A Massive List of Summer 2018 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About
Will it be a cruel, cruel summer for you? Not if you get your hands on some funding for your next project!
Bananarama had it right with the burning pavements and blazing overalls, but if you check out our latest summer grants list, you might find something here that's not too hot to handle. As always, the following opportunities are organized by deadline—from late May through early September—and by category: documentaries, narratives, screenwriting, and new media.
Note: An asterisk next to the grant title means there is an equivalent grant for both doc and narrative.
As always, use your best judgment when deciding to apply.
Still from SFFILM Documentary Film Fund recipient 'How to Have an American Baby' directed by Leslie Tai.Credit: How to Have an American Baby
If you have a documentary in post-production, the San Francisco Film Society wants to help you finish it. So far, it has granted $650,000 in finishing funds for documentaries that went on to achieve great acclaim, such as Zachary Heinzerling's Cutie and the Boxer, which won Sundance's Directing Award for documentary and was nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. From SFFILM:
The SFFILM Documentary Film Fund (DFF) supports riveting documentaries in post-production distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach...DFF grants are awarded once each year. Exact amounts of individual grants and the number of grants made will be determined on an annual basis.
Deadline: May 16 (Regular), June 6 (Late)
Among other things, the Spotlight on Documentaries that takes place in the Project Forum during IFP Film Week allows filmmakers to take part in pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with potential financing and distribution partners and speed dating meetings with festival programmers. From IFP:
Spotlight on Documentaries is an extremely successful and viable forum for U.S. and International buyers, sales agents, and financiers to meet with filmmakers with new documentary feature and serialized projects. Presenting 60+ documentary projects ranging from those at an early financing stage (i.e. early development or in production) to those nearing completion (i.e. in post-production or at a rough cut stage), this section includes emerging and established filmmakers working in non-fiction.
Deadline: May 22 (Final)
Continuing to expand, the organizers of Camden International Film Festival have expanded the Points North Fellowship for six lucky filmmakers to receive two All Access passes to the festival, four nights of accommodations, and a stipend to subsidize their travel to Camden for the Points North Pitch and industry mentorship to launch their doc project. From CIFF:
The Points North Fellowship is a unique opportunity for six filmmakers (or filmmaking teams) to accelerate the development of their feature-length documentary projects through a combination of funding, focused mentorship, workshops, industry meetings and a public pitch session at the Camden International Film Festival.
Deadline: May 25 (Regular), June 29 (Extended)
Could you use some time to work on your next short film? How about that and 7 nights of accommodations on the picturesque coast of Maine, a $1,000 travel stipend with a rental car, and two passes to the Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum? If that sounds like just what you need, check out this initiative from Points North Institute:
Taking place September 9 – 16, the Shortform Editing Residency provides a focused, creative space for independent nonfiction filmmakers and multimedia journalists to work on their short films or episodic documentaries with guidance from experienced mentors. Past mentors have included representatives from Field of Vision, VICE, Vimeo, Great Big Story (CNN) and Netflix.
Deadline: May 25 (Regular), June 29 (Extended)
If you're looking to develop an Australian documentary or co-production, you could get up to $30,000 for development from Screen Australia:
Screen Australia’s Documentary Development program assists experienced documentary makers to achieve planned outcomes for the development of their projects. This could include further research, writing the next draft of a script or treatment, strategic shooting and/or editing to attract marketplace development or production finance, or compiling a sizzle reel.
Deadline: June 8 (for July 20 decision)
If you're a female filmmaker in the early part of your career and want to make a powerful short film that can inspire positive social change around issues that affect women, you could get funds for a short film to kickstart your career. From Glassbreaker Films:
Catalyst Grants allow a diverse group of young filmmakers to conceive of a short, innovative and original digital project to receive funding and mentorship to bring it to life and kickstart their career. All stories must be produced within the US, and funding is capped at $7,000 per grant. Each project must be completed within 2-3 months of funding. There is not one standard form for these projects, but they must be artful and innovative, and there must be proof that they can be produced within the timeline and budget.
If you're a Canadian documentary filmmaker with feature documentary under your belt, you could score $20,000 towards production on your next film. From Hot Docs:
Over the coming 10 years, production grants will be distributed to Canadian documentary filmmakers. Up to $20,000 will be granted to three or four projects each year. The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund will provide successful applicants with a grant of up to 20 per cent of the total production costs to a maximum of $20,000. Eligible costs include those that are standard in the industry during production.
Deadline: June 20
Launched by Videocamp at the UN on World Down Syndrome day, this fund is open to documentary, narrative, or animated filmmakers for a whopping $400,000 for one film that will tackle the theme of “inclusive education”. From Videocamp:
We are seeking a curious and sensitive director with the creative vision to make an important film that breaks down barriers related to attitudes, pedagogy, architecture, or communication. This film is also sensitive to interpersonal relationships that emphasize diversity, as well as collaborative strategies and inclusive support networks. Finally, this is a film that will broaden social perceptions about how all students, with and without disabilities, benefit from an education that is founded upon inclusive citizenship, and which fosters community through a commitment to diversity.
Deadline: June 21
For both US and international filmmakers, POV is known as the best of American public television's showcase of independent documentaries, offering a highly competitive sum for broadcast distribution of films each season. From POV:
POV, public television's premier showcase for independent, nonfiction film, seeks programs from all perspectives to showcase in its annual PBS series. All subjects, aesthetic approaches and lengths are welcomed.
Deadline: June 23
If you're a documentary filmmaker based in either one of the 12 MEDA countries that constitute the Mediterranean or one of the 28 EU countries, consider this Euro-Mediterranean doc market where between 20 and 30 selected films pitch to TV executives and professionals. From MEDIMED:
MEDIMED is calling for entries of new documentary projects-in-development having in place a minimum of 25% of their budget and/or a broadcast guarantee or a co-production agreement. We are looking for European and Southern Mediterranean producers and filmmakers that can provide independently produced documentaries, projects engaging in creative risks, advancing issues and presenting points of views not often seen on television...We are also looking for finished European documentary productions of any genre produced in 2016 or 2017.
Deadline: June 30
A still from 'Baby Brother' by Kamau Bilal, a participant in the Points North Institute Shortform Editing Residency.
The International Documentary Association will awards up to $15,000 from the Fund for feature length documentaries that are contemporary and of an urgent or critically important nature. From IDA:
The IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund provides development funds to documentary film projects taking on in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories and integrating journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. Inclusion and diversity, both in terms of the filmmaking team and subject matter, are a priority of the fund.
Deadline: Opens June 2018, typically closes September
While Hot Docs hasn't yet announced the guidelines for this year's fund, typically, if you are a resident of and are shooting a project on the continent of Africa, you could get mentorship, consideration for NY Op-Docs, and between $10,000 CDN to $40,000 CDN depending on your state of production. From Hot Docs:
The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund (HDBI) offers grants in two separate categories Development and Production. Approximately four to 10 projects are awarded each year. All successful applications will be considered for the up to five mentorship program slots, and select applicants will be invited to apply to The New York Times—Op-Docs under the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund banner.
Deadline: Opens June TBA
If you're working on a documentary that touches on mountain culture or the environment, the MountainFilm Commitment Grant will typically award filmmakers with cash and a computer. From MountainFilm:
Mountainfilm is committed to help creative individuals tell stories that support our mission. Each year, we award a total of $30,000 in grants to filmmakers, photographers, artists and adventurers whose projects are intended to inspire audiences to create a better world. Interested parties should apply if they’re creating a work that can be presented in a theater, gallery or on television and online. We seek projects that will have positive and tangible effects on specific and vital issues. It's also essential that the project is invested with both the passion and capacity to be completed fully.
