The BARBARA HAMMER LESBIAN EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKING GRANT is an annual grant that will be awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. 

Photo by Susan Wides

“It has been the goal of my life to put a lesbian lifestyle on the screen. Why? Because when I started I couldn’t find any! ...I picked up a camera in the 60s, late 60s, made Super 8, 8mm, finally went to school and got a 16mm camera.  Made 13 films in two and a half years. All experimental. Because I think that as a lesbian at that time I was living an experimental lifestyle. Well let’s just say, I was experimenting.  And I still am.  And I think that lesbian film really calls out for experimental work. ...Working as a lesbian filmmaker in the 70s wasn’t easy in the social structure — the educational institution that I was in. It was difficult. And I want this grant to make it easier for lesbians of today.  So you can make work that you want to make.”

Barbara Hammer

Barbara Hammer is a visual artist primarily working in film and video.  Her work reveals and celebrates marginalized peoples whose stories have not been told. Her cinema is multi-leveled and engages an audience viscerally and intellectually with the goal of activating them to make social change. She has been honored with 6 retrospectives: The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Tate Modern in London, Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Toronto International Film Festival, Kunsthalle Oslo in Norway and The Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. Her book Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life was published in 2010 by The Feminist Press at The City University of New York. 

She is most well-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). She is represented by galleries KOW in Berlin and Company in NYC. She lives and works in New York City and Kerhonkson, New York


The Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant is an annual grant that will be awarded to self-identified lesbians for making visionary moving-image art. Work can be experimental animation, experimental documentary, experimental narrative, cross-genre, or solely experimental. Applicants must be based in the U.S. This grant was established by Hammer in 2017 to give needed support to moving-image art made by lesbians. The grant is supported directly by funds provided by her estate and administered through Queer|Art by lesbians for lesbians, with a rotating panel of judges. The grant is $5000.


 Photo of Fair Brane by Christina Johnson

On December 4, 2017, a full house packed the main theater at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village to celebrate Los Angeles-based painter and filmmaker Fair Brane who was announced by Queer|Art as the winner of the first annual Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant. The 2017 judges—Cheryl Dunye, Su Friedrich, and Dani Restack—were present to say a few words about Brane and congratulate her on the award. The award was announced during a special edition of the acclaimed screening series Queer|Art|Film, organized by Hammer and Vanessa Haroutunian, Queer|Art Program Coordinator to recognize the visionary women filmmakers who have influenced Hammer’s prolific career. After the awarding of the grant, Hammer and Haroutunian presented a selection of short experimental films that have inspired Hammer’s legendary filmmaking career. The screening, entitled “The Hammer Mix,” included works by some of the avant-garde’s most esteemed female filmmakers. Hammer, Haroutunian, and special guests Martha Rosler and Carolee Schneeman took the stage after the screening to engage the audience in a conversation about the films and their influence on Hammer.





***There is a $6 application fee***

Queer|Art uses the online application software SlideRoom to organize applications. SlideRoom charges applicants for the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant a fee of $6 for each individual application. The fee does not profit Queer|Art. 

What information does the application require?

  • Contact info, narrative bio, and headshot
  • Synopsis of project and strategy for exhibition
  • Budget
  • Work samples (2 samples, no more than 7-10 minutes total)
  • 2 professional references
  • CV 


What is required in the synopsis and budget?


1.     Description of the project and the process by which it will be made. (Up to 300 words) *Required

2.     What is your timeline for completing the work and strategy for its exhibition? (Up to 125 words) * Required

3.     Are there any additional aspects of this work you would like the panel to be aware of? (Up to 125 words) *Not required


Budget (one page, uploaded as PDF):

Your budget should account for how the work will be made (you do not need to include presentation costs). If the cost of production exceeds the grant amount, please indicate within the budget any confirmed funding you have received or additional funding you anticipate that will enable you to complete this project.


Coming soon!