2013 Documentary Grant from AbelCine Will Award $100,000 in Canon C300 Rental Packages

AbelCine doc grantFilm and video equipment and service provider AbelCine announced the 2013 AbelCine Documentary Grant yesterday, calling on filmmakers to submit 2-5 minute Vimeo videos pitching their longer documentary projects. Each of three winners will receive $33,000 which can be applied to their choice of a Canon C300 rental packages and lenses from AbelCine. US Residents 18 years and older are eligible to apply; hit the jump for deets.

Applicants must upload their 2-5 minute Vimeo pitches by 11:59pm EST, August 20, 2013. At that point, voting will begin as applicants compete for the most Vimeo Likes. The top ten most liked pitch videos will then be viewed by a committee consisting of filmmakers Mark Benjamin, Ellen Kuras, ASC, and Peter Schnall in addition to "AbelCine and Canon experts" who will select the three winning projects.  Judging criteria will include "the strength of the submission, the compelling nature of the topic, as well as the likelihood that the completed project will exemplify the art of non-fiction storytelling."

Winners will receive $33k in rental funds covering their choice of the following three packages:

Package A

Package B

Package C

In case the grant doesn't cover your full shooting schedule, the winners will get further rentals from AbelCine at a 25% discount. All the equipment is available from AbelCine’s locations in New York, NY and Burbank, CA, so finalists not able to travel to these locations to pick up their gear should get in touch with AbelCine directly.

If you're already in production on a documentary but not shooting with the C300, check out AbelCine's custom scene profiles for the Canon C300 in our earlier coverage here.

As with any grant or pitching competition, it's important to consider the perspective of the judges on this one. Clearly as a video and film equipment house, AbelCine is looking for projects with compelling visuals that will take advantage of the strengths of the gear at hand. Let's also take a look at the aesthetic preferences of the judges. Mark Benjamin is the creator of the Sundance TV series Brick City:

Ellen Kuras, DOP on The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind among countless other giants, recently shot Public Speaking:

Peter Schnall, former Senior Producer of the National Geographic's Explorer TV series, founded Partisan Pictures in 1996:

Got a feel for the judges? Into the gear? Fill out the submission form and let us know about your applications below.

Link: 2013 AbelCine Documentary Grant

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Your Comment


This is a very nice thing your doing here. I, however, will be owning these things to give myself the time and flexibility to make my movie correctly. But this would be perfect for a struggling filmmaker. - Scott Craighead

July 24, 2013 at 8:23PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I'm sure you are not as aloof as your comment makes you sound, but I hope you do know that time and flexibility in production do not equate to "making a movie correctly." In fact, not having a solid plan before the shoot that will allow you to be efficient and precise is only going to hurt you.

July 25, 2013 at 6:41AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


FWIW, Canon is supposed to be making a "major" announcement on the 31st. Rumors have it with a new 44.1MP 4K camera in the 1D X/C (pro) style body. They're also field-testing a 75 MP (25x3) non-Bayer type camera as well. At the moment, C300 and 1D C are roughly in the same price range.

July 24, 2013 at 11:32PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


A 44.1 MP camera with a 3:2 aspect ratio would have a pixel resolutions of 8133 and 5422 in the horizontal and vertical dimensions, respectively.

That's nuts if it's still a full frame 36x24mm sensor.

July 25, 2013 at 10:35AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I heard about that 75MP one. Can't WAIT to see the output.

July 25, 2013 at 6:52PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


I'm a huge fan of the Sigma Merrills (I own a DP1). I'm assuming they're going down the same line here.
And yeah, they're definitely dropping a new 4K DSLR.

July 25, 2013 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


This is a great opportunity... for those people with a LOT of friends.

July 25, 2013 at 12:38AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Contest Guy

The "vote by vimeo-likes" model feels somewhat akin to being selected for a job based on your Klout score - It becomes more about the ability of the filmmaker to draw an audience than it does about the quality of the content. It's clever, really - but I wonder how many worthy entries will not make it through because the filmmaker doesn't have the same social influence as those who make it into the top ten.

July 25, 2013 at 6:54AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Wait, so can you actually win a c300 or do you just get to use it for your production only?

July 25, 2013 at 12:30PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Great opportunity for filmmakers in US. Wish we had such opportunities here. I had to think long and hard before I pressed the buy button. The Canon C300 is a nice camera with highly detailed files. I am loving it.

July 25, 2013 at 10:16PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


What a chance to change a filmakers life with this package!! Thanks for setting up OR promoting this giveaway, and blessings to the one that wins it.

Since this blog is followed by many from the art scene in NYC, I wanted to highlight the release of a documentary in NYC this weekend, “The Children Next Door”. It is being featured in NYC this week for it’s week long theatrical run on the shocking impact of domestic violence on children……. the producer didn’t know how the story would end when he followed the survivors of this terrifying true story …… In fact, the full impact of this story will unfold over a lifetime…

July 26, 2013 at 12:18PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM