Back and bigger than last year, the SHIFT Creative Fund will fund budgets anywhere from $5K to $40K.

If you're in the middle of figuring out how to finance a narrative short, you're probably in the muck of it. It's hard to convince people to bankroll you, and there are limited grant opportunities for narratives in the short form. That's where a group like SHIFT comes in.

In its first year, the SHIFT Creative Fund was launched to help filmmakers get the much-needed funds to make original, creative narrative shorts. It worked! SHIFT picked four filmmakers from a pool of 500 applicants and doled out funds that summed up to about $100,000. Check out the launch video for this year’s grant, including some visually arresting clips of films that were made last year.

This year, SHIFT has tweaked the grant to be open to varying sums of money depending on your film’s budget. They recommend a budget be anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, with the film’s run time being *preferably* under 20 minutes. They are also giving away a litany of other goodies, including in-kind services and gear from their sponsors which include New Filmmakers LA, International Screenwriters’ Association, and Blackmagic Design (among others).

Here are some of the components of a successful application:

  • Narrative film script under 40 pages (keeping it under 20 pages is suggested)
  • Realistic top-line budget
  • Director’s statement
  • Not be connected to any class or course
  • Some experience
  • U.S. based filmmakers only
  • Submit work samples through a free SHIFT account
  • Be able to complete and screen by Summer 2020

What is SHIFT and why are they giving filmmakers money? Here’s SHIFT Creative Fund program manager Grace Amodeo on the topic:

SHIFT the platform is a workflow solution for filmmakers and content creators, so it helps them facilitate their creative work. We wanted to take that idea a step further and apply it to the very beginning of that creative process rather than only supporting filmmakers in their post-production process. The SHIFT Creative Fund was born of our desire to see creative projects exist in the world and that otherwise might not have a chance to be made.

It turns out, the SHIFT Creative Fund is here just to help out filmmakers, and this year they want to reward more of us. Here's according to SHIFT CEO Kai Pradel:

We are very excited to be able to support a new group of talented filmmakers with our 2019 grant. SHIFT is all about empowering creators at all levels to deliver exceptional work. The SHIFT Creative Fund allows us to connect directly to the creative community wherever they may be and support the craft of storytelling.

Sounds good to me. Who wouldn't want to become one of the filmmakers in the new group?

If you have a film in mind, and you can make it by Summer 2020, then consider applying. It's free! All you have to do is use a (free) SHIFT account to share your work sample. You can read the entire FAQ about the fund here.

The deadline to apply is September 30, 2019.

Think this could be for you? Start on your application here. Good luck!

Featured header image from SHIFT Creative Fund reciepient Bad Assistant, directed by Kyle Cogan and starring Jason Schwartzman and Paige Klone.

Source: SHIFT Creative Fund