March 4, 2015

A Massive List of Spring 2015 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About

The No Film School list of Spring grant deadlines is back for 2015 with new deadlines, program changes, and more grants than ever.

Spring is the color of green: fresh green leaves, green grass, and green dollar bills for your next film project if you get cracking on the deadlines below!

The following opportunities are organized by Documentary, Narrative, or Screenwriting, and are in order of deadline from March to May. An asterisk next to the grant title means there is an equivalent grant for both doc and narrative. To find out more specifics on a grant, click on the title and get started.

Documentary

Oakley Anderson-Moore on the set of feature documentary 'Brave New Wild.'
Oakley Anderson-Moore on the set of feature documentary 'Brave New Wild.'

Good Pitch Australia

A sequel location of a popular pitch session where selected films get to pitch their projects in front of an array of funding agencies. From Good Pitch:

Good Pitch² loved Australia so much in 2014, it's coming back in 2015! We have raised over $11,000,000 so far but only 74% of projects received that funding, on a scale from just $5,000 up to $1.4m. We can't promise to connect filmmakers to funding, and if that's all you need then Good Pitch isn't for you. But we can promise to help you develop your impact ideas, research the landscape and connect you first to the community of like-minded filmmakers and then to a world of potential partners and advocates.

Deadline: March 4

IFP Independent Documentary Lab*

Submit your rough cut to be a part of the illustrious IFP lab for a year-long mentorship program that supports first time filmmakers. From IFP:

Focusing exclusively on low-budget features, this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films – and their careers.

Deadline: March 7

Independent Lens

This well curated PBS series offers a handsome sum for broadcast distribution of films each season. From PBS:

Independent Lens is currently seeking submissions of films in advanced rough cut or fine cut stage or completed films to broadcast during the October 2014 - June 2015 season.

Deadline: March 27

Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund

Each year, the PLDF awards $15,000 – $25,000 each to a handful of documentaries about pressing issues in the United States. From the PLDF:

Grants will be made to up to 6 projects that tell a compelling story and focus on one of Pare Lorentz’s central concerns—the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all or the illumination of pressing social problems.

Deadline: March 31

Vision Maker Media - Public Media Content Fund

A grant that funds part of the budget for Native American stories that appeal to broad audiences. From VMM:

We're particularly looking for stories that advance CPB's initiatives--The American Graduate, and Women & Girls Lead. Awards for research and development range from $5,000 to $20,000; awards for production or completion can be up to $100,000; and, new media awards range from $5,000 to $35,000. Projects should be accessible to a broad audience, have the potential for a national broadcast, and be used for effective outreach/community engagement activities to reach audiences beyond a Public Television broadcast.

Deadline: March 18

Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund

This joint initiative between Bertha Foundation and BRITDOC is the first European based fund between £5,000 - £50,000 open to filmmakers from anywhere with outreach campaigns. From BRITDOC:

The fund is looking to support smart, strategic outreach campaigns for ambitious independent documentary films with a social issue at their core; films which have the ability to achieve real change on a local, regional or global level.

Deadline: April 13

MacArthur Foundation Documentary Open Call

Doles out grants in the $50k - $200k range to films that spotlight important issues and fit with the MacFound initiatives. From MacFound:

The MacArthur Foundation funds the production of documentary films and participatory new media projects that combine exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. We look for projects that challenge preconceptions and examine underreported social issues. These documentaries are intended to reach a large U.S. broadcast audience and, often, a targeted audience of educators, community leaders, advocates, and policymakers. We look for projects that have the potential to spark dialogue, create understanding, and contribute to social and policy change.

Deadline: Opens April 14, Closes May 1

IDFA Bertha Fund

A grant from the largest and most prestigious doc-only film festival IDFA is worth looking into if you have an international film. From IDFA:

The IDFA Bertha Fund is the only fund in the world dedicated solely to stimulating and empowering the creative documentary sector in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe...The fund is looking for new creative documentary projects which can be submitted in project development, production, and post production.

Deadline: May 15 (for projects outside of Europe)

LINCS

ITVS funded LINCS (Linking Independents and Co-Producing Stations) offers a matching-funds program to docs aimed at public television. From ITVS:

LINCS provides matching funds to producer-station partnerships. Up to $100,000 in matching funds is available for a single broadcast program.

Deadline: Rolling

The Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund

This new fund offers £10,000 - 50,000 to doc filmmakers from any country in a mix of grants and investments. From BRITDOC:

The fund supports projects at the intersection of film and investigative journalism that break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, bring attention to unreported issues, and cameras into regions previously unseen.

