Leave mourning over summer's end to the Mamas and the Papas: you have work to do if you want to submit to any of these grants, initiative, contests, and opportunities coming up this fall! As always, the following opportunities are organized by deadline—from late August through early December—and by category: documentaries, narratives, screenwriting, and new media.

If you're looking for a head-start on a different granting season, check out our most recent spring grants, summer grants, and winter grants roundups.

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.



93queen_1280A still from Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund recipient '93 Queen' directed by Paula Eiselt.Credit: 93 Queen

Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund

Each year, the PLDF awards $15,000 – $25,000 each to a handful of documentaries about pressing issues in the United States. From the PLDF:

The Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund will provide annual production and post production grants totaling $95,000 to be used in the creation of original, independent documentary films that illuminate pressing issues in the United States. Each year the fund will focus on select issue areas that were hallmarks of Pare Lorentz's films. In 2018 our focus is land or water.  Projects must focus on one of these areas and on one of Pare Lorentz's central concerns—the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all or the illumination of pressing social problems. 

The fund supports feature length documentary films that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz's work, exhibiting objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, high production values, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork and editing. 

Deadline: September 1

Tribeca Film Institute IF/Then Short Documentary Program: American Northeast & American South

Are you a short documentary filmmaker working or living in the Northeast or the South? There are two pitch competitions in conjunction with TFI and sponsored by DOC NYC and New Orleans Film Society respectively. From TFI:

TFI and a partner film festival selects up to 6 filmmaking teams from these submissions to present their projects at a live pitch competition at the film festival, before a jury of industry representatives.  Each team has 7 minutes to present their project after which there is a short moderated discussion with the jury. One filmmaker selected from each competition receives up to $20,000 in completion funding for his/her short film, year-round mentorship, and the opportunity to participate in the IF/Then distribution initiative.

Deadline: August 31

IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund: Development Grant

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: September 1

The Scottish Documentary Institute Consultancies 

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, these Consultancies held every two months 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: September 7 for next consultancy session

ITVS Diversity Development Fund

If you have a diverse background and could use $25,000 in research and development funding for your single nonfiction program for broadcast on public television, check out this fund from ITVS:

We’re looking for exceptional stories by filmmakers from diverse backgrounds: stories that take creative risks, inspire dialogue, and are rarely seen on public media. We are committed to supporting producers of color and creating public media programming that is truly inclusive.

Deadline: September 14

Southern Documentary Fund: North Carolina Grant

If you live or work in NC, or have a compelling documentary story set there in any part of the process other than distribution, you could apply for this grant between $1,000 - $5,000. From the SDF:

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.  The Southern Documentary Fund is proud to announce our filmmaking grants for documentaries made in or about North Carolina, funded with generous support from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

Deadline: September 14

California Documentary Project: NEXT GEN Grant

This new initiative offers $15K to train California youth in making documentaries that focus on life in their communities. From CDP:

CDP NEXT GEN grants are designed for youth media organizations in support of emerging California mediamakers age 18 and under. Presented in alignment with CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California, our new statewide initiative that focuses on the lives and experiences of young Californians, CDP NEXT GEN invites applications from California-based nonprofit organizations and public agencies with established track records in youth media programming to provide training and support to emerging mediamakers in the creation of short, insightful nonfiction films and/or podcasts that tell original stories about life in California today.

Deadline: September 14

Hot Docs CrossCurrents: Canada Doc Fund

Made possible by funds from Netflix, the CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund is open to feature or short filmmakers who are Indigenous, Francophone, Deaf, with disability, or who are artists of color, with funds ranging from $10,000 - $30,000 CDN! From Hot Docs:

A cornerstone of the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project, the CrossCurrents Canada Doc Fund is a new funding opportunity that supports a diversity of voices and perspectives with the goal of building a more vibrant, representative and sustainable industry. The Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project is a new initiative aimed at addressing systemic barriers and opportunity gaps that continue to exist within the documentary film industry. 

