Founded in 2016, The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University seeks to further the pioneering legacy of Mr. Zaentz by connecting the Baltimore creative storytelling community with prestigious artists, veteran executives and successful entrepreneurs in an incubator program designed to nurture project ideas that will advance the art and craft of audiovisual media.

The Innovation Fund, open to all greater Baltimore residents, is working to break barriers and to help underrepresented filmmakers in Baltimore enter and succeed in the film and XR industry through workshops, mentoring and grant funding. Applications for Fellowship this year will be open through July 8. Our new cohort of Fellows will be selected from this applicant pool and announced in September. Safety protocols permitting, the cohort will then all participate in StoryLab over the weekend of October 7-10, marking our return to in-person workshops, in partnership with top indie producers, directors and writers. Upon completing the lab, each Fellow will be teamed up with an industry mentor and will be eligible to apply for the next round of grant funding in early 2022. Visit and click APPLY.

Since its launch, the Fund has had a direct impact on Baltimore based artists and filmmakers. awarding over $1.4 million in grant funding in the community.  “Our mission is to support the cinematic visions of diverse, underserved filmmakers and with the three-year extension of our grant from the Saul Zaentz Foundation, we are not letting our foot off the gas,” said Annette Porter, Director of The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund. “After a year when COVID-19 rattled the creative industy’s understanding of safety and responsibility and taught us new ways to produce, edit and view content, as well as how to mentor remotely, we are very much looking forward to a return to in-person experiences in the fall.”

Projects are evaluated based on originality, socio-political impact, visual sense, and unique approach and “Every year, we are blown away by the talent we see in Baltimore. Helping these unique perspectives gain traction in the industry keeps us inspired and motivated.”

Visit to apply.

Application are due July 8,  2021.

Sponsored post content is generated by our advertisers: local businesses, merchants, schools, and non-profits. All sponsored content is created in collaboration with the advertiser.