Deadline: Rolling

ITVS Commissioned Funding

ITVS chooses projects that don't fit in their normal programs of DDF, LINCS, and Open Call and offers development or production agreements. From ITVS:

For development funding, activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early-phase activities. For production funding, all production and post-production activities are eligible.

Deadline: Rolling

The Scottish Documentary Institute Consultancies

The Scottish Documentary Institute is rapidly becoming a renowned force behind interesting documentaries coming out of the region, so if you're based in Scotland, the Consultancies are a good way to get your foot in the door. From SDI:

Scottish Documentary Institute is offering year-round submissions of Scottish documentary projects in development (shorts and features) to our Docscene project pool. The projects will then be steered towards forthcoming training programmes or other funding opportunities, depending on theme and scope: Seed Funding, Interdoc, the Edinburgh Pitch and prepared for other submissions to funders, meet markets or pitching forums. The aim is to improve quality of project development and increase the talent pool.

Deadline: Rolling

Ford Foundation: JustFilms

If you have a social justice documentary at the rough cut stage, take a look at the JustFilms eligiblity to see if you can apply. (A few topics of docs that are not eligible: health, sports, early childhood, advocacy, educational, scientific.) If you are located internationally, see if you are in one of the ten places where the Ford Foundation has regional offices. From the Ford Foundation:

JustFilms focuses on film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world...Beginning in 2011, we are investing $10 million a year over five years in documentary projects that address urgent social issues and help us understand our past, explore our present and build our future. Our goal is to expand the community of emerging and established filmmakers who often lack funding, and help them to realize their visions and reach audiences.

Deadline: Rolling

Narrative

Chris Boone on the set of 'Cents.'
Chris Boone on the set of narrative feature 'Cents.'

The David Ross Fetzer Foundation for Emerging Artists

To honor the late David Ross, in 2015 the DRFF now has two grants specifically for short films open to filmmakers, and one for a filmmaker with some kind of connection to Utah. From the Davey Foundation:

Two $5000 grants  for writer/directors nationwide.  You must be 35-or-under on April 30,  fill out the 2015 Film Application, and pay a $10 reading fee per script. Grant winners must deliver a Bluray copy of his/her film by December 1.

We are excited to announce that the third grant will be offered to a writer/director 35-or-under on April 30 with a Utah connection. This grant will consist of the use of a  Cinema Camera Package valued at $10,000, courtesy of, and in partnership with, Film Exchange.

Deadline: March 15

National Film Board of Canada Filmmaker Assistance Program*

If you're a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant, the Film Board of Canada has ten provinces that offer emerging filmmakers $3,000 - $5,000 grants a year in technical services to complete your film. Deadlines depend on the province, so be sure to check them out individually. From NFBC:

The National Film Board’s mandate is to reflect Canadian values and perspectives through the production and distribution of innovative Canadian audiovisual works accessible in relevant media of today. The Filmmaker Assistance Program (FAP) is designed to help developing independent filmmakers complete their films/videos by providing technical services and support.

Deadline: April 1 (depending on FAP region)

IFP Independent Narrative Lab*

Apply with your rough cut to IFP's prestigious year-long mentorship program that supports first-time narrative filmmakers whose projects are being made for under $1 million. Past narrative films that participated in the Lab range from Pariah to I Believe in Unicorns to Go Down Death. From IFP:

Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences. Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production.

Deadline: April 3

Screen Australia/San Francisco Film Society Producer Placement

If you're a dedicated Australian producer who wants to have professional development in San Francisco's film scene with cash to spare, this might be for you. From SFFS:

Screen Australia provides an emerging Australian producer the opportunity to spend six months at the San Francisco Film Society, working closely with the Director of Filmmaker360. The successful applicant will receive Australian $50,000 to support them during this period.

Deadline: April 7

Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production Program*

If you're an Australia-based filmmaker, you have got to get in touch with Screen Australia! The government film agency throws down major funds for low-budget features, documentaries, and large format programs. From Screen Australia:

Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production Program aims to assist in the creation of a diverse range of successful Australian films that resonate with their audiences – films that entertain, enlighten and reflect an Australian sense of identity both domestically and internationally.

Deadline: April 8 or May 28

NYSCA Film Media & New Technology Production*

For New York state filmmakers working on projects in narrative, documentary, or animation, you could get $5,000 - $25,000 of support for your project if you have a fiscal sponsor or other non-profit NY entity to cover you. From NYSCA:

Support is offered annually for the creation of new works in a variety of media related mediums. A project can combine media, including, but not limited to, work for tape, installation, single-channel work, or interactive discformats. The Individual Artists Program supports projects utilizing production methods and tools ranging from analog to digital.

Deadline: April 10 (to register on NYSCA portal)

Film Independent's Project Involve

For people from diverse backrounds on either the filmmaking track (Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Screenwriting) or the industry track Acquisitions/Distribution, Creative/Development Executive, Film Programming) looking for mentorship, workshops, and production experience under the wing of Film Independent, Project Involve may be for you. From FIND:

Project Involve is Film Independent’s signature diversity program that fosters the talents of emerging filmmakers. The program offers its selected Fellows a one-on-one mentorship, monthly filmmaking workshops for continued education, a short film production experience, and community screenings that promote diverse subject matters.

Deadline: April 27

The Roy Dean Grant/From the Heart Productions*

The Roy Dean Grant includes over $30k of in-kind services and products is open for shorts, docs, and features films with a budget under $500k. From FTHP:

We fund compelling stories about little known subjects, historical films, and films that touch hearts. We like films that expose, and bring, important information to light; as well as films about little known people when there is a good story.

Deadline: April 30

The Jerome Foundation's Film and Video Grant Program*

The Jerome Foundation has a good tract record of supporting filmmakers in New York and Minnesota with innovative artistic sensibilities. From JF:

The Jerome Foundation's Film and Video Grant Program is a production grant program for individual film and video artists who work in the genres of experimental, narrative, animation, and documentary production. Applicants must reside in one of the five boroughs and must be emerging artists whose work shows promise of excellence.

Deadline: Opens in May

World Cinema Fund: Distribution

Brought to you by the auspicious Berlinale Festival, this fund offers 10,000 to directors from regions  of Africa, Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Caucasus who have a German partner. From Berlinale:

The World Cinema Fund supports films,  either in production or distribution, that could not be made without additional funding: films that stand out with an unconventional aesthetic approach, that tell powerful stories and transmit an authentic image of their cultural roots.

Deadline: Rolling

Nextpix/Firstpix Crowdfunding Grant

An interesting take on granting, Nextpix/Firstpix will fund films with a budget under $250k that are the first or second film by a director and are crowdfunding part of that budget. From N/FCG:

Rather than fund on a pre-determined cycle, we will accept queries from any film that is being crowfunded at any point during the year. Once we've received your query please give us 30 days to respond. The film should have a positive humanitarian message.

Deadline: Rolling

Creative District*

A new start-up aimed at making a LinkedIn type of networking platform specifically for filmmakers, they are giving away $5k each month to selected features or shorts:

Our mission is to help film and media makers create more work. We’re giving away up to $5,000 in grants each month. Projects can be at any stage.

Deadline: Rolling

Panavision's New Filmmaker Program

If you are a student or a low-budget indie, Panavision might supply you with free camera packages. From Panavision:

The New Filmmaker Program loans film or digital camera packages (based on availability) to filmmakers for student thesis films, “low-budget” independent features, showcase reels, Public Service Announcements, or any other type of short not-for-profit project.

Deadline: Rolling

Screenwriting

Ryan Koo working on the script for 'Manchild.'
Ryan Koo working on the script for 'Manchild.'

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts an international screenwriting competition established to identify new talent in screenwriting. From the Academy:

Up to five $35,000 Fellowships are awarded annually. Fellowship recipients are expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year.

Deadline: March 2 (Early deadline), April 10 (regular)

Showtime's Tony Cox Screenplay Competition

This screenplay competition from Nantucket Film Festival gives cash prizes and VIP festival access to winners with scripts for short films, feature films, 30-minute TV Pilots and hour-long TV pilots. From Nantucket:

The competition gives writers the opportunity to have their scripts read by a prestigious jury, receive top industry recognition, participate in a Festival focused specifically on screenwriting, including a Mentor’s Brunch with the Festival’s Screenwriters Tributee, and win over $7,000 in total cash prizes.

Deadline: March 9 (WAB extended)

HBOAccess Writing Fellowship

This eight-month fellowship in Santa Monica from August 17-21 is for emerging diverse voices who would like to workshop a screenplay with HBO executives. From HBO:

HBO is seeking diverse writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the U.S. For the purposes of the HBOAccess program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific American, Sub-Continent Asian American, African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women. Writers must not have been staffed on a network or cable series in excess of 13 episodes and/or had more than one feature film or more than two plays produced.

Deadline: Opens March 4 (Closes after first 1,000 applications)

Only the first 1,000 applications will be accepted. Applications will be closed once 1,000 applications have been received.

Slamdance Writing Competition

This competition program has four categories and gives awards to the top three of each plus a grand prize. Also, every entry gets feedback. From Slamdance:

The Slamdance Screenplay Competition is dedicated to discovering and supporting emerging writing talent. We welcome screenplays in every genre, on any topic, from anywhere in the world.