Deadline: September 28

Hot Docs CrossCurrents: International Fund

With up to $10,000 CDM for short films from the R&M Lang Foundation and up to $30,000 for features underwritten by the Panicaro Foundation, the International Fund is a great opportunity for projects from underrepresented and marginalized communities from around the world. From Hot Docs:

The CrossCurrents Fund is an international fund for of documentary filmmakers with auteur driven stories from underrepresented and marginalized communities from Canada and around the world. The Fund aims to support projects where its contribution provides for maximum impact, especially those that target broad audiences, reach across a range of communities, and encourage understanding and appreciation of unheard voices.

Deadline: September 28

Center for Asian American Media Open Call

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: October 1

Screen Australia: Documentary Development

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: October 26 (for December 7 decision) 

Sundance Documentary Fund

A core component of Sundance's Documentary Film Program, this competitive grant looks for artful films about relevant topics, and it can get you $15,000 for development and $40,000 for Production/PostProduction when you have 10+ minutes to show. 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.

Deadline: Rolling, but for the December decision, applications must be received by October 31

Frameline Completion Fund*

For films that reflect the complexity of the LGBTQ community, this grant offers up to $5,000 per film for finishing funds, with $25K total to offer this granting season. From Frameline:

For over a quarter century, Frameline has provided more than 140 grants to help ensure that LGBTQ+ film/video projects are completed and viewed by wider audiences. Projects finished with assistance from the Frameline Completion Fund include CALL HER GANDA, CHAVELA, PARIAH, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR, CALL ME KUCHU, TO BE TAKEI, LAST CALL AT MAUD'S, THE NEW BLACK, BROTHER TO BROTHER, KUMU HINA, THE COCKETTES, VITO, FREEHELD, WE WERE HERE, and GUN HILL ROAD.

Deadline: October 31

Screen_shot_2018-08-29_at_9A still from Frameline Completion Fund recipient 'Dykes, Camera, Action!' directed by Caroline Berler.Credit: Dykes, Camera, Action!

California Documentary Project: Research & Development Grant

California Humanities offers grants from the California Documentary Project are intended for films that have some kind of connection to California and strengthen the understanding of the humanities for the state, and range up to $10,000. From CalHum:

CDP Research and Development grants are designed to strengthen the humanities content and approach of documentary media productions in their earliest stages. Projects must actively involve at least three humanities advisors to help frame and contextualize subject matter throughout the research and development phase. 

Deadline: November 1

California Documentary Project: Production Grant

If you have a work-in-progress for a film that features humanities in the state of California, the CalHum CDP Production grant can range up to $50,000. From CalHum:

CDP Production grants are designed to strengthen the humanities content and approach of documentary media productions and help propel projects toward completion. Projects must be in the production stage, have a work-in-progress to submit, and actively involve at least two humanities advisors to help frame and contextualize subject matter throughout the production process.

Deadline: November 1


If you're looking to pitch your documentary to Europe's leading commissioning editors, and you've got the budget for the participation fee, this networking workshop could be for you. From Eurodoc:

Some participants attending the workshops will come from the documentary departments of the broadcasters or from institutions defending, promoting and funding documentary productions. This will fulfill a long-lasting objective, that of decompartmentalisation of relations between producers, broadcasters and funding partners. These participants greatly contribute to the work of the group. Being in contact with their future partners, understanding their points of view and constraints can be very enlightening to the producers.

Deadline: November 13

HotDocs Ted Rogers Fund 

Canadian documentary filmmakers with docs in production who have commercially released a documentary or fiction film in Canada are eligible for this fund. From HotDocs:

In June 2016, Hot Docs and the Rogers Foundation founded the $1-million Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund to support Canadian documentary filmmakers. 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.

Deadline: Opens September 4, Closes November 14

Film Independent Documentary Lab

If you've got a feature documentary at the rough cut stage (or in early post-production in a few exceptional cases), why not apply to Film Independent's mentorship program that includes exposure to industry professionals, a pass to the LA Film Festival, and year-round mentorship. Additionally for 2019, one lab participant will snag $10K in support from Susan Murdy Documentary Film Fellowship. From FIND:

An intensive five-week program designed to help filmmakers who are currently in post-production on their feature-length documentary films. Through a series of meetings and workshops, the Documentary Lab provides creative feedback and story notes to participating filmmakers, while helping them to strategize for the completion, distribution, and marketing of their films.

Deadline: December 3

Taliesin Nexus Unscripted Lab

Do you need $20K to make your next documentary? OK, how about another $5K-$60K after you finish? That's what this new lab, that kicks off in Los Angeles in January, is offering! From Taliesin Nexus:

Part incubator and part competition, the Unscripted Film Lab is inspired by Y Combinator and our narrative SmashCut Film Lab.  It also comes with the opportunity to receive up to $90,000 to put toward your project!

Deadline: Open now, closes TBA

Glassbreaker Films Catalyst Short Film Grant

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.

Deadline: Rolling

The Fledgling Fund for Documentary Film Outreach and Engagement or Rapid Story Deployment Fund

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.

Deadline: Rolling

The Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund

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.

Deadline: Rolling

Catapult Film Fund

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.

Deadline: Rolling


Modernlove12Still from 'Modern Love' directed by Francesca Mirabella, and alumni of Tribeca All Access.Credit: Modern Love

EAVE Producers Workshop 2019*

For producers looking to join and co-produce with a network of other European producers who have a budget for the participation fee (or are eligible for a scholarship) this workshop could be valuable. This round of workshops will take place in Luxembourg, Serbia, and Leipzig. From EAVE:

Train, develop, network. A year long programme focused on three intensive weeks featuring professional development through working on the development of fiction and documentary projects. EAVE is aimed at producers, both fiction and documentary, who are already working in the film and television industries who wish to begin to operate on a European wide basis by increasing their knowledge of producing and co-producing in Europe and by building up a pan European professional network. We also welcome applications from associated branches of the industry – e.g. commissioning, funding, legal and finance, festivals & markets, media administration. Each year fifty participants are selected from most of the EU countries and beyond and take part in three one-week long workshops.

Deadline: August 31

The Player’s Network Cannabis Media Grant 

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

CineMart Co-Production Market*

If you're looking to get your film seen—and possibly financed—by the international film community, CineMart, hosted by the prestigious International Rotterdam Film Festival, is a great place to be. This year CineMart is happening from January 27 - 30. From IRFF:

Our international co-production market offers a selection of 25 carefully curated feature film projects—independent art- house films with market potential. CineMart was the first platform of its kind to offer filmmakers the opportunity to launch their ideas to the international film industry and to find the right connections to get their projects financed. CineMart heralds an important start of the 'film year'.

Deadline: September 1

The Hubert Bals Fund: Script & Project Development Support Voices*

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: September 1

Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production Program

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: September 7 (for November 28 decision)

Thessaloniki Agora Works in Progress*

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

American Zoetrope Coppola Shorts 2018

A new initiative from the Francis Ford Coppola founded American Zoetrope, this contest calls for a short film and this year's guest judge is none of than Gus Van Sant! 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: September 15 (Early), November 15 (Regular)

Film Independent Project Involve

If you could benefit from an intensive nine-month program supporting filmmakers from communities typically underrepresented in film and entertainment, check out Project Involve from FIND:

Each year, 30 emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds are given the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, create short films and gain industry access needed to succeed as working artists.

Deadline: September 17

You_and_i_and_you_nanceStill from The Dig's 'You & I & You' a short music video directed by Terence Nance as part of the Film Independent Project Involve fellowship.Credit: You & I & You

European Short Pitch 2019

Presented by NISI MASA, the European Network of Young Cinema, this pitch session offers an international short film screenwriter between 18-35 years old a scriptwriting residency workshop and co-production forum. From NISI MASA:

European Short Pitch is an initiative aimed at promoting the European coproduction of short films. It combines a scriptwriting workshop in residency and a coproduction forum bringing together scriptwriters, directors and industry professionals from all over Europe. Selected on the basis of their short film projects, 16 European talents gather to discuss, rewrite, and learn to promote their stories on a European level with the support of 4 tutors. They eventually pitch their projects in front of a panel of professionals: over 55 producers, financers, buyers, and distributors.

