Experimental filmmaker and visual artist Barbara Hammer. Photo: Susan Wides

Queer|Art Launches New Grant in Support of Lesbian Filmmakers

Queer|Art, the New York–based nonprofit, has established the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant, an annual $5,000 award that will recognize self-identified lesbians making visionary moving-image art. The honor is part of the organization’s new program Queer|Art|Awards, which will provide grants and prizes to LGBTQ artists and projects that support LGBTQ culture.

Named in honor of legendary lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer, the grant is supported directly by funds provided by Hammer’s estate and is administered through Queer|Art’s rotating panel of judges. “It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen,” Hammer said. “Why? Because when I started I couldn’t find any!” She added, “Working as a lesbian filmmaker in the ’70s wasn’t easy . . . and I want this grant to make it easier for the lesbians of today.”

Applications for the inaugural round will be accepted beginning August 1. Judges Cheryl Dunye, Dani Leventhal, and Hammer will announce the first-ever grantee on Monday, December 4, at the IFC during a special edition of Queer|Art|Film, which will feature an evening of short experimental films as well as conversations to honor Hammer and the women filmmakers who inspired her.

Hammer often showcases and celebrates marginalized peoples in her works. She is best known for making the first explicit lesbian film in 1974, Dyketactics, and for her trilogy of documentary film essays on queer history: Nitrate Kisses (1992), Tender Fictions (1995), and History Lessons (2000). Hammer will be featured in a retrospective, “Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies,” at New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum this fall.