Sarah Jacobson Film Grant

This annual film grant is intended to honor the spirit and legacy of Sarah Jacobson. Sarah, whose feature film Mary Jane’s Not A Virgin Anymore screened at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, died in 2004 after a battle with cancer. Sarah led a DIY (“Do It Yourself”) movement in the 1990s, promoting and distributing her own work with her producer-mom, Ruth Ellen Jacobson, speaking at festivals and events everywhere, and writing about film for a number of publications. A tireless, at times even shameless, promoter of her own work, Sarah was also a passionate advocate for the films of fellow filmmakers.

The Free History Project, Ruth and Lee Jacobson, and a number of Sarah’s friends and supporters contribute funds in order to give out a small annual grant to one or more self-identifying women and gender nonconforming individuals whose work embodies some of the things that Sarah stood for: a fierce DIY approach to filmmaking, a radical social critique, and a thoroughly underground sensibility. Check out below our past grantees, who were chosen by a rotating panel of judges.

The application period is now closed.

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2020 Winners:

Masami Kawai: Zona
Rhea Storr: The Otherwhere Women

2019 Winner:

Mitch McCabe: Civil War Surveillance Poems

2018 Winner:

Madsen Minax: North By Current

2017 Winners:

Alyx Arumpac: Aswang
Ja’Tovia Gary: The Evidence of Things Not Seen

2016 Winners:

Natasha Mendonca: Mulachiparambu // Land of the Breasted Woman
Maura Jasper: Middletown Revisited: On Being Studied

2015 Winners:

Mariah Garnett: Other and Father
Caroline Key: Khôra

2014 Winners:

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh: The Baron in the Trees
Jennifer Reeder: Blood Below The Skin

2013 Winners:

Gina Kelly: Super Natura
Talena Sanders: Liahona

2012 Winners:

Mary Guzmán: Replaceable
Heather Lenz: KUSAMA: Princess of Polka Dots
Kate Marks: Miracle Maker: A Tale for Lost Causes and Desperate Cases
Akosua Adoma Owusu: Kwaku Ananse

2011 Winners:

Abby Moser: Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC
Susan Mogul: Mom’s Move
Lana Wilson: Trust Girls

2009 Winners:

Natasha Mendonca: Jan Villa
Ellen Lake: Call and Response

2007 Winners:

Jo Dery: Peeks
Marie Losier: The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

2006 Winners:

Kara Herold: Bachelorette, 34
Vanessa Renwick: Portrait #2: Trojan
Gretchen Hogue: See Photo

2004 Winner:

Veronica Majano: Remember Los Siete