film as an art form more accessible and more inclusive: "We don’t want to see important pieces tucked away in the dark. At The Bigger Screen, we work on both sides of the screen. We are behind the screen encouraging and supporting filmmakers in their quest to spread their work through grants and opportunity. We stand in front of the screen by welcoming audiences to enjoy this art form, no matter what their social or financial status is."