Photo: Joe Seer/shutterstock
Photo: Joe Seer/shutterstock

Albert Kallis is known for many different things in Southern California, including as a co-founder of the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), an executive producer for many documentary projects and a professional illustrator specializing in motion picture advertising. Meanwhile, his wife, Trudy Kallis, is a member of the American Film Institute who produces, writes and edits documentaries. Together, this couple created a family foundation that prioritizes film and supports the broader local community.

Here are a few things to know about the Albert and Trudy Kallis Foundation and how the couple gives in Southern California.

Giving Goes Beyond Just Film

The Kallis Foundation is best known for its film documentaries. Its mission is to “foster, develop and create original documentary programming that educates and informs audiences in unique and entertaining ways.” However, the couple behind this philanthropic vehicle has interests beyond just film.

Those interests include art, music, history, science and human spirituality. They also support community service organizations and education groups through special interest programs, direct contributions and scholarships. In the past, the Kallis Foundation has funded the Geffen Playhouse, the Skirball Cultural Center and the Santa Monica Philharmonic. Most grants are modest in size and range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Many Grants Stay in Southern California

The Kallis Foundation is based in Lake Arrowhead, California, an unincorporated community in the San Bernardino Mountains sometimes referred to as the “Alps of Southern California.” Although the foundation does not typically place restrictions on its awards, it is notable that many grants stay close to home. Local grants have gone to groups in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and other nearby communities.

Accessible Grant Opportunities 

First-time grantseekers may find it challenging to catch the Kallis couple’s attention since transparency is limited and the foundation’s website does not outline its grantmaking process in detail. However, past tax records indicate that the foundation is open to receiving unsolicited requests for some types of grant funding.

In the past, the Kallis Foundation has accepted film submissions on DVD or VHS tape as part of a free-form grant competition. This is a broad competition that welcomes films on any subject, with no restrictions on running time and no submission deadlines.

This is a very family-run foundation with members of the Kallis family in all its leadership positions. The best point of contact regarding current grant opportunities is Matthew Kallis, an Emmy-nominated producer and award-winning documentary filmmaker who serves as the foundation’s vice president.

To learn more about this foundation and how to get in touch with the staff, check out IP’s full profile, Albert and Trudy Kallis Foundation: Grants for Los Angeles.

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