Michael Moore, who directed the controversial documentary "Roger & Me," is using half of the profits from the movie--about $1 million--to set up a charitable foundation, Moore's company, Dog Eat Dog Films, announced on Thursday.
Income from the fund will be used to provide grants worth about $100,000 each year to individuals and organizations that Moore and his company wish to support, the director said, adding that he and his partners were giving away the money for the same reason he made the film: "Because we want to see change occur.
"I'm lucky that a lot of people went to see the movie, which generated a lot of money, some of which I got, and so I want to try to do something with that money to allow the film to be a continuing spark for change," Moore said.
This year, Moore said he will give away $104,000 to 21 individuals and groups, including $1,000 each to Holly Hughes, John Fleck, Tim Miller and Karen Finley, the artists who were denied funding by the National Endowment for the Arts because of the nature of their work.
He is giving $35,000 to independent filmmakers, including Gini Reticker ($5,000) who directed "Women and Children First," about women and children with AIDS, and $2,500 to the Los Angeles-based Empowerment Project for a film about the U.S. invasion of Panama.
A number of the grants will go to auto workers and others in Flint, Mich., the town where General Motors plant closings put thousands out of work and inspired Moore to hound GM Chairman Roger Smith and document the event in "Roger & Me." Moore is providing $20,000 to restart the Flint Voice, an alternative newspaper once run by Moore, and Warner Bros., which distributed the movie, has already made $7,000 in rent payments for four families whose evictions were shown in the film.
The fund has also provided grants to the radical environmental group, Earth First!, $1,000 to the AIDS activist group, ACT UP, and $6,000 to the National Union of the Homeless.