Writer-creator Lena Waithe and actor Brian Tyree Henry will present a quarter of a million dollars in filmmaker grants come January as hosts of the annual Independent Spirit Awards nominee brunch.

Waithe, this year’s Spirit Awards honorary chair, and Henry will dole out the prizes in four categories, including a $50,000 unrestricted grant for a mid-career female filmmaker and $25,000 to emerging producers.

“We are excited to be giving out four unrestricted grants, totaling $125,000, to some insanely deserving emerging talent,” the pair said in a statement.

“It’s an honor to pay tribute to and celebrate these incredibly talented filmmakers. Being a part of something as special as ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ reminds us all about the power of independent filmmaking,” said Henry.

Waithe added that “Film Independent and I go way back. ‘Dear White People’ was nominated for a Spirit Award, I’ve given the Diversity Speaks Keynote address, they screened ‘The Chi’ — it’s a real filmmaking community committed to celebrating original voices and I am so proud to also serve as Honorary Chair.”

(more at variety.com)