Iara Lee and George Gund III Foundation

organization

Overview

  • Assets: $147,991 (2012)
  • Grants Received: $394,800 (2012)
  • Grants Awarded: $300,250 (2012)
  • Grants Received or Awarded Since 2013: $0

Established in 2004, the Iara Lee and George Gund III Foundation (ILGGF) is a private charity created by filmmaker Iara Lee and her husband, George Gund III, to funnel money to radical artists and activist groups. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, this foundation bankrolled such high-profile organizations as the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, the American Friends Service Committee, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Greenpeace Fund, Human Rights Watch, the Institute for Policy Studies, the Institute for Public Accuracy, the International Crisis Group, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the Middle East Studies Association, the Ploughshares Fund, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Tides Center, and the William J. Clinton Foundation. Cumulatively in 2007 and 2008, Gund and Lee personally contributed $1,133,562 to ILGGF, which shared an office and some of its staffers with the Caipirinha Foundation (created by Lee and Gund in 2006).[1]

A major project of ILGGF during the first decade of the 21st century was its “Conflict Zone Film Fund” (CZFF), which provided “seed funding for projects [bringing] together filmmakers from opposing sides of armed conflict situations worldwide,” in an effort to “bridge” various “divides” that “may be national, political, ethnic, and/or religious in character.” Among the films financed through CZFF were:

  • Voices of A People’s History of the United States, a 2009 documentary based on the works of the late Marxist historian Howard Zinn;
  • Blood and Oil (2008), which shows “how concerns about oil have been at the core of American foreign policy for more than 60 years,” and warns that “unless we change direction, we stand to be drawn into one oil war after another as the global hunt for diminishing world petroleum supplies accelerates”;
  • Iranian Films for Peace (2008), a series of short productions that seek “to use images and stories to continue building a cultural bridge between our two [American and Iranian] societies, even as our governments ratche[t] up their language of war”; and
  • War Made Easy, a 2007 documentary narrated by Sean Penn and based on a Norman Solomon book, condemning “the strategies used by U.S. administrations, both Democratic and Republican, to promote their agendas for war from Vietnam to Iraq … [and] to promote and prolong a policy of militarism under the guise of the ‘war on terror.’”[2]

ILGGF also supported the Pyongyang International Film Festival in North Korea.

ILGGF is closely affiliated with Cultures of Resistance, which is both a feature documentary film and an activist network whose stated mission is to “explor[e] how art and creativity can be ammunition in the battle for peace and justice.”

ILGGF was formerly a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG), an unincorporated association of philanthropists and foundations that support anti-war and environmentalist causes.

George Gund died on January 15, 2013, at the age of 75. Since his death, ILGGF has not awarded any grants.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

Footnotes

  1. Financial Form 990-PF for 2007, 2008, and 2009 (Guidestar.org).
  2. Conflict Zone Film Fund“; Synopses of Voices of A People’s History of the United StatesBlood and OilIranian Films for Peace, and War Made Easy.

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