This winter, the American Alpine Club will put its weight behind underserved filmmakers in climbing.
It’s no secret that the filmmaking industry is exclusive. That’s not a knock on the industry but a comment on its nature — competition runs high to work for big producers. And in the outdoor industry, that’s equally true.
Breaking into outdoor filmmaking should require commitment and poise, but it shouldn’t need anything else.
The American Alpine Club (AAC) doesn’t think so, either. On May 17, the organization put its money where its mouth is with the Pull Focus Grant, which seeks to fund and support underrepresented filmmakers in climbing directly.
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Pull Focus Grant Details
According to the AAC, the move is overdue.
“While the AAC has always encouraged all people to apply for our grants, we recognize that underrepresented groups face more barriers in accessing the climbing community,” the organization acknowledged.
“We know how important climbing media is in shaping climbing culture. We also know that the stories that have been told have highlighted those in power. This new grant is a step towards changing that.”
The Pull Focus Grant is a partnership between the American Alpine Club and Louder Than 11, presented by Mountain Hardwear with support from A-Lodge. Through it, historically underserved outdoor filmmakers will get the opportunity to realize their dreams with high-profile internships, housing and living stipends, access to studio space, and the kicker: direct support in creating their own project.
The AAC opens the storytelling grant to BIPOC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with seen and unseen disabilities. It will support climbing stories from all disciplines: bouldering, sport climbing, trad, alpine, mountain running, ski mountaineering, peak bagging, or “any other climbing endeavor.”
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Louder Than 11 owner Jon Glassberg and staff photographer Jess Glassberg will direct the immersion-style program. It will run in Boulder, Colo., from mid-October 2022 through mid-January 2023. The 3-month paid internship comes with a $2,000-per-month living stipend, free housing, and access to all the tools the winner will need to work and pursue their project.
The AAC specifies that the program will give creative and logistical support to help the winner create and release their own media project.
How to Apply
The AAC will accept applications from May 17, 2022, to July 17, 2022. Applications are online-only, and the deadline is 11:59 p.m. MDT on July 17.
The selection committee will then notify all award winners no later than August. Each winner will also receive an AAC membership.
“By celebrating our differences while also exploring our common interests, we broaden our perspectives, strengthen our relationships, and grow our entire climbing community,” the AAC asserted.
We can’t wait to see how broadly the Pull Focus Grant award winners can expand our perspectives.