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A JHU-run film incubator is looking to get VR projects made in Baltimore

The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund puts a priority on new kinds of storytelling from diverse voices, said director Annette Porter.

An incubator program that provides resources for Baltimore-based filmmakers utilizing virtual and augmented reality is opening up applications for a fall cohort.
The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media Studies, which is run by Johns Hopkins, will accept about 30 fellows working on new projects in VR, narrative and documentary filmmaking that are created locally.
“The Fund’s central mission is to embolden and empower new voices by finding innovative ways for diverse communities in Baltimore to write, design, produce, and distribute a wide array of visual content, from narrative film to immersive media,” Annette Porter, director of the Fund, said via email.
The program begins with a workshop from Nov. 1-4 providing space for “provocation , reflection and discovery,” Porter said. Fellows are then paired with an industry mentor to work on projects, and can apply for a 2019 SZIF Production and Development Funding grant.
Between 2016 and 2017, the Fund awarded over $800,000 to 28 projects, Porter said. Leaders focused on supporting women and people of color, Porter said. And projects have shown an aim to give voice to the unheard. Applications are open through September 30.
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