Making a Sports Short? Here’s $25K For You

The TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize awards grad students making story-driven films about athletics.

When you’re in film school, there are two ever-present questions: what is my next film going to be about, and how am I going to fund it? The TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize might help you answer both, with its generous grant offered to those making “short-form documentaries highlighting the exceptionally creative work of an athletic community or organization that is working towards solving social issues in the United States or globally.”

Yes, this is a very specific mandate, but the great news about that is that the pool of applicants will be smaller, thus increasing your chances to grab the award. Submissions are open until August 16, and you can review the primary regulations below.

McKayla by Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
The forthcoming 'McKayla' by Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, about an amputee triathlete, was one of last year's winners.
  • Applicants must be over 18 years old and registered students pursuing a graduate level degree in media arts from one of schools listed on the prize site. (These are schools that TFI has deemed as having “exemplary MFA and MA programs in journalism, documentary film, anthropology and communications.”)
  • Submissions must be short-form documentaries with an intended length of 10-40 minutes. Feature length films or films with an intended length of over 40 minutes are not eligible.
  • Submissions can be in either the advanced stages of development or already production, but must not have been distributed or exhibited in any way (including television, public screenings, theatrical or online).
  • Foreign language documentaries are eligible, but must be subtitled and suitable for an American audience.

Submit here, and you can contact the Tribeca Film Institute directly with more questions.     

Your Comment


How is the basketball one with the $100,000 kickstarter going? Is it gonna be released soon?

July 30, 2016 at 10:11AM


Yeah, on Netflix (who's also producing it). Pretty baller, huh?

July 30, 2016 at 11:21AM

John Morse
Producer + Director

Sounds good, I have to try.

November 29, 2019 at 12:36PM


Yes, I also want to try

November 29, 2019 at 6:37PM


Between the creation of a short film for consort, you can watch sports broadcasts. November 30, a lot of great basketball matches. The game schedule can be found here .

November 30, 2019 at 10:59AM

You voted '-1'.

Without sport, many people can't imagine their lives

December 3, 2019 at 11:12AM