Writer-director Russell Max Simon and his team wanted to see if they could pull off a Primer, à la Shane Carruth, or an El Mariachi, à la Robert Rodriguez—that is, to make a Sundance-worthy feature film for a mere $7,000. And so, with lots of careful planning and a four-day shoot, they completed their film #humbled. Whether or not it makes it to Park City remains to be seen, but the point is that they indeed created an entire production on the micro-est of budgets, and now they want to help you do the same.

The new 7K Film Grants is part screenwriting competition, part investment plan. If you can prove to Simon's team that you can make a great feature with a $7K budget, they will give you the cash to do it. It works a bit differently than a typical grant, in that it's more like a financier situation; if your film makes money, then you pay the $7K back and split additional profits with 7K Films. (30 percent will go to 7K Films, and you will keep 70 percent.) Simon says that this structure mimics common deals that low-budget filmmakers make with production companies. 

Your total budget must be under $7K, not a penny more.

According to Film Freeway, the decision-makers are looking for submissions with:

  • A track record of making high-quality films on shoe-string budgets
  • A great treatment for a feature film, or a feature-length script, preferably on the shorter side, 80 - 100 pages
  • A letter and materials which describe how you will make this film on a $7K budget

Note that your total budget must be under $7K, and not a penny more (and $700 of it must be allocated to marketing and promotion of your film). Fortunately, there aren't many other eligibility restrictions. Applicants must be 18 years old, and while international submissions are encouraged, the script must be in English and the film must be appropriate for an American audience.

If you're up for the challenge, the regular deadline is September 9, and the late deadline is September 30. Apply via Film Freeway.