Deadline: July TBA
If you live in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, you could get $5K for a project in the research and development stage, or $10K for a film in pre-production, production, or post-production. From the SDF:
If you've got a film project where team leadership reflects the communities whose story is being told, we want to hear from you! Project already underway? Check out the $10,000 Production Grants. Have a great idea but need time to flush it out, research its feasibility or simply make a trailer? Maybe the $5,000 Research and Development grants are a better fit...Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) is a trusted partner for veteran, emerging, and first-time documentary producers across our region, helping them direct their lenses and microphones at powerful Southern stories and critical issues.
Deadline: June 15
If you're a film based in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and you're looking for either production or post-production support, Visions Sud Est has typically awarded 20,000 Swiss francs on narrative features and 10,000 Swiss francs for documentaries. From Visions Sud Est:
The Swiss fund visions sud est was initiated in 2005 by the Foundation trigon-film Baden and the Fribourg Film Festival, with the collaboration of Nyon's Visions du Reel and the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. In 2011, the Festival del film Locarno has joined the fund as new partner. The fund supports film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, aims at making them visible worldwide and guarantees their distribution in Switzerland.
Deadline: July 31
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:
Throughout the year we can offer professional consultancies to Scotland-based filmmakers and for projects (shorts and features) in development, production or distribution. Our consultants include SDI core team members as well as first rate UK based and international external advisors.
Deadline: July TBA; new deadline every 2 months
Presuming the National Endowment for the Humanities continues to have a budget, you can continue to apply with documentaries that address the humanities. The application process isn't easy—you need an experienced team, a non-profit organization or fiscal sponsor, two humanities advisors, and a lengthy application. Ken Burns' project descriptions are rumored to have been around 40 pages, but the payoff is worth it: one-to-three-year grants in the $100,000 - $650,000 range. From NEH:
NEH encourages projects that feature multiple formats to engage the public in the exploration of humanities ideas. Film and television projects may be single programs or a series addressing significant figures, events, or ideas and drawing their content from humanities scholarship. They must be intended for national distribution. The program welcomes projects ranging in length from short-form to broadcast-length video.
Deadline: August 8
Like the above production grants, the development grants are for documentaries that address topics in the humanities, and the application process is just as extensive. The awards range from $40,000 to $75,000. From NEH:
Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production. Grants should result in a script or a design document and should also yield a detailed plan for outreach and public engagement in collaboration with a partner organization or organizations.
Deadline: August 8
The Alter-Ciné Foundation offers grants to filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America with a documentary project in your native language that fits in with the aims of the Foundation. From Alter-Ciné:
Every year, the Foundation awards a grant of 10,000 Canadian dollars and a few 5,000 Canadian dollars grants to some filmmakers to assist in the production of a documentary project. The grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation, as explained above.
Deadline: August 15
If you have a work-in-progress for a standard broadcast length film, this co-production funding of $150,000 to $350,000 from ITVS is the stuff doc dreams are made from. From ITVS:
We’re looking for exceptional storytelling that’s in line with our mission: stories that take risks, tackle important issues, and are seldom seen in public media. We know how hard you’ve worked on your project, and we’ll partner with you to help you finish it, then distribute it on public television.
Deadline: Opens June 18, typically closes August TBA
The Center for Asian American Media will award between $15,000 and $50,000 for public television appropriate documentary programs. From CAAM:
The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.
Deadlines: Opens September 1
A core component of Sundance's Documentary Film Program, this competitive grant looks for artful films about relevant topics, and it can get you $20,000 to $50,000, depending on the application type (Development, Production/PostProduction, Audience Engagement). From the Sundance Institute:
The Sundance Documentary Fund provides grants to filmmakers worldwide for projects that display: artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience. Preference is given to projects that convey clear story structure, higher stakes and contemporary relevance, forward going action or questions, demonstrated access to subjects, and quality use of film craft.
If your documentary has the potential to make a difference when it comes to an important issue, the Fledgling Fund will support Outreach and Engagement to an average $10,000 to $25,000, and Rapid Story Deployment with $2,500 to $10,000. From the Fledgling Fund:
Fledgling has an open rolling application process for grants to support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the health and well being of the most vulnerable.
This new fund offers £10,000 to 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, and bring attention to unreported issues, and cameras into regions previously unseen.
If you're just starting out on a documentary, you know how hard it is to raise money when you have nothing to show. Because, hey, you need money to shoot something to show! The Catapult Film Fund will give you $5,000 to $20,000 to shoot enough footage so you can fundraise for the rest of the project. From Catapult:
Catapult Film Fund provides development funding to documentary filmmakers who have a compelling story to tell, have secured access to their story, and are ready to shoot and edit a piece for production fundraising purposes. Our mission is to enable filmmakers to develop their films to the next level at a moment where funding is hard to find.
Directed and written by Christina Choe, 'Nancy' was a recipient of the Women in Film Finishing Fund.
From emerging showrunners to international directors, IFP's well-attended Film Week is a must for your narrative project to be showcased in front of financiers, distributors, and programmers. From IFP:
The newly-revamped No Borders program offers both narrative feature filmmakers and series creators the opportunity to attend IFP Week and meet with various members of industry in an effort to help move their projects forward, broaden their networks, and find a level of career sustainability.
Deadline: May 22
Have a comedy series in mind? NVTVF, a year-round development incubator, has a new initiative with truTV for a would-be comedic content creator to gain exposure, awards and development deals with Lionsgate, NatGeo, the Travel Channel, and Sundance Channel, to name a few. From NVTVF:
truTV is partnering with the NYTVF to find the next generation of distinct comedic voices to create unscripted comedy-based formats. Through the truTV Comedy Breakout Initiative, an outstanding content creator will be chosen to develop a project in partnership with truTV.
Deadline: May 26
To honor the late artist David Ross Fetzer, the DRFF offers grants to up-and-coming filmmakers under 35, and in their fifth year will award three $5,000 grants, including one gear incentive package provided by Film Exchange. From the Davey Foundation:
The goal of the Foundation is to provide opportunities for young, emerging filmmakers and playwrights to have their work produced and shown on screens and theatres in Utah, and nationally...The Davey Foundation to date has awarded thirteen short film grants to some amazing emerging filmmakers whose films have been included in festivals nationally and internationally, and have been nominated for and won prestigious film prizes (such as Nick Dixon’s Emmy-award winning “Mine” and Vika Evdokimenko’s BAFTA-nominated “Aamir”). Others have gone on to write, produce, and direct feature films (such as Lauren Wolkstein’s “The Strange Ones.”)
Deadline: May 31 (Extended)
Now in its seventh season, the Taliesin Nexus’ Smash Cut Film Lab will give you $10K to make a short from start to finish, with this year's theme oriented towards a film that can be adapted from an original source. From Taliesin Nexus:
The SmashCut Film Lab is an advanced program for those who have filmmaking, screenwriting, producing experience and want an opportunity to work alongside like-minded creatives with the guidance of seasoned professionals such as Daniel Knauf, (executive producer, NBC’s The Blacklist) screenwriters Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu, Cold), Paul Guay (Liar Liar), David H. Steinberg(American Pie 2) and Courtney Balaker (Little Pink House) in developing, writing, filming and editing your short film or web series idea.
Deadline: May 31
Specifically for New England filmmakers, the LEF Moving Image Fund supports original and creative films with 4-6 pre-production funds of $5,000. From LEF:
Pre-production funds may be used for research, travel, location scouting, script or storyboard development, experimentation with shooting picture and sound, distribution planning, fundraising, creating a trailer, and schedule and budget development.
Deadline: June 1
Are you a student looking to jumpstart your career? ADAA can offer the chance for mentorship, detailed feedback, career boot camps, internships, and more. From ADAA:
Free to submit, ADAA entrants at all levels have access to an outstanding array of prizes and benefits designed to launch their careers, from detailed feedback on their work to free Adobe products to VIP attendance at the very best creative conference in the world.
Deadline: June 4
Teaming up with Stella Artois for the second year, this fund will give out four grants of up to $25,000 in funds and in-kind donations to films that inspire social change (with special consideration for films with a water theme) and general grants anywhere between $1,000 - $15,000. From WIF:
The Women In Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats, in all genres — narrative, documentary, animated and experimental. To apply for the Finishing Fund, the filmmaker must have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of application (rough cuts must be uploaded at time of submission).
Deadline: May 30 (Early), June 15 (Regular)
If you're an Australian-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, including up to 65% of your feature film budget if it meets the criteria. 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: June 8 (for August 27 decision)
SOC Development Grants will support the research and development phases for documentary/nonfiction projects; story development and scripting for fiction projects; and a range of research, scoping and scripting activities for developing storytelling projects on emerging platforms. SOC Production Grants will support the production phase of documentary/nonfiction, fiction, and emerging storytelling platform projects. Projects considered for SOC Production Grants must be fully developed and ready for the preproduction phase and/or filming (example: completed script, confirmed story and subjects/characters). The SOC Production Grant cap is USD $50,000.
Deadline: June 15
This grant, established through New York Women in Film and Television, gives funds to a female filmmaker with a rough cut of a film of any genre that touches on disability issues. From NYWFT:
Through the generosity of Loreen Arbus, New York Women in Film and Television has established the Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant. The film completion grant for $7,500 will be awarded to a woman filmmaker for a film on physical or developmental disability issues. Directors and producers are eligible to apply.
Deadline: June 22
If you're a South Carolina filmmaker with a short film that script that could be at least 75% shot in SC, you could score big with a production grant to the tune of $35,000 brought to you by The South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College. From INDIE GRANTS:
Created to support indigenous South Carolina production professionals and generate professional training environments for TTC film students, the INDIE GRANTS have funded and produced 30 short films since 2010. These projects have been official selections of international film festivals like Sundance, Palm Springs, Austin Film Festival, FantasticFest, Cucalorus, Tall Grass, Slamdance, Stiges, Oxford, Nashville Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Indie Memphis, LA Film Festival, DragonCon, and many more.
Deadline: June 29
From Brooklyn-based production company Flies Collective, helmed by indie filmmakers Daniel Patrick Carbone, Matthew Petock, and Zach Shedd, this grant, now in its second year, is offering up $15,000 to bold filmmakers working with low budgets. From Flies Collective:
The Flies Collective Film Grant was created last year because we recognized there was a growing need for additional support for projects within the independent space. We wanted to offer no-strings-attached support — both financial and moral — to a diverse group of bold filmmakers, with a special focus on the kinds of projects that go largely unnoticed by, or simply don’t qualify for, the majority of traditional grant-based fundraising avenues. This grant is open to any filmmaker making any film. We are thrilled to be doing this for a second year and look forward to receiving projects that are distinct, creative and unique.
Deadline: June 30
'Nettles' directed by Raven Jackson is a recipient of the 2017 Flies Collective Film Grant.Credit: Flies Collective
We are excited to announce the GLAS Animation Grant Program is now accepting applications. For the first round of grants there will be two separate $2500 grants to be awarded to two individual filmmakers to create independent animated short films. As filmmakers ourselves, we felt that there was a vacuum of funding opportunities available in the United States to animators working outside of a commercial context, making bold, artistic work. We are proud to support these strong artistic voices and help bring new films into the world.
Deadline: June 30
The Roy Dean Summer Grant includes over $30,000 of in-kind services, including $3,500 cash, is open for shorts, docs, and feature films with a budget under $500,000. 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: June 30
Brought to you by ScreenCraft and Bondit, this Fund has been expanded to shorts, features, docs, and series, with up to $30K in financing and production services. From ScreenCraft:
In partnership with BondIt Media Capital, a film & media fund based in Beverly Hills, ScreenCraft is offering two production grants per year to talented filmmakers for narrative features, short films and TV pilot series scripts and documentaries that display originality, vision & exceptional potential. Grant amounts will vary from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the scale and merit of each project. This program includes creative development from the ScreenCraft team and production guidance and resources from BondIt Media Capital and Buffalo 8 Productions.
Deadline: June 30 (Final)
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: June/July (check for your specific region)
If you have a production company in Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Caucasus, or a German production company with a partner in one of those areas, you could get € 80,000 for your next narrative feature or documentary. From Berlinale's WCF:
Together with the Federal Foundation for Culture and in cooperation with the Goethe Institute, the Foreign Ministry and German producers, the World Cinema Fund works to develop and support cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, while fostering cultural diversity in German cinemas. The World Cinema Fund supports films 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: July 6
This is an initiative from the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam dedicated to funding script development by filmmakers from developing countries. Since the fund started in 1988, well over 530 projects from independent filmmakers in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America have received support. From IFFR:
A Script and Project Development grant can be used for the further development of a script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant), but can also be used to present a project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals. The maximum contribution for Script and Project Development is €10,000.
Deadline: August 1
For Arab directors and producers living in the Arab region or in the diaspora, you could anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for a narrative project of any length. From AFAC:
As part of its 2018 general grants program, AFAC is pleased to launch the open call for applications in the category of cinema, starting May 1st and until August 1st, 2018. AFAC’s cinema grants are open to all kinds of fiction film projects – shorts, medium- and feature-length, animation, essay, hybrid, experimental and others. AFAC offers funding for the development, production and post-production phases.
Deadline: August 1
Prepping your feature film? Apply to be a part of this eight-week Lab to get you ready. From FIND:
Under the guidance of established industry professionals who serve as Creative Advisors, Directing Lab Fellows receive script feedback, discuss their visions, and select short scenes from their screenplays to workshop. Each director then casts actors and rehearses their scenes in the Lab before undertaking a mini-production: Film Independent provides Fellows with digital camera, lighting and sound packages and small stipends to shoot their scenes, and offers access to experienced casting directors, cinematographers, and editors with whom to collaborate and consult. The process creates an opportunity to see the work through from pre- to post-production, and culminates in a group screening for fellow Lab participants and Advisors.
Deadline: August 13
Be a part of this lab that runs from January through September to get access to mentoring, workshops, and networking events. From FIND:
Project Involve is a free, intensive, nine-month annual program that offers 30 up-and-coming film professionals from under-represented communities the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, utilize free or low-cost production resources and ultimately gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.
Deadline: August 13
Want $3,000 and a chance to screen on WeedTV? Check out this new initiative coming out of From the Heart Productions:
The Player’s Network Cannabis Media Grant supports the creation of cannabis related content that showcases a forward thinking view in the cannabis industry. The Player’s Network Cannabis Media Grant seeks heartfelt documentaries, short films, features, and web series that reveal how cannabis has benefited and changed people’s lives...From the Heart Productions is able to offer the Player’s Network Cannabis Media Grant thanks to the support and a generous donation from the Player’s Network.
Deadline: August 31
If you are in the process of shooting or in post-production on a film from Central Europe, Mediterranean and South-eastern European, register for this opportunity for industry exposure and awards up to 70.000€ held in November. From Thessaloniki IFF:
The Agora Works in Progress are sessions only for the industry professionals invited in Thessaloniki and are being presented to our invited sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers. The Agora Works in Progress are focusing on films in post or under production from Central Europe, Mediterranean and South-eastern European countries.
Deadline: September 11
A new initiative from the Francis Ford Coppola founded American Zoetrope, this contest calls for a short film. From American Zoetrope:
At Zoetrope: All-Story and Francis Ford Coppola Winery, we believe anyone has the potential to be one of the greats. Prove us right: enter your 3- to 10-minute short film in the FRANCIS COPPOLA DIRECTOR’S SHORT FILM COMPETITION for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize and have your film screened at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery lounge at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival!
Deadline: TBA, typically end of Summer
In a revamped version of its ongoing program, CineMark is a place to get your film seen—and possibly financed—by the international film community, CineMart, hosted by the prestigious International Rotterdam Film Festival. For its 2019 session, CineMart will chooses about 15 projects to get one-on-one meetings with financiers and distributors. From IFFR:
As part of IFFR PRO, CineMart’s trademark is the informal and highly productive atmosphere. With the aim to optimise project’s opportunities within the marketplace, we have downsized the selection to around 15 projects that will benefit from a streamlined and tailor-made programme and meeting schedule.
