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Happy to announce that we have officially opened applications for their 2021-23 Focus Finder program, a two-year storytelling accelerator designed around a cohort of emerging local filmmakers from underrepresented communities. 


As part of our mission to elevate diverse voices in film, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the second installment of this two-year program combines all the best parts of mentorship, fellowship, and apprenticeship in order to strengthen emerging creatives in Milwaukee’s film industry pipeline.  


“The COVID-19 pandemic hit the creative advancement of emerging artists especially hard. We are so excited to welcome the second cohort to this program and to continue strengthening the professional networks and creative acuity of our local filmmaking community as they rebound over the coming years.
- Cara Ogburn, artistic director for Milwaukee Film.  


We were previously awarded the $25,000 Art Works grant in 2020 from the NEA to assist with the launch and pilot years of the Focus Finder program. The NEA is an independent federal agency whose work supports and provides people with the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.  


Following the application process for the 2021-23 cohort, participants will receive both financial and professional support for two years as they work on a major storytelling project. In addition, the Focus Finder program will provide filmmakers with personalized access to mental health resources, mentorships, technical and industry training through external partners, and anything additional they may require tailored to their needs.  


This new group will join the current class as they complete their program. More information on those currently in the 2020-22 cohort is available here


Applications for the Focus Finder program are open now through Sunday, Aug. 1. More information and the application can be found at  

Posted by: Tom Fuchs