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Grants and other funding

Roy W. Dean Grant for Fall Accepting Submissions

Applications are now being accepted for the Spring 2018 Roy W. Dean Film Grant.  Founded in 1993, the Roy W. Dean Grant is awarded to filmmakers with unique films what contribute to society.  The Spring grant winner will receive $3,500 cash and $30,000 in film services to shoot and finish their project.  Deadline for submission is April 30th, 2018.


Every filmmaker that applies receives a free consultation on their project


Sponsored by donor Sonny Fassoulis through top rated film funding non-profit From the Heart Productions, projects accepted can be documentaries, short films, features, or web series. It is open to students and indie filmmakers with projects budgeted under $500K. 


The $3,500 cash prize is supplemented by donations such as from 40% deduction on color, editing, and sound from ProMedia, and 30% discount in equipment rental from AbelCine Tech,Inc. NYC, camera lens holder from Frii Designs, and much more from many heartfelt donors


You can apply for the grant at  


For more information, please email or call 805-984-0098

Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival Announces Call for Entries for 34th Season
Revamped Jordan Writer’s Award category now features $10,000 cash
for a first-produced screenwriter

Headlining the 34th Miami Film Festival will be its signature Knight Competition, which presents Achievement Awards totaling $40,000 in cash courtesy of the Festival’s long-time, esteemed partner, The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation. Open to all new feature films of any genre directed by filmmakers who have directed at least one Official Selection (feature) at a previous edition of Miami Film Festival, the category’s top prize is to be split equally between the film’s lead production company and the US distributor (if none, a 30-day window opens for a sales agent to complete any US theatrical sale). More...

  Are you shooting a short film this year? To further develop the careers of emerging writers and filmmakers, we're supporting short films with financing!


In partnership with BondIt, a film & media fund based in Beverly Hills, ScreenCraft is offering between three and six production grants per year to talented filmmakers for short film and online series that display originality, vision & exceptional potential. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the scale and merit of the project. We also offer matching funds for crowd-funding campaigns – see the Application Guidelines for specific details.

This program includes creative support from the ScreenCraft team and production guidance & resources from BondIt and Buffalo 8 Productions (a film company with several award-winning films to its credit).

Whether you simply have a great short screenplay or a short film that’s already in pre-production or post-production, we want to consider your short project for our grant program.

We are accepting applications from around the world (in English).

Next Late Deadline: July 31

Miller / Packan Documentary Film Fund
15 May

The Rogovy Foundation funds projects that are transformational, with enlightening narratives and inspiring characters. We support documentary film as an instrument for change, delivering greater knowledge, compassion and awareness. Listening and understanding bring us together.

San Francisco Society Documentary Film Fund
1 June
The SFFS Documentary Film Fund (DFF) supports riveting documentaries in postproduction distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. 

Grant Window CLOSES APRIL 12, 2016

$5,000 grant each for two short films to be produced and completed before April 2017.
Must be no longer than 16 pages in length.
Director and writer must be under the age of 35.

 Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund

This joint initiative between Bertha Foundation and BRITDOC is the first European-based fund between £5,000 - £50,000 open to filmmakers from anywhere with outreach campaigns. From BRITDOC:

The fund is looking to support smart, strategic outreach campaigns for ambitious independent documentary films with a social issue at their core; films which have the ability to achieve real change on a local, regional or global level.

Deadline: April 18

ITVS Digital Open Call

If you have a web series of any length, fiction or non-fiction, linear or transmedia, episodic or anthology, consider the ITVS Digital Open Call. From ITVS:

The Digital Open Call provides up to $50,000 in R&D funding to develop and pilot digital series concepts on any subject, and from any viewpoint, for public media’s digital platforms. Projects must be in development, and cannot have begun principal production. 

Deadline: May 2

ITVS funds distributes and promotes new programs primarily for public television. They work with independent producers to create and present programs that take creative risks, advance issues and represent points of view not usually seen on public or commercial television.

NEH logoAmerica's Media Makers: Production Grants
Division of Public Programs

Receipt Deadline August 12, 2015 for Projects Beginning April 2016
Brief Summary

NEH’s Division of Public Programs supports activities that engage millions of Americans in understanding significant humanities works and ideas. At the center of every NEH-funded public humanities project is a core set of humanities ideas developed by scholars, matched to imaginative formats that bring those ideas to life for people of all ages and all walks of life. Projects must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship in a discipline such as history, religion, anthropology, jurisprudence, or art history. NEH is a national funding agency, so the projects we support must demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general audience. We welcome humanities projects tailored to particular groups, such as families, youth (including K-12 students), teachers, seniors, at-risk communities, and veterans, but they should also strive to cultivate a more inclusive audience.


America’s Media Makers (AMM) grants support the following formats:

Black Public Media

Apply to NBPC 360 for a $150,000 grant

NBPC 360 is the new funding initiative of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) devised to help launch non-fiction and fiction serial projects, as well as interactive or “trans-media” projects, about the Black experience.