Deadline: TBA, typically opens in August, Closes in September
Need help releasing your film as far and wide as it can possibly go? Why not let the people at Sundance (formerly called #ArtistServices) be your guide. From the Sundance Institute:
We are seeking films at all budget levels featuring distinctive, singular voices. We will select three or four films on a rolling basis, and we will support fellows during their initial release period (6 - 12 months). Films will be selected by a committee comprised of the Creative Distribution team along with key representatives from the Institute’s Feature Film, Documentary, and Festival programs. Our evaluation process will have two stages. We will initially review applications reviewing essay questions and a trailer or clip. After this initial review, we will invite select applicants to submit their feature in its entirety, and notify others that their project has been declined.
Deadline: Open Until Full
Back with a new submission process and portal, Cinereach will award between $5,000-$50,000 to over 20 films each year! From Cinereach:
Cinereach develops, produces, finances, and supports feature-length fiction, nonfiction and hybrid films crafted for the big screen. We look for projects (at any stage) that create deep and lasting impressions through story, character, or cinematic approach. We seek to work with both unknown and established filmmakers who may face creative, financial or systemic obstacles to realizing ambitious visions.
If you are a student or a low-budget indie maker, 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.
If you have a nearly completed (or finished) a narrative film with a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician, this grant could be for you. From FIND:
The Sloan Distribution Grant will be a $50,000 grant awarded by Film Independent to a film that is entering its distribution phase...Eligible films must depict themes, stories, and characters grounded in real science, technology or economics.
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. We are looking for work that is truly compelling and stories that are truly unique.
Deadline: June 11 (Regular)
If you are a UK-based writer with a focus on content for chidlren, you could be one of three projects selected for a BAFTA showcase and industry introductions for this particular call. From Rocliffe:
A fantastic Industry showcase at BAFTA's London HQ with professional actors and directors, industry introductions, access to bespoke masterclasses, an in depth script report on your complete screenplay, a featured spot on the Forum List and a tailored career planning and profile building session to provide support in navigating the industry.
Deadline: July 18
Here's your chance to win $5,000 and get your script recognized for its compelling narrative by Francis Ford Coppola in the 15th Annual Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest. From American Zoetrope:
The mission of the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest is to find and promote new and innovative voices in cinema. Every script is read closely by a select handful of professional readers, and Francis Ford Coppola selects a grand prize–winner from among the top ten finalists. The grand prize–winner receives a cash prize, and the scripts of all top ten finalists are sent by Zoetrope to leading production companies and talent agencies for consideration.
Deadline: June 30 (early), September 1 (final)
If you are a UK-based writer with a script, you could be one of three projects selected for the BAFTA showcase. From Rocliffe:
Not only do the finalists receive a selection of fantastic prizes, including an industry showcase at BAFTA, but unlike other initiatives with thousands of entries, our more personal approach gets the finalist and Forum List entries directly in front of execs, agents and producers at our selection panels and juries. To be selected as a finalist, your entry has to have been read and recommended at least four times. That's a lot of eyes on your work and it's before we even announce the winners!
Deadline: September 26 (Opens August 1)
Adobe CC 2017 with a focus on VRCredit: Adobe
If you have a humanities-themed project that is intended for distribution on new media, check out this grant from NEH:
Digital platforms—such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments—can reach diverse audiences and bring the humanities to life for the American people. The program offers three levels of support for digital projects: grants for Discovery projects (early-stage planning work), Prototyping projects (proof-of-concept development work), and Production projects (end-stage production and distribution work).
Deadline: June 6
In this partnership with Google's Daydream, 5 teams/projects will be selected to attend a VR Lab in New York City in July 2018, and each team will receive $40,000, a Yi Halo camera among other things! From TFI:
Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive Programs partners with Google’s Daydream team to bring you the Immersive Films Program: a program to support creators who want to further explore the medium of virtual reality. We are co-hosting a VR Lab and inviting teams to submit projects/ideas under the theme ‘5 Elements of Nature.’ From ancient civilizations and outer space, to our bodies and daily consumption, we want you to activate your senses and use the 5 marvelous elements of nature (EARTH, WATER, WIND, FIRE, SPACE) to explore futurism, politics, reality, fiction, or any topic you are passionate about.
