Are you looking for film grants to film your next documentary, short film or feature film?

There are several new funding programs to help support your filmmaking dreams this winter. These programs are available starting December through March and broken down by the different categories.

Here are the 50 film grants you should know this Winter 2017-2018

Short Film and Feature Film Film Grants

  1. ScreenCraft Film Fund (Deadline December 1)

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.

2. Big Vision Empty Wallet Kickstart Diversity Program (Deadline is January 31st)

In 2018, we will select 5-10 Big Vision Fellows and spend the year developing feature films and series with them through a fun and rigorous program. Fellows will meet with the Big Vision team once monthly (in person and virtually for those not in NYC) and will receive access to exclusive pitch opportunities throughout the year.  All of the projects that we choose to develop together will be produced by Big Vision Creative and the Big Vision team.  We will provide access to network mandates so we are consistently developing TV projects that are set up for success, and share our extensive relationships with production companies, sales agents, casting directors, and distributors with participants developing feature films.

3. Film Independent AbelCine Camera Grant (Deadline is January 1st)

The AbelCine Camera Grant is a program for Film Independent Fellows, alumni of the LA Film Festival and Film Independent Spirit Award Nominees. Film Independent will select a qualified filmmaker who will be loaned a digital camera package (based on availability) to use for his or her feature film production or web series.

4. Film Independent Fast Track 2017/Sloan Fast Track Grant (Deadline is January 9th)

During three days of intensive meetings with top executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, granting organizations and production companies, participants gain valuable exposure and build vital relationships as they propel their films towards completion.

5. The Film Fund (Deadline is February 26)

Starting out as an independent filmmaker not based in Los Angeles or New York, I found myself struggling to raise financing and find resources for my film projects, and it appeared that many contests were dominated by those who already had industry experience or access to better resources and crew. The Film Fund is designed to level the funding field, as no advantage is given to entrants based on industry experience. Effective storytellers should be able to succinctly convey the vision they have for their projects, and that is the basis of the contest.

6. LEF Moving Image Fund: Production & Post-Production   (Deadline is January 26)

The strongest proposals will be those that clearly articulate the ways in which the proposed project embodies the program’s funding criteria. A maximum of (6) grants of $15,000 each will be awarded to projects in the production phase during LEF’s major grants review. A maximum of (3) grants of $25,000 each will be awarded to projects in the post-production phase during LEF’s major grants review. In order to be eligible for Post-Production support, the project for which you are applying must have received previous LEF support. 

7. SFFILM/Westridge Development Grant (Deadline is February 23rd)

In addition to financial support, recipients receive a range of benefits through SFFILM’s comprehensive and dynamic artist development programs, as well as support and feedback from SFFILM and Westridge Foundation staff. The SFFILM / Westridge Grant is open to US-based filmmakers whose stories take place in the United States. All grantees will spend one week in the Bay Area attending a programmed retreat geared towards honing their craft, strengthening their scripts, and making connections to other filmmakers and industry professionals. Travel and accommodation for the retreat will be provided.

8. SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grant (Deadline is February 23rd)

The SFFILM / Rainin Filmmaking Grants program provides meaningful support to projects that benefit and uplift the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity. The grant is open to filmmakers internationally whose films explore social justice and can commit to spending time developing the work in San Francisco, with priority given to Bay Area based filmmakers.Please note: Post-production funding is now open to films without Bay Area spending but that exemplify the strongest social justice storytelling.

9. Sundance Episodic Story Lab (Deadline is March 15)

The Sundance Institute Episodic Lab is a six-day program at the Sundance Resort in Utah that offers writers the opportunity to workshop an original pilot script, while developing their writing and pitching skills. Working with accomplished showrunners, non-writing creative producers and executives, the Fellows participate in one-on-one story meetings, pitching sessions, and simulated writers rooms, which together provide creative and strategic keys to success.

10. Sundance Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab (Deadline is February 6)

The core of the Creative Producing Program are its Labs that identify and nurture the independent producer. There are three different producing Labs throughout the year, depending on your area of focus: Documentary, Feature Film, and Native.

11. Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production Program (Deadline January 22nd)

Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production program aims to support a diverse slate of Australian films for theatrical release that entertain and enlighten domestic and international audiences while reflecting the unique characteristics of Australian identity.

