Chicago Digital Media Production Fund

Voqal Fund and Chicago Filmmakers are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, which has awarded a total of $100,000 in grants to twelve Chicago digital media artists' projects in amounts ranging from $3,850 to $10,000.   

All projects are scheduled for completion and online viewing by May 15, 2015.




Battle Flag (working title) by Logan Jaffe ($9,500)

"Battle Flag" is a transmedia project that explores the lingering affects of the Civil War by contextualizing recent news content about controversial displays of the confederate flag.


Block Zombies by Leon Kelsick ($6,650)

"Block Zombies" is a darkly comedic animated short that follows a group of zombies, who portray the political invisibility and economic vulnerability of those in low-income neighborhoods on Chicago's West Side.


Drifting Toward the Crescent (working title) by Laura Stewart ($9,300)

"Drifting Toward the Crescent" is an experimental documentary focused on the rich and historic landscape, sounds and people of the Mississippi River, an area which is simultaneously historic, scenic and desperately economically challenged.


For the Records by Anuradha Rana & Doris Rusch ($8,500)

"For the Records" is an interactive documentary that aims to increase understanding of mental health issues, particularly OCD, ADD, eating disorders and bipolar disorder.


Kentucky Fried High by Robert Carnilius ($6,700)

"Kentucky Fried High" is an animated series set in a fictional high school where the characters are humanoid food. In five 3-minute webisodes, the series will use humor to tackle teen issues such as bullying, gender identity, and sexual orientation while engaging and empowering teens.


Muslimahs in the City by Fahima Mohamood ($10,000)

"Muslimahs in the City" is a comedic web series based on four Muslim women in their late twenties living in Chicago. Each episode provides a glimpse into their lives as they tackle topics such as racism, polygyny, dating, converting, and intimacy, with wit and humor.


Natural Life, Interactive Online Archive by Tirtza Even ($10,000)

This is the interactive online archive component of the existing project, "Natural Life, " which challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting the stories of 5 individuals who were sentenced to life without parole (natural life) for crimes they committed as youth.


Sex Offender Laws Impact Youth by Jo Anne Smith ($10,000)

"Sex Offender Laws Impact Youth" is a short film depicting the consequences of sex offender convictions on youth offenders.  


The Forum by Benjamin Jaffe ($3,850)

"The Forum," will be a short fine art film which documents how Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood has been devastated by economic collapse, school closings and housing destruction. 


The Half-Life of War by Kyle Henry/Northwestern University ($7,500)

"The Half-Life of War" couples footage from impersonal war memorials across the United States with audio clips of soldiers speaking about their personal and traumatic experiences, exploring the tension that lies between the notion of honoring military service and the trauma of war itself.


The Schools Project by Bob Hercules/Media Process Educational Films ($10,000)

"The Schools Project" is a series of cross platform pieces that explore the challenges to public education in America. By using Chicago as a microcosm, the filmmakers will examine interrelated issues including inequity of resources, the growing trend toward school privatization, and race.


Uptown, 2084 by Drew Dir/Manual Cinema ($8,000)

"Uptown, 2084" is an 8-minute animated short set in the year 2084, following Chicago's Uptown neighborhood's human and animal denizens as they prepare for a massive storm heading for the city. Shadow puppetry and live action will be intertwined to tell a story of fellowship, adversity, and the interconnectedness of the human and natural world.



The 2014 CDMPF panel consisted of Brian Ashby (Scrappers Film Group; 2012 CDMPF grantee), Matthew Board (Assistant Professor in the Interactive Arts & Media department of Columbia College Chicago; CEO of Red Tail Studios), Aaron Greer (Associate Professor, Program Director for the International Film and Media Studies Program at Loyola University; 2012 CDMPF grantee), Andrew Hicks (Instructor in the Interactive Arts and Media department at Columbia College Chicago; interactive multimedia artist; freelance web designer), Todd Lillethun (Producer/Editor at Video One Productions), Dr. Adrienne Massanari, PhD (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Illinois at Chicago; former Director for Loyola University's School of Communication's Center for Digital Ethics and Policy), and Philister Sidigu (Teaching Artist at Howard Leadership Academy; playwright; poet).

The Chicago Digital Media Production Fund is a project of the Voqal Fund, administered by Chicago Filmmakers. The Voqal Fund is dedicated to supporting the dissemination of alternative ideas and building a more engaged public to effect progressive social change and disrupt the status quo. Through various grant-making and fellowship initiatives, Voqal Fund supports nonprofit organizations and individuals using media and technology to empower those who are politically, economically or socially disenfranchised. For more information, please visit


Applications for the 2015 grant will be accepted beginning in January 2015.


click here for grant guidelines

Find FAQ's and Helpful Tips here and download the complete list of Application Questions here 






Upcoming Shows

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 8:00pm
Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:30pm
Sun, 02/22/2015 - 7:00pm
Sat, 03/07/2015 - 8:00pm
Fri, 03/13/2015 - 8:00pm
Sat, 03/14/2015 - 7:00pm
Wed, 03/18/2015 - 6:30pm