The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund at Johns Hopkins Seeks Film, Television, Virtual Reality and Technology-Centered Projects for Second Incubator 
On Monday, August 1, the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University will begin accepting applications for its second accelerated Incubator program. The Fund, which aims to empower and embolden new voices by bringing unique projects to life, connects selected applicants with prestigious artists, veteran executives and successful entrepreneurs to further develop and produce their projects.  Initiatives include a robust mentorship program that centers around one-on-one consultancies from award-winning filmmakers, an intensive Lab where Fellows analyze and improve their projects together with directors, producers, and executives from all over the world, and Brain Trust Meetings where special industry guests lead brainstorming sessions to try and solve project-specific challenges. Aspiring artists with innovative project ideas in visual media and technology are encouraged to apply to the program.
The Fund, which is the first of its kind at any university in the country, welcomes all kinds of projects related to audio-visual content development, production and delivery: short and feature-length screenplays, documentaries, virtual reality projects, experimental work, new production models, and many more. Baltimore residents, students from Johns Hopkins, MICA and Peabody, and Hopkins alumni are eligible to apply.
For the first time, the Fund will expand its eligibility criteria to include artists throughout the country with technology, video game or emerging media projects. A key component of the Fund remains that all projects accepted into the Incubator must be developed and produced in Baltimore.
“We’ve created an environment for collaboration and mentorship for all types of disruptive and bold projects related to the development and production of audio-visual content,” said Roberto Busó-García, director of the Fund and the University’s Master of Arts in Film & Media program. “The Fund is focused on identifying transformative ideas from diverse candidates and guiding its fellows to reach their projects’ full potential.” 
The second round of the Incubator, which is expected to begin in September after Fellows are selected, will feature an intensive, four-day Documentary Lab in Baltimore, during which Fellows with documentary projects will work one-on-one with veteran artists to guide their pre-production and development process. Following the Lab, a Brain Trust gathering in October will provide an opportunity for Incubator Fellows to talk through and solve production and planning challenges in a two-day-long session with industry professionals. Additionally, the Fund will handpick an award-winning artist or professional to mentor each project, providing advice, feedback, guidance and practical knowledge to their respective Incubator Fellows. 
The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media at Johns Hopkins University was launched in March 2016 through a $1 million grant from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation. Zaentz, who died in 2014, was a three-time Academy Award-winning producer whose work included One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient. The Fund’s inaugural class of Fellows, chosen from more than 75 proposals, includes 18 projects from prospective filmmakers and visual artists. 
Those interested and eligible to apply to the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund can fill out and submit an application for free online at []. The application period for the Fund opens on Monday, August 1st
About The Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media
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 community with prestigious artists, veteran executives and successful entrepreneurs in an incubator program designed to seek and develop groundbreaking project ideas that will advance the art and craft of audiovisual media.