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Louder Than 11 Wants to Make a Film With You

A new grant provides historically underrepresented community members a three-month expenses-paid internship with award-winning filmmakers.

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Today, the award-winning filmmakers Jon and Jess Glassberg of Louder Than 11 (LT11) have announced a new filmmaking grant in partnership with the American Alpine Club (AAC): the Pull Focus grant.

Developed as a grant for underrepresented filmmakers, the Pull Focus grant will provide BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with both seen and unseen disabilities with the funds to create stories that reflect their communities. The grant will pan out as a three-month internship in the latter half of 2022, where the grantee will have access to LT11’s photo and video production studio while being mentored by the Glassbergs. This paid internship includes local housing in Boulder, CO, a living stipend worth $16,000, and access to top-end filmmaking equipment, with the end goal of creating a piece of media that will bolster the grantee’s storytelling portfolio. 

“We’re not looking for any specific types of stories,” says Shara Zaia, the AAC’s Climb United Manager and Pull Focus board member. “We are just trying to make room for someone who has something to say and might not have had the platform to say it.” Zaia says the Pull Focus grant is intended to be zero-barrier, meaning that those without any prior filmmaking experience are encouraged to apply. “They just need to show up psyched,” says Jon Glassberg. “Most people can be taught video production, audio, and editing … you just need to be interested in telling stories.” Glassberg adds that applicants do not necessarily need to be well-versed in climbing media, but should be familiar with the outdoor space. 

When not at work on their main project, the grantee will be invited to accompany LT11 on its commercial shoots to assist in lighting, managing talent, and will be encouraged to create industry connections. Many filmmakers spend years working for low wages while they develop their skills, striving to build their portfolio to a point at which it is attractive to brands and media companies. The Pull Focus grant hopes to be one storyteller’s “big break,” giving them invaluable professional instruction and a place in the often-competitive world of freelance storytelling.

“I want this grant to really live beyond these three months … [to] impact someone’s life in a way that carries on past the actual internship,” Zaia says. “Climbing media has excluded a lot of voices, and it’s prioritized those in power. That doesn’t mean doing away with our top filmmakers, it just means making room for new ones too—to rise up alongside them.”

The application period is now open until July 17, 2022. For more information please visit the AAC’s website.