12. Doha Film Institute Grants Programme (Deadline is January 28)

The Institute’s approach is to champion projects whose thrust is to explore, expand and cultivate authentic storytelling, with a keen interest in propelling forward contemporary work that demonstrates a deep understanding of the specific possibilities of the medium of cinema. The Programme provides creative and financial assistance to filmmakers from Qatar, and to first- and second-time filmmakers from around the globe.

13. Bureau of Creative Works Short Film Grant* (Deadline is March 1)

Each year, The BUREAU provides 12 filmmakers with a grant to produce an original, low-budget short film, these films premiere to an engaged and highly invested audience of film-enthusiasts.

14. Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program

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.

Screenwriting Film Grants

1. Script Pipeline Great Movie Idea Contest (Deadline is December 10th)

For the winner, Script Pipeline provides additional development assistance to refine the pitch, or help the writer draft a polished screenplay. At that point, we circulate the material top studio producers, including execs from Lakeshore Entertainment (Age of Adaline), Good Fear Film + Management (Rings), Vinson Films (Journey to the Center of the Earth), Madhouse Entertainment (Prisoners), QC Entertainment (Get Out), and other major companies looking for new concepts. Note that all entrants, including the winner and runner-up, retain the rights to their submission.

2. ScreenCraft Short Story Contest (Deadline is December 16)

Our jury is looking for short stories (not scripts) with special cinematic potential. Whether you’re writing flash fiction or a novella, we want to read your story! The grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and personal introductions to literary agents, managers, producers and publishers. The top 5 finalists will be read by our network of over 40 literary and entertainment industry professionals.

3. ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Contest (Deadline is December 30th)

Calling all family-friendly feature film screenplays! Families are the most influential moviegoing audience, yet there’s a surprising lack of high-quality films that appeal to the WHOLE family. This contest avoids the genre-bias of some other contests by seeking exclusively screenplays that are life-affirming stories of faith, courage, hope and love. Whether you have a family drama, comedy, animation, or action-adventure film, WE WANT TO READ YOUR SCRIPT. 

4. Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest (Deadline is March 1)

Now in its 16th year, the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition seeks talented writers and exceptional screenplays to connect with production companies, agencies, and managers. Launched in 2003 as part of the early wave of screenwriting contests, Script Pipeline continues to cultivate relationships with the industry’s top executives, focused specifically on finding writers representation, supporting diverse voices, championing marketable, unique storytelling, and pushing more original projects into production.

5. Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest (Deadline is January 10th)

The Beverly Hills Screenplay Contest is an international screenwriting competition dedicated to discovering and showcasing the work of the world’s best new emerging screenwriters in the city globally recognized as the center of the movie and television industries.  We celebrate and share your passion for storytelling by helping to advance the careers of talented screenwriters, connecting our winners with working industry producers, agents, managers, and development executives. 

6. Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition (Deadline is March 8th)

From choosing our judges to creating opportunities, our top priority has always been the writer. We surround ourselves with reputable and successful companies, including the many producers, literary agents, and managers who read your scripts. Our past winners have won Emmys, been signed by agents, managers, had their scripts optioned, and even made into movies. But the most important prize of all is this: Scriptapalooza will promote, pitch, and push the Semifinalists and higher for a full year. No other competition in the world does that.

7. Nickelodeon Writing Program (Deadline is January 31st)

The Nickelodeon Writing Program offers emerging television writers from around the world a paid opportunity to develop their craft and launch their careers. While in the Program, writers hone their skills, build a professional network and gain real-world experience in writers’ rooms for our critically acclaimed live-action and animated shows. The General Track is a 12-month commitment. The Preschool track offers the same talent development opportunities with a focus on Nick Jr. content.  The Preschool Track is a 6-month commitment.

8. SFFILM/Westridge Screenwriting Grant (Deadline is February 23rd)

Grants to filmmakers in the screenwriting phase range between $20,000 and  $25,000, and are awarded to writers or writer/directors  who have at least one draft of their screenplay completed. The expectation is that, at the end of the six-month grant period, screenwriting grantees will have a final or nearly-final draft of their script completed.