Tourist Development Council Grants (TDC Grant)

Second Quarter (projects taking place between January 1 - March 31)
•Friday, October 13, 2015, 4:00 PM
Third Quarter (projects taking place between April 1 - June 30)
•Thursday, January 11, 2016, 4:00 PM
Fourth Quarter - (projects taking place between July 1 - September 30)
•Thursday, April 11, 2016, 4:00 PM

Miller / Packan Film Fund

This brand-new grant from the Rogovy Foundation will award doc filmmakers between $5,000 to $25,000 for work that address social issues and inspires others. From the Rogovy Foundation:

The Miller / Packan Film Fund supports documentaries that Educate, Inspire and Enrich. The Fund is financed through the Rogovy Foundation. We believe in the transformational power that comes from enlightening narratives and inspiring characters. The Fund begins granting in 2016. In its first year, grants totaling $150,000 will be awarded to between six and ten filmmakers. The fund operates an open rolling submission process, and awards will be announced bi-annually. 
Deadline: May 15


Sundance Documentary Fund

Providing up to $20,000 for a documentary in development or up to $50,000 for a documentary in production/post-production with 10+ minutes of edited footage, the Sundance Doc Fund can be a huge score for docs. From Sundance:

The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund supports cinematic feature documentaries with contemporary relevance from filmmakers in the U.S. and internationally. Proposals are evaluated on artful and innovative storytelling, originality, contemporary relevance, and potential to reach its intended audience. First time directors are eligible and no prior work is required. Films may be in any language (with English subtitles or an English dialogue transcript).

Deadline: Rolling


Catapult Film Fund

If you're just starting out on a documentary, you know how hard it is to raise money for it in the beginning — especially when you have nothing to show for it yet (because, hey, you need money to shoot!). 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 film projects to the next level at a moment where funding is hard to find. We support powerful stories, and moving storytelling, across a broad spectrum of issues and perspectives.

Deadline: Rolling


The Fledgling 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 audience engagement strategies to an average $10-$25k. From the Fledgling Fund:

Grants support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film and other storytelling projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the most vulnerable.

Deadline: Rolling

 Ford Foundation: JustFilms

After year of restructuring, it's a little unclear how many grants JustFilms will be giving out to individuals for 2016. Check out the requirements to see if you fit. Here are a few topics of docs that are not eligible: health, sports, early childhood, advocacy, educational, scientific. From the Ford Foundation:

JustFilms accepts letters of inquiry for grants year round, averaging between 800 and 1,000 inquiries. Our funds are limited, and we are able to support only a small percentage of these projects through direct grants. JustFilms strongly advises that you use the priorities and guiding application questions below to determine whether your project might be competitive in this process.

Deadline: Rolling (if you advance, you'll hear within 30 days of submission)

 HBOAccess Directing Fellowship

This fellowship is for emerging, diverse voices who would like to make a short film with HBO. From HBO:

Last year, HBOACCESS® invited budding filmmakers to submit previous work that demonstrated their talent, skills, and -- most important -- growth potential. Out of hundreds of submissions rose four exceptionally talented fellow and four outstanding short films. 

Deadline: Opens April 6

 Big Vision Empty Wallet Kickstart Diversity Program

If you have a project, particularly one in the early stages, in which the writer, director, or producer is a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBTQ community, consider applying for this new BVEW opportunity. From BVEW:

Selected projects will receive significant discounts (15%-75%) from vendors and service providers nationwide to create savings in all stages of production, including AbelCine, Hive Lighting, Gotham Stages, and Nice Shoes. Recipients will be granted access to an exclusive Distribution Lab, presented in both NY and LA, focusing on audience building and distribution strategies. Participating companies include Lionsgate Films, FilmRise, Seed & Spark, VHX, Zeitgeist Films, and Cinetic. In addition, our sister company Big Vision Creative will choose several projects per year to co-produce and/or represent for distribution.

Deadline: Rolling

 Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers​

If you've got a short film, music video, or feature with a woman helming the DP role, Digital Bolex might loan you $10k worth of gear and accessories. From Digital Bolex:

The relationship between a director and cinematographer is the most important on any film set, and the most famous director/cinematographer pairs have collaborative relationships spanning decades. We would like to see women cinematographers and directors involved in that kind of intimate collaborative process, and hope that we can start to help move our industry in that direction.

 Deadline: Rolling


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grants Database
Launched in 1996, Sloan’s Film program has awarded grants to over 500 film projects from some of the nation’s most innovative filmmakers, and has created a film development pipeline of multiple program partners though which Sloan nurtures and develops individual projects.


Nextpix/Firstpix Crowdfunding Grant

 Nextpix/Firstpix will fund films with a budget under $250k that are the first or second film by a director, have a humanitarian element, and are crowdfunding part of that budget. From N/FCG:

We have recently changed our approach to the firstPix grant. Rather than fund on a pre-determined cycle, we will accept queries from any film that is being crowd funded at any point during the year. Once we've received your query please give us 30 days to respond. 

Deadline: Rolling

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts an international screenwriting competition established to identify new talent in screenwriting. From the Academy:

Each year, the Academy Nicholl screenwriting competition awards up to five $35,000 fellowships to amateur screenwriters. To enter, submit a feature length screenplay and entry fee via the online application when the competition is open for submissions. Fellowship winners are invited to participate in awards week ceremonies and seminars and expected to complete at least one original feature film screenplay during the Fellowship year.

Deadline: March 7 (Early deadline), April 18 (regular)

Slamdance Writing Competition

This competition program has four categories and gives awards to the top three of each, plus a grand prize. Also, every entry gets feedback. From Slamdance:

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.

Deadline: April 11 (Early deadline)

Documentary Funding Resources  

Looking for funding for your documentary? Check out the list for U.S. and international funders. Note that some funders only give grants to organizations and others only to individual artists

 Panavision New Filmmaker Program
Panavision® believes in helping students and beginning filmmakers achieve their dreams. More than 25 years ago, Panavision launched the New Filmmaker Program, an ongoing grant program that loans camera packages to film schools, training programs, and independent filmmakers – at little or no charge. Panavision’s commitment to the industry's future provides student and beginning filmmakers the opportunity to work with professional grade equipment early in their careers.


The Independent Filmmaker Project
 IFP’s Fiscal Sponsorship program focuses exclusively on documentary films and other works of nonfiction, short films and low-budget fiction/narrative features (50 minutes+). Deadline: 1 December