If you're passionate about VR and would like to cultivate your skills and a relationship with HTC Vive, not to mention get some funding and industry connections, consider applying to VIVE X. From Vive:
Our mission is simple: We want to help cultivate, foster and grow the global VR ecosystem by supporting startups and providing them with education, investment and mentorship. Shape the future today by participating in our accelerator programs located in Beijing, San Francisco, Taipei, ShenZhen , Tel Aviv and more locations to come.
Deadline: June 30
Looking for investment in your super cool VR project? Comprised of 47 VR investors who hold investment meetings every two months between San Francisco and Shenzen holds their next session in SF in June. From VRCVA:
We invest in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed reality startups of any size from anywhere around the world. We meet six times a year with our base of operations out of Beijing and San Francisco. Our network spans the entire globe, so it doesn't matter where you are, as long as you are doing something game-changing, we want to help you realize your dream. We are not searching for the next technology revolution because it is already here. We are searching for the next entrepreneur to lead it.
Deadline: Open Deadline, Next Meeting in June
If you have 3D contents for cinema, TV, and VR (preferably cinematic VR), and are from a region below, why not submit? From Stereopsia:
On behalf of the Advanced Imaging Society based in Hollywood, CA, Stereopsia organizes - for the 7th consecutive year - the competitions for the “Lumiere Awards” for the territory consisting of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).
The golden statuettes are awarded to the best 3D contents for 3D cinema, 3DTV, and 3D cinematic VR.
Deadline: September 1
Are you a VR content developer who can build on and support the open ecosystem? This $5million fund from Razer could be worth looking in to. From OSVR:
OSVR knows that VR content developers can’t afford to be limited by walled gardens and closed ecosystems. By supporting OSVR, developers can not only remain focused on creating the best VR experience without any limitations, but instantly gain audience as new VR platforms get released. This fund is open to all developers, indie or major, to apply. For every successful applicant, OSVR funding partners will purchase copies of their content in exchange for OSVR integration.
This $1million dollar fund from Merge could get you funding for your project. From Merge:
We’re committed to supporting your vision and want to invest in you! Whether you’re building an educational game, a digital toy, or another innovative AR/VR experience, we want to help make your ideas a reality.
Positioned as an intimate VR community of no more than 200 creators, Kaleidoscope acceptance could lead to funding from the likes of Oculus and invitations to events like World Tour and the DevLab content accelerator. From Kaleidoscope:
At Kaleidoscope our mission is to give independent VR creators and studios the resources they need to do great work. An invite-only community, Kaleidoscope helps secure financing, distribution and exposure for premium VR content.
If you have a film that incorporates all that is cool about science and you have a fiscal sponsor that can accept the award for you (like the Sloan-funded VR film about LIGO) like this New Media grant could be worth exploring. From Sloan:
Program goal: Advance public understanding and engagement with science through the support of innovative projects that use a range of media to reach a broad, cross-cultural audience. Grants support both traditional and web-native media that fall outside the other Public Understanding programs. Supported media types include opera, dance, music, museum exhibits, interactive games, smartphone apps, ebooks, web-native video, conferences, art and science festivals, and other cultural events.
- IFP’s Guide to Granting Organizations — IFP
- POV's Documentary Funding Calendar — PBS
- indiefilmTO's The Ultimate Guide To Grant Writing (For Filmmakers In 2018)
- Huffington Post's Best Screenwriting Contests & Fellowships of 2018 — HuffPo
Keep an eye on our Grants, Contests & Awards section where we will be sharing new opportunities that come up throughout the season.
Do you know of a grant or other opportunity that's not listed here? Share in the comments!
Featured image of the IFP Spotlight on Docs participant ''I Am Another Your' by Nanfu Wang.