Deadline: September 30


ScreenCraft Film Production Fund

Brought to you by ScreenCraft and Bondit, if you’ve got a short script or a short film, feature film, documentary, or series pilot at the early stages of production, this fund could now score you up $30K in financing and production services. From ScreenCraft:

Every 6 months, up to two filmmakers will be awarded this production grant of up to $30,000 in production funds. We announce the winner(s) 6 weeks after each final deadline.

Deadline: October 1 (Regular), December 1 (Final)

The Roy Dean Grant/From the Heart Productions*

This fall, Roy Dean Grant will give out $3K in cash and over $30K of in-kind services and products, and is open for shorts, docs, and features 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: December 1

This year, The Film Fund is multiplying its contests to four opportunities: two contests will operate on a sentence-based text format as in past years, and two contests will be video pitch-based where the entrants submit a video of their pitch up to thirty seconds. Judges will pick one narrative and one doc from each. From The Film Fund
The Film Fund serves as an alternative to film industry funding platforms such as screenwriting contests, time-intensive grant applications, and crowdfunding campaigns found on websites such as Kickstarter. We think these funding avenues can be great, but we want to offer something different. Right now, we do this via simple pitch contests. Simply explain your film's premise and how you'll use some of your budget in one quick pitch. Write one sentence or submit a thirty-second video. That's it. Get up to $10,000 for your short film.
Deadline: December 2

Sundance Youtube New Voices Lab

Think you could be a storyteller who shapes digital episodic work meant for the internet? Check out this lab from the Sundance Institute

Fellows will work with creators, showrunners and episodic producers to further the development of original short-form projects in a supportive environment that encourages risk-taking and innovation, led by Michelle Satter, Founding Director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, and Jennifer Goyne Blake, Senior Manager of the Episodic Storytelling Initiative, with curriculum support from executives at YouTube. Over three days, Fellows will participate in an intensive writing workshop, directing the actor workshop, one-on-one creative story meetings, writers’ rooms, and case study presentations. After the Lab, Fellows will have access to year-round, customized creative and strategic support through Sundance Institute’s staff and network of mentors.

Deadline: Opens October TBA

Tribeca Film Institute All Access*

If you're a narrative or documentary filmmaker from communities not well represented in the film industry, TFI's flagship program would be a great place to nurture your career with mentorship and discretionary grants. From TFI:

TAA supports scripted and documentary storytellers who marry a unique vision and perspective with dynamic and groundbreaking films that challenge the status quo. TAA is a champion of the inclusion of authentic new voices whose work moves the conversation forward while speaking powerfully to both mainstream and underserved audiences, and the larger global film landscape. Through grants, individually customized year-round mentorship, business seminars, innovative training workshops, industry connections, and market meetings during the Tribeca Film Festival, TAA has created a close-knit community where participants learn from - and grow with - each other, while creating productive and long-term working relationships within the industry.

Deadline: TBA; Typically opens September 6, closes November 6

The Green Room Filmmaker Fund*

If you're a filmmaker with any projects, including fiction, non-fiction, short films, docs, experimental any stage of production and you register with The Green Room, you could score $50K in their third round of granting. From The Green Room:

To celebrate the launch of The Green Room – The Global Filmmaker Networking App, and promote independent film making, we have created a film fund of $50,000 to be awarded to projects registered through The Green Room Network. Our International Jury will select the successful projects over four funding rounds. The number of projects selected and their respective funding are at the discretion of the jury and selection committee.

Deadline: Rolling

National Film Board of Canada Filmmaker Assistance Program*

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: Check for your specific region

Sundance Creative Distribution Fellowship

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

Cinereach Film Grants*

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.

Deadline: Rolling

Panavision's New Filmmaker Program

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.

Deadline: Rolling

Big Vision Empty Wallet Incubator Fellowship

If you have a project—particularly one at the early stages—on which the writer, director, or producer is a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBTQ community, stay tuned for the next round of submissions later this year. From BVEW:

We choose talented fellows with compelling POVs to develop work with and the projects that move forward through our incubator feed into Big Vision Creative, our NY-based, but palm-tree-loving production company. We require every project that we work on to have an inclusive team. Representation on screen matters to us too, as we’re sure it does to you! Unless you want to see a whole slate of projects about middle-aged white men tricking 20-year-olds into falling in love with them as they save the country/the Great Wall of China/the world from robots. We develop entertaining and unexpected concepts that both indie and mainstream audiences can enjoy.

