Cardozo Law School
Program: Special Initiatives
Area of Work: Arts
Grant Purpose: Indie Film Clinic
The Illumination Fund has a long partnership with Cardozo School of Law, having endowed the school’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which helps graduates who work in public service or for a non-profit organization repay their student loans.
Purpose: To support the expansion of the Indie Film Clinic.
In 2014, the Fund initiated support for the Indie Film Clinic at Cardozo, which provides free legal services to filmmakers producing independent, documentary, and student films and to artists providing services in independent and documentary film. The clinic fills a previously underserved and vitally important niche in New York City’s film and arts community: the need for a free or low-cost legal services clinic for independent filmmakers in the greater New York City area who would have difficulty obtaining affordable legal services.
Since the Indie Film Clinic opened in January 2011, the program has provided free legal services to more than 206 filmmakers. Of these projects, approximately 65% were directed or produced by filmmakers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the industry. Client films have attracted a wider audience as a result, with screenings in leading U.S. and international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, South by Southwest (SXSW), the Los Angeles Film Festival and more. With a new partnership with Tribeca Film Festival, the clinic’s reputation continues to grow. The Advanced Indie Clinic students recently presented a masterclass at the Tribeca Film Festival for more than 200 filmmakers and have started exciting new educational initiatives to assist journalists and filmmakers.