A Massive List of Fall 2015 Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About

From short film grants to travel stipends for documentarians, this fall season has all kinds of of opportunities for filmmakers to get a leg up on your next project.

To find out more specifics on a grant, click on the title and get started! Read the FULL list at NoFilmSchool.com


CDP Research & Development Grants

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 the CDP:

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. 

Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship


For filmmakers with an undergraduate degree and a desire to travel for a year to film stories that fall into the themes of the 2016 application, this fellowship could be for you. From Fulbright:

The Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship was launched in 2013 as a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. It provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in one, two, or three countries on a globally significant theme. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.

Deadline: October 13

CDP Production Grants

Also from the California Documentary Project, grants of up to $50,000 are given out to projects in the production stage. From the CDP:

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, and actively involve at least two humanities advisors in the production process. 

Deadline: October 15

Hot Docs CrossCurrents Doc Fund

One lucky emerging documentary filmmaker a year (meaning you have less then three directing credits to your name) under the age of 35 can get $10,000 CDN for their next film. From Hot Docs:

The Fund seeks 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: Opens October, Closes TBA

Frameline Completion Fund*

For films that reflect the complexity of the LGBTQ community, this grant offers up to $5,000 for finishing funds. From Frameline:

This program seeks to provide a much-needed source of financial contributions to artists who often struggle to secure funding to complete their works. Submissions are being accepted for documentary, educational, narrative, animated or experimental projects about LGBTQ people and their communities. 

Deadline: October 31

The Fledgling Fund

If you're 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

JustFilms focuses on film, video and digital works that show courageous people confronting difficult issues and actively pursuing a more just, secure and sustainable world...Beginning in 2011, we are investing $10 million a year over five years in documentary projects that address urgent social issues and help us understand our past, explore our present and build our future. Our goal is to expand the community of emerging and established filmmakers who often lack funding, and help them to realize their visions and reach audiences.

Deadline: Rolling

ITVS Diversity Development Fund

Intended to bolster much needed representation from producers of color in the industry, the DDF gives out funds to producer to support documentary projects that have not yet begun production. From the ITVS:

The Diversity Development Fund (DDF) provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding to producers of color to develop single documentary programs for public television. Funded activities may include travel, research, script development, preliminary production for fundraising/work-in-progress reels, or other early phase activities.

Deadline: November 6 (application opens in October)

Sundance Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab 

The Sundance Institute will choose five to six emerging producers with projects in pre-production to attend the Feature Film Creative Producing Lab, the Creative Producing Summit, and the Sundance Film Festival, as well as receive $10,000 in stipends and yearlong mentorship. From Sundance:

The Creative Producing Initiative encompasses a year-round series of Labs, Fellowships, granting and events focusing not only on nurturing the next generation of independent producers, but renewing the community of veteran producers dedicated to sustaining the vibrancy and vitality of independent film.

Deadline: Opens November 3, Closes TBA

Film Independent Documentary Lab

Ten documentaries at the rough-cut stage are chosen for Film Independent's mentorship program that includes exposure to industry professionals, a pass to the LA Film Festival, and year-round mentorship. From FIND:

Held in Los Angeles from March to April, Film Independent’s Documentary Lab is an intensive seven-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, Documentary Lab fulfills its twofold focus: provide creative feedback and story notes to the selected filmmakers; and help filmmakers strategize the completion, distribution, and marketing of their film.

Deadline: Opens October 5, Closes December 7 


Bureau of Creative Works Short Film Grant*

In it's inaugural year, the Bureau is commissioning 12 creative short films, of any genre, that can be made on a small budget. From the Bureau

Each filmmaker will be provided with a production budget ranging from $1k-$3k to produce an original, light-weight short film. Those short films are released to an engaged, highly-invested audience of film-enthusiasts...Our goals are simple: find and support talented filmmakers, bring together a highly engaged audience, and break the back of a dysfunctional film system.

Deadline: Opens September 15, Closes December 4

The Roy Dean Grant/From the Heart Productions*

The Roy Dean Grant includes over $30k of in-kind services and products 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: September 30


The CAAM Fellowship Program

To advance the field of Asian American media, the CAAM Fellowship Program connects talented individuals to the professionals who can help them further their careers. From CAAM:

The CAAM Fellowship Program is unique in its field-wide approach seeking to develop the talents and skills of a range of media professions including filmmakers, actors, programmers, and executives. Participating fellows will have access to the leading Asian American talent in film, television and digital media. Each fellowship will be individually tailored to best fit the needs of the fellows and advisors. Fellowships will range from fully integrated collaborations to regular feedback on current projects to an ongoing dialogue about professional development. Furthermore, fellows will have the opportunity to connect with the larger community of Asian American media professionals at CAAM’s annual film festival CAAMFest and a CAAM Fellowship Program retreat hosted by CAAM for all participating advisors and fellows.

Deadline: September 30

Disney | ABC DGA Directing Program

This two-year professional directing program takes experienced directors who want to make the transition to episodic directing, exposes them to the industry, and pays a $950 a week salary. From Disney|ABC:

The primary goal of this program is to afford Program Directors access to develop relationships with DATG executives and productions. Those selected to participate in the program become part of the Disney | ABC DGA Directing Program directing talent pool. DATG executives, executive producers and/or producing episodic directors select individuals to shadow on an episode or episodes of produced television. Shadowing assignments are not guaranteed; however, if an assignment is secured, the program director will shadow production and shooting. Observing post-production is solely at the discretion of producers. Drama assignments typically run three or more weeks, and comedy assignments usually run one to two weeks. 

Deadline: Opens in October, Closes TBA

Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Filmmaker Fund

For films with a science or technology (but not sci-fi) element, three to six filmmakers will get funds from $10,000-$65,000 for development, production, or post-production. From TFI:

The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund provides grants and professional guidance in support of innovative and compelling narrative features that offer a fresh take on scientific, mathematic and technological themes...Grantees will participate in panels, workshops, and one-on-one meetings with industry executives during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Deadline: November 5

Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund*

TFI's Latin America Fund offers up to $12,000 for films of any genre that push the boundaries of artistic storytelling. From TFI:

The TFI Latin America Fund supports innovative filmmakers living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America who are working on feature-length scripted, documentary or hybrid films.  Funded films are story-driven and in the advanced stages of development, production or post-production with no existing US or Latin American distribution in place. 

Deadline: November 5

Panavision's New Filmmaker Program

If you are a student or a low-budget indie, 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


FOX Writers Intensive

This program is by nomination only, but if you feel you are qualified and you are affiliated with one of the many organizations that can nominate such as NALIP, Women In Film, NYFA, Film Independent, Sundance Institute, you could give a little nudge. From FOX:

The Intensive is designed to introduce experienced writers with unique voices, backgrounds, life and professional experiences that reflect the diverse perspectives of the audiences Fox creates for to a wide range of Fox showrunners, writers, directors, screenwriters and creative executives. These collective individuals will work with the selected writers in a series of master classes to build on both their general craft and further their skillsets in the business of writing for television, feature films and digital content. Please note that while employment cannot be guaranteed, every aspect of the initiative is designed with a goal — to provide the accepted finalists with intensive creative and professional development, exposure and opportunity that would best equip him or her to succeed at Fox.

Deadline: Opens September TBA

WGA Videogame Writing Award Call for Submissions 

If you've written a compelling video games script and want to be recognized for you work at the Writers Guild Awards, well you should definitely submit your work for consideration. From the WGA:

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced the submission period is now open for the 2016 WGA Videogame Writing Award, honoring outstanding achievement in video game writing. Recent WGA Videogame Writing Award winners include The Last of Us: Left Behind (2015) and The Last of Us (2014), both Written by Neil Druckmann; Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Scriptwriting by Richard Farrese, Jill Murray (2013); and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Written by Amy Hennig (2012).

Deadline: November 23

Read the FULL list at NoFilmSchool.com