9. SFFILM/Rainin Screenwriting Grant (Deadline is February 23rd)

These grants range between $10,000 and $25,000 to support writers develop their screenplay in the Bay Area, including a two month FilmHouse residency with peer and established mentorship engagement. Screenplays must tackle social justice issues.

10. ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship (Deadline is March 1)

The chosen recipients will receive ongoing professional support and a special trip to Los Angeles for meetings and introductions to key entertainment executives, producers and representatives…Past ScreenCraft Fellowship winners have optioned their projects and signed with top representatives at 3 Arts Entertainment, United Talent Agency, Creative Artists Agency, Anonymous Content, Paradigm Talent Agency, ICM, Bellevue Productions, Plattform and more.

Art Film Grant Programs

1. The Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (Deadline is January)

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.

2. NEA ART WORKS Grants (Deadline is February 15)

The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to support activities that reflect the dynamic, diverse, and evolving nature of the media arts field. Applicants may apply in this Art Works category for media arts projects that support creation, exhibition, education, and distribution of historic and contemporary artworks in all genres and forms that use electronic media, film and technology (analog & digital; old and new) as an artistic medium or a medium to broaden arts appreciation and awareness (of any discipline). All genres are welcome to apply; all phases of project support are eligible.

3. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation New Media Grants

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.

Documentary Film Grants

1. Pacific Pioneer Fund (Deadline is December 1)

To support emerging documentary filmmakers. The term “emerging” is intended to denote a person committed to the craft of making documentaries, who has demonstrated that commitment by several years—but no more than ten—of practical film or video experience. 

2. The Scottish Documentary Institute Consultancies (Deadline is January 5)

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.

3. NEH Media Production Grants (Deadline is January 10)

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.

4. NEH Media Development Grants (Deadline is January 10)

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.

5. TFI/ESPN Short Documentary Program (Deadline is January 28)

The TFI/ESPN Short Documentary Program supports short documentaries that elevate stories about sports-driven topics, individuals, and communities. The program serves emerging storytellers whose perspectives and backgrounds have been historically underrepresented on both sides of the camera, and will award up to $20,000 plus support and mentoring to each of the winning projects. 

6. CAAM Documentary Fund (Deadline is February 1)

With support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), CAAM provides production funding to independent producers for national public television. Documentaries are eligible for production or post-production funding and must be intended for public television broadcast.

7. Screen Australia: Documentary Development (Deadline is February 2)

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.

8. Sundance Documentary Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab (Deadline is February 15)

The core of the Creative Producing Program are its Labs that identify and nurture the independent producer. There are three different producing Labs throughout the year, depending on your area of focus: Documentary, Feature Film, and Native.

9. Visions Sud Est Fund (Deadline is February 28)

The Swiss fund Visions Sud Est was initiated 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. It supports film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, aims at making them visible worldwide and guarantees their distribution in Switzerland.

10. Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund (Deadline is February)

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund will provide funding to 4-10 feature-length documentaries that highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. Funded films will be driven by thoughtful and in-depth storytelling, bolstered by a compelling visual approach. For films, based anywhere, that are in production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition.

11. Derek Freese Documentary Fund (Deadline is January 9)

Derek Freese Documentary Fund (DFDF) provides production support for feature-length documentary films that have both a strong narrative and compelling story, across a broad spectrum of subject matters. 

12. Tribeca Film Institute IF/Then Short Documentary Program: Southeast Asia Pitch Competition

The winners of IF/Then pitch competitions, selected by a professional jury, will be eligible for up to $20,000 in production support from IF/Then as well as ongoing mentorship year-round, and will participate in a year-long distribution initiative managed by Tribeca Film Institute that offers creative control, revenue potential and career development.

13. ITVS Open Call (Deadline is January 8)

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. 

14. ITVS Digital Open Call (Deadline is January 29)

We’re looking for exceptional stories on any subject. We provide up to $30,000 in research and development funding to help you take your original digital content idea to the pilot stage for distribution on public media. 

15. Sundance Documentary Fund

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.

16. The Fledgling Fund for Documentary Film Outreach and Engagement

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.

17. The Bertha BRITDOC Documentary Journalism Fund

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.