Deadline: April 7 (Early deadline)

Film Independent Screenwriters Lab

If you're looking to develop your voice as a writer, this five week program in Autumn in Los Angeles might be a great opportunity. From FIND:

Through meetings with lab mentors, outside advisors, and other writers in the program, Fellows will receive personal feedback and the necessary tools to revise and refine their scripts for production while gaining invaluable knowledge along the way.

Deadline: April 13

Sundance Screenwriters Lab

The Sundance Screenwriters Lab is more than a five day screenwriting workshop. It's the gateway for all films chosen to be in the Director's Lab, as well as eligibility to many of the Sundance grants. From the Sundance Institute:

Through one-on-one story sessions with Creative Advisors, Fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers them indispensable lessons in craft, as well as the means to do the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material.

Deadline: May 1 (opens March 15)

CBS Writer's Mentoring Program

In this 6-month mentorship program, writers get to build relationships to further their careers. From CBS:

The focus of this six month program is on opening doors: providing opportunities to build relationships with network executives and show runners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed.

Deadline: May 1

Film Independent Screenwriters Lab

A 5-week lab in Los Angeles where writers work on their scripts two to three evenings a week. From FIND:

The Lab is designed to help screenwriters improve their craft, develop their voices as writers, and take their current scripts to the next level. During the Lab, Fellows receive feedback on their scripts from the Lab Mentor, outside advisors, and the other writers in the program.

Deadline: May 5

NBC's Writers on the Verge

A 3-month program that prepares you to be a full-time staff writer, with a particular empasis on applicants from diverse backgrounds. From NBC:

Writers on the Verge is a 12-week program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are "almost there" but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills.

Deadline: May 31


Best of luck!

Do you know of a spring grant that's not listed here that should be? Just let us know in the comments.     

Your Comment

6 Comments

I love these lists but they would be much more helpful if they were posted a season in advance of the deadlines instead of a week or less. Just saying. Thanks though.

March 7, 2015 at 4:12PM

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David Scott Kessler
Director, DP, Editor
79

The Chicago Digital Media Production Fund awards grants from $500-$20,000 to Chicago-based filmmakers and media artists with socially progressive film and video projects intended for free online distribution. Proposals will be accepted until the deadline of March 31, 2015. Visit www.chicagofilmmakers.org for more details!

March 8, 2015 at 1:29PM

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Quick question, what's with the stars at the end of some of the funding titles?

March 9, 2015 at 5:57AM

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avatar
PJ Palomaki
Cinematographer | Motion Graphics
329

"An asterisk next to the grant title means there is an equivalent grant for both doc and narrative."

March 9, 2015 at 4:42PM

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Thomas Prill
Soon-to-be Producer
145

TorinoFilmLab (TFL) supports emerging talents from all over the world – with a special attention to 1st and 2nd feature films – through training, development, funding and distribution activities. For more information: www.torinofilmlab.it

Covering different aspects of filmmaking with 5 training initiatives running all year long, TFL presents its spring call for applications:

FrameWork: aimed at teams of writer, director and producer from all over the world, developing 1st or 2nd fiction feature films. FrameWork projects will have the chance to compete for the Production Awards and the Audience Award. Deadline: March 31st, 2015. For more information: www.torinofilmlab.it/development.php

TFL Distribution Fund: aimed at supporting innovative audience development strategies at the moment of distribution, taking advantage of TFL established Audience Design programme. 3 grants of maximum 43.000 Euro each will be allocated to selected audiovisual companies presenting a feature fiction film project. Deadline: April 30th, 2015. For more information: www.torinofilmlab.it/tfl-distribution-fund.php

Don’t miss your chance to apply!

March 13, 2015 at 6:34AM, Edited March 13, 6:34AM

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Taliesin Nexus is seeking applications for the Liberty Lab for Film program, which provides grants of $10,000 to seven teams of filmmakers to create a short film or web series with a liberty-related theme. Each team of two filmmakers will be assigned a mentor from among our faculty of seasoned Hollywood professionals, screenwriters and producers whose credits include hit TV shows like The Blacklist and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, and hit movies like American Pie II and Liar Liar (with Jim Carrey).

In 100 days (beginning this June), you will write, shoot and edit a short film or web series with a production budget of $10,000 (or more), with the advice and feedback of one of our experienced mentors. The completed films will be screened at a prestigious Hollywood theater before an audience of industry insiders. The first- and second-rated films will win $2000 and $1000, respectively.

Successful applicants will have some background in film or television and a sample work (script or video) to show us. You also must submit a one-page treatment for your story idea, which must explore the theme of liberty in an interesting way.

Applying is free; the process is entirely online through the Taliesin Nexus website.
Applications are due May 15. Find out more at http://talnexus.com/llf.

April 23, 2015 at 5:23PM

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