Deadline: Rolling

Film Independent Sloan Distribution Grant

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.

Deadline: Rolling


Typewriter Notepad Table

Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant & Fellowship

For writers with a script that has real science, math, or technology in it (note: not science fiction) the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation can give you funds to either develop your idea or take your script to the next level under the guidance of Sundance. From the Sundance Institute on the partnership:

Established in 2005 to support the development of screenplays with science and/or technology themes, the collaboration between Sundance Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provides two different opportunities for screenwriters through a Commissioning Grant or a Lab Fellowship. Both provide a cash award to support further development of a screenplay, opportunities to retain science advisors, and receive overall creative and strategic feedback throughout the life of the project.

Deadline: September 7

American Zoetrope 2019 Screenwriting Contest

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: September 10 

Cinequest Screenwriting Competition

The competition associated with the Cinequest Film Festival offers $5,000 for the winning feature script, and $1,000 for a short/teleplay as well as recognition during the Writers Celebration at the fest. From Cinequest:

The Cinequest Screenwriting Competition continues to empower global connectivity between screenwriters, filmmakers, producers, and innovators. Cinequest loves writers, and we welcome you to submit your screenplay or teleplay to our renowned competition. The Top 10 Finalists receive many empowering benefits including: VIP All Access passes to the Cinequest Film Festival and exclusive Writers Celebration, plus exposure to leading industry players and inspiring luminaries.

Deadline: September 21 (Regular) 

BAFTA Rocliffe Film Call

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  

ScreenCraft Action & Thriller Script Contest

If you have a heart-pumping action or thriller up your sleeve, you could win $1000 plus industry exposure, with judges from Apelles, Bad Robot, Columbia Pictures, Donners’ and Elevate. From ScreenCraft:

Our jury is looking for emerging voices in the action movie genre! Whether you have a tense thriller or a big, effects-driven action film, we want to read your screenplay. Professional feedback from studio-trained readers is available on all entries.

Deadline: October 25

ScreenCraft Family-Friendly Script Contest

If you have a heart-pumping action or thriller up your sleeve, you could win $1500 plus industry exposure. From ScreenCraft:

One of last year’s winners signed with a top literary management company and has projects in active development! We’re looking for ACTION MOVIES and carefully crafted THRILLERS. Whether you have a tense thriller or a big, effects-driven action film, we want to read your screenplay. Professional feedback from studio-trained readers is available on all entries.

Deadline: Opens Oct 2

New Media


Stereopsia 3D Film Booster (3DFB)*

Taking place from December 10 -13 in 2017, the 3D Mart is now the New 3D Film Booster for those working in 3D Stereoscopic films or VR. From Stereopsia:

3DFB is limited to a small number of participants to ensure personal coaching and strong interaction within the group of participants and coaches. 3DFB extend over three days and has the following two main phases. First, through interactive lectures, participants get information deemed useful (1) for their projects, in particular the latest insights and trends about the 3D film industry & market, the VR revolution, and transmedia storytelling, and (2) for preparing their pitch to potential co-producers and investors. Second, in light of the above, and in close interaction with the coaches, each participant improves his/her project, prepares a project presentation, and pitches it to a panel of potential co-producers and financiers. By pitching their project, participants have a chance to win the Best Project & Pitch Award.

Deadline: September 15

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Media Grants

If you have a films 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.

Deadline: Rolling

The Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance

Looking for investment in your super cool VR project? Comprised of 47 VR investors who hold investment meetings between San Francisco and Shenzen, check out the people at 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

OSVR Developer Fund

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.

Deadline: Rolling

Merge AR VR Developer Fund

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.

Deadline: Rolling


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.

Deadline: Rolling 

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Media Grants

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.

Deadline: Rolling

Useful Links:

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 header image of filmmaker Jonathan Olshefski directing 'QUEST' a recipient of the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund.