Have a TV Show or Movie Idea? 10 Film Grants You Need to Know

Film Grant

2018-2019 Winter Film Grants any aspiring screenwriter, filmmaker, or actor needs to know to make their dreams come true.

Are you looking for funding for your next TV show, short film or feature film idea? If so, then we have the best opportunities for you to gain some extra cash to film your next creative project with these Winter film grants. Some big names including Sundance, Film Independent and the SFFilm Foundation.

LEF Moving Image Fund: Production and Post Production

The LEF Moving Image Fund supports original and creative content. According to the LEF, “LEF is now accepting letters of inquiry for production and post-production grants! The next LEF Moving Image Fund deadline will be Friday, January 25, 2019 at 11:59pm (midnight) for applicants seeking Production and Post Production funding. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to read the LEF New England Moving Image Fund guidelines and frequently asked questions, and to reach out to LEF New England staff by phone or e-mail to determine whether your project is eligible and a good fit for LEF’s funding priorities. Start here.”

  • A maximum of (4) to (6) grants of $5,000 will be awarded to projects in the pre-production phase of development
  • A maximum of (6) grants of $15,000 each will be awarded to projects in the production phase during LEF’s major grants review.

The deadline to apply is this Friday, January 25th

SFFILM Festival: Westridge Grant

The SFFILM Westridge Grant is a new program that supports United States based feature films that are currently in the screenwriting or development phase. The grants are awarded twice a year for projects that “projects that address social issues and pressing questions of our time through creative and original storytelling.”

  • A total of $200,000 will be granted annually through this program, with four to five $20,000–$25,000 grants awarded in each spring and fall.

“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.”

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 20 at 5:00 pm PT

SFFILM Festival: Rainin Grant

The SFFILM Rainin Grant is a grant that supports films that “social justice issues-the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges-in a positive and meaningful way through plot, character, theme or setting and benefit the Bay Area filmmaking community in a professional and economic capacity.”

Awards are given twice a year in the spring and fall. Awards are given to content creators for screenwriting, development, and post production. On top of a $25,000 grant, reciepients also receive a “6-month residency at FilmHouse and benefit from SFFILM’s comprehensive and dynamic artist development programs.”

  • Screenwriting Grant: These grants are open to filmmakers anywhere in the US, as well as internationally, and range between $10,000 and $25,000. The funds allow filmmakers to devote dedicated time to furthering their work, and the grant includes a two-month FilmHouse residency in the Bay Area to further develop the screenplay, and have access to both peer and established mentorship engagement. The screenplay must explore issues pertaining to social justice.
  • Development Grant: These grants are up to $25,000 for Bay Area-based producers tackling social justice issues OR producers willing to relocate to the Bay Area to develop and package their films, including a two- to six-month FilmHouse residency with peer and established mentorship engagement. Non-Bay Area-based producers may apply, if willing to relocate to the Bay Area for the majority of this six-month granting cycle. The development grant continues the organization’s commitment to producers in film through financial and artist development support.
  • Post-production Grant: These grants support films with exceptional and accessible commitment to stories of social justice. The grant is open to filmmakers anywhere in the US, as well as internationally, with Bay Area-based projects given preference. As of July 2017, funds may be spent outside of the Bay Area, and grants will be awarded up to $50,000.
  • Post-Production Loan: A new discretionary loan for filmmakers in post-production that will sit in second position to equity investors. Open to any previous recipient or alumnus following the first day of production. Please contact SFFILM Makers staff at [email protected] to learn more.

Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 20th at 5:00 PT

Sundance Institute: Creative Producing Program

The Sundance Institute has a long history of supporting indie filmmakers in finding their voice in the film industry. The feature film creative producing lab and fellowship is a “year-long program designed to nurture emerging producers with project-specific support through the Creative Producing Lab, Creative Producing Summit, Sundance Film Festival attendance, $10,000 grant support, year-round mentorship from one industry mentor, and ongoing support from Sundance Institute Staff. $10,000 grant support is also provided for costs of living and unsupported costs of project development for the Fellow. The Program is designed to hone emerging producers’ creative instincts and evolve their communicating and problem-solving skills at all stages of their next feature film project.”

Deadline to apply is February 12, 2019.

Sundance Institute: Episodic Program

The Sundance Institute has a long history of supporting indie filmmakers in finding their voice in the film industry. The Episodic Program provides “provides artists with the tools, training, and industry access to move their projects and careers forward.”

The deadline to apply is February 13, 2019.

Film Independent: Episodic Lab Grant

The Film Independent Episodic Lab is a workshop that helps aspiring filmmakers refine their TV pilot for the modern TV industry. “The Episodic Lab helps to further the careers of its Fellows by introducing them to industry veterans who can offer guidance on both the craft and business of writing episodic content. Each Fellow will be paired with a creative advisor with whom they’ll work one-on-one and in group sessions to further develop their project over the course of the program. Additionally, guest speakers will screen and discuss their own work to offer insights into the creative process and industry best practices. A final networking and pitch event will offer fellows the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work to the studio and network executives.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Episodic Lab Grant will award one participant a $10,000 development grant.

The deadline to apply is February 25, 2019.

Screen Australia: Feature Production and Post Production

Screen Australia’s Feature Film production program supports a diverse group of Australian films for theatrical release that “entertain and enlighten domestic and international audiences while reflecting the unique characteristics of Australian identity.”

  • Screen Australia will not contribute more than 65 percent of the total budget, inclusive of any Producer Offset amount. Please note: in certain exceptional circumstances total funding can go as high as 75 percent at the CEO’s or the Board’s discretion in accordance with their delegation.

The Deadline is February 22nd 2019.

National Film Board of Canada: Filmmaker Assistance Program

The National Film Board Filmmaker Assistance Program is designed to help aspiring indie filmmakers complete their creative content by providing technical service and support.

  • FAP is not a funding (cash) program. Assistance is offered in the form of technical services, up to a maximum cash value of $3,000 or $5,000 depending on the region in which you reside.
  • FAP supports documentaries, animations, and short dramas (film or video).

The Deadline to apply is on a rolling basis and will depend upon your location.

Sundance Institute: The Creative Distribution Initiative:

The Sundance Institute has a long history of supporting indie filmmakers in finding their voice in the film industry. The program is looking for “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).”

  • $33,333 grant for marketing expenses with an emphasis on digital marketing.
  • Preferred Access to Sundance Institute-brokered digital distribution opportunities
  • Guidance from the Creative Distribution Initiative and leading industry advisors prior to the release.
  • Referral to key marketing and distribution consultants to help execute campaigns.
  • Sundance Institute branding and promotion to support the release of the film.
  • Half-day marketing strategy session with leading industry marketing and distribution executives at Institute offices.
  • Sundance alumni designation and benefits.

Deadline is on a rolling basis

Panavision: New Filmmaker Program

Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in camerasand lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product lines to meet the demands of modern filmmakers. The company introduced its first products in 1954. Originally a provider of CinemaScopeaccessories, the company’s line of anamorphic widescreen lenses soon became the industry leader. In 1972, Panavision helped revolutionize filmmaking with the lightweight Panaflex 35 mm movie camera. The company has introduced other groundbreaking cameras such as the Millennium XL (1999) and the digital video Genesis (2004).

Now in an effort to help and support aspiring filmmakers, Panavision has announced a 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.”

Deadline is on a rolling basis