At No Film School, we like nothing better than when members of our filmmaking community help each other get more great projects out into the world. That's exactly what San Francisco-based director Michael Morgenstern is setting out to do with the new American Muslim Storytellers grants. The grants offer $1-4,000 and producing support to filmmakers who are aiming to "challenge existing depictions of Islam and Muslims" with their work.
The best part is that, even if you are not a Muslim storyteller yourself, you can help get these films made by supporting the IndieGoGo campaign from which the fund will be generated. As Morgenstern put it, "Anyone who believes that Muslims deserve a powerful voice today can give directly to people who want to tell their own stories."
The deadline for both filmmaker applications and donating to the fund is Friday, February 24. However, if you're looking to apply with a film idea, the sooner the better, as the team will be granting awards on a rolling basis even before the contest closes.
Judges for the grant are an impressive lineup, including Indiewire Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris and four-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Justin Mashouf. Even more useful to applicants is the group of film professionals who have signed on to help realize your film's vision if you win, including Morgenstern himself, along with cinematographers Dagmar Weaver-Madsen and Autumn Moran, cinematographer/editor Cameron Marshad, director Olivia Newman, and colorist/motion graphics artist A.J. Russo.
- Short films or projects involving video that celebrate or articulate the American-Muslim experience in the U.S.
- Preference given to projects that will be released before July
- Preference given to projects created by Muslim-Americans
- The team will consider your past projects for artistic skill and internet engagement, but we will be funding new, less established creators as well as professionals.
- Grant is open to all ages
- Only one submission per applicant
- Grant amount will be determined by judges, based on your proposal
- Grant money will be given in three stages: 50% on approval of project, 25% on submission of first rough cut, and 25% on project release
- Additional judges may be added over the course of the grant disbursement period