FUNDING

Funding a film project is a major step in turning dreams into reality. While the Cherokee Nation Film Office does not offer funding or currently have an incentive program launched, there are a number of resources available for those looking to financially back their projects. CNFO has compiled a list of programs available in a variety of categories along with the details to get started. Categories listed include:

Native Film
Narrative Film
Documentary Film
Screenwriting

NATIVE FILM FUNDS

Grants, funds and programs open to either Native stories or Indigenous filmmakers.

Vision Maker Media Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Each year, Vision Maker Media awards over $500,000 in production contracts to independent producers and public television stations to produce programming by and about Native Americans for use by PBS stations. Funding can be for production, completion, or research & development.

LINK: https://www.visionmakermedia.org/opportunities-0

Sundance Native Filmmaker Lab Fellowship

FUNDING TYPE: Filmmaker Lab

Short Films, Documentary and Narrative. Writers can also apply. This program provides resources to complete your project and training as well.

LINK: http://applications4.sundance.org/res/p/2019NFL/

Native Counsin Collective Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Focus on hybrid or experimental film. Must be Indigenous and have made previous short films. The grant can be used as finishing funds. Minimum of 2500 up to 10,000 https://www.cousincollective.org

Arctic Indigenous Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Artic Indigenous Film Fund is for Artic Indigenous peoples to make films that enhance the culture, language and societies.

LINK: http://aiff.no

NARRATIVE FILM FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES & PROGRAMS

Grants, funds, sponsorships and programs for films that are fictional.

The Davey Foundation

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

A film & theatre grant. They have a national and local emerging artist grant. They are based in SLC, Utah. The grant is for emerging artists and for their short films to find higher success past this fest. It doesn’t specify what the money must be used for but it seems it is pushed towards bigger fests and distribution.

LINK: https://www.thedaveyfoundation.org

Cinereach

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Philanthropic support of film projects that challenge the status quo is a touchstone of Cinereach’s mission. Each year Cinereach awards grants to feature-length film projects from across the world. Grants are awarded to support any stage of a film’s progression, with particular emphasis on earlier transformative moments. We strive to find additional ways to support grantees in realizing their vision, as we lend our attention to their creative and practical concerns.” They also have awards for producers and fellowships.

LINK: https://cinereach.org

Roy W. Dean Film Grants

FUNDING TYPE: Grant & Fiscal Sponsorship

The Roy W. Dean Film Grants funds independent feature films, documentaries, web series, and short films with budgets of $500,000 or less that are unique and make a contribution to society that, without its help, might otherwise never get made.” Their sponsorship also offers support to get independent funding.

LINK: https://fromtheheartproductions.com

Big Vision Empty Wallet

FUNDING TYPE: Incubation Model to help filmmakers get to the next level of connections

An incubation and enrichment experience that combines Big Vision Empty Wallet’s signature incubation process with an intimate meeting of the minds for creators who are at a turning point in their careers and looking for new relationships and knowledge to help them take their careers to the next level.

LINK: http://www.bigvisionemptywallet.com

Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program

FUNDING TYPE: Camera Loan

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.”

LINK: https://www.panavision.com/new-filmmaker-program

Alfred P. Sloan Film Grant

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

To influence the next generation of filmmakers to tackle science and technology themes and characters, increase visibility for feature films that depict this subject matter, and develop new work that can be produced and released theatrically.

LINK: https://sloan.org

Film Independent Programs

Multiple grants and programs

Camera Divison Grant, Fast Track, Fiscal Sponsorship, Producing Lab and the Sloan FUNDING TYPE: Distribution Grant

LINK: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/applications/

Screencraft Film Fund Grant Program

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

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.

LINK: https://screencraft.org/fund

Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

The purpose of OVAC’s granting program is to foster Oklahoma’s visual artistic creative excellence. The grants committee supports the mission of OVAC and scores submissions based on the merit of each application according to the pertinent grant category and its associated criteria.

LINK: https://www.ovac-ok.org/grants-for-artists

Women Make Movies

FUNDING TYPE: Grants and Other Resources

The Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program was established in 1988 to develop and support women producing independent media. The Program fulfills this mission by offering support services including fiscal sponsorship, individualized consultations, workshops, networking and more.

LINK: https://www.wmm.com/pa-program

Ford Foundation Grants for Creativity and Free Expression

FUNDING TYPE: Grant Database

Our work explores how cultural narratives affect and shape our reality, and how the arts, journalism, and film can contribute to fairer and more just societies. We are committed to strengthening diverse networks of cultural producers and decision makers. We seek to illuminate the root causes of injustice.

LINK: https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/challenging-inequality/creativity-and-free-expression

Rooftop Films Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Grants

Rooftop Films has eleven grants available —seven for feature length films and four for short films. Each year, Rooftop Films will give away over $45,000 in cash grants, $30,000 of which is courtesy of our Water Tower Feature Film Grant that funds two feature-length works per year. Our equipment and service grants are valued at more than $250,000.

LINK: https://www.rooftopfilms.com/filmmaker/#filmfund

The Filmmaker Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

To be selected as a project of the Filmmaker Fund is to have a partner in the entirety of the journey. That includes grants of up to $75K as well as access to low cost DCP services, an invitation to Sonoma retreats, festival navigation and distribution strategy.

LINK: https://www.filmmakerfund.com/about

Creative Capital Award

FUNDING TYPE: Funding and Resources

The Creative Capital Award supports artists with up to $50,000 in project funding, advisory services, career advancement resources, and national networking opportunities valued at $50,000, for a total commitment of up to $100,000 per project.

LINK: https://creative-capital.org

Southern Filmmaker Grants

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Project must be made in or about the American South. Grant winner gets $5,000.

LINK: http://southerndocumentaryfund.org/programs/apply-for-a-grant

The Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

We’re providing funding up to $10,000 per project for short films in a way that’s a lot simpler than screenwriting contests, crowdfunding, or applying to grants, because we’re sick of seeing these funding avenues dominated by industry experts.

LINK: https://www.thefilmfund.co

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

FUNDING TYPE: Grant / Distribution Grant

$50,000 grant awarded to a film that is entering its distribution phase. Eligible films must depict themes, stories and characters grounded in real science, technology or economics.

Applicants must be the producer of a narrative fiction feature film. The film should prominently feature science, mathematics and/or technology in the story and/or have a leading character that is a scientist, engineer or mathematician. Films with innovative marketing and distribution plans are encouraged to apply. All submitted films must be at least 70 minutes in length. Applicants must be legal residents of the United States. Film must be entering its distribution phase.

LINK: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/grants-and-awards/sloan-distribution-grant/

Kaleidoscope Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Kaleidoscope is a funding platform for immersive art and entertainment. Join an exclusive network to invest in the next wave of great virtual reality and augmented reality projects.

LINK: https://www.kaleidoscope.fund/

DOCUMENTARY FILM FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Grants, funds, fellowships, labs and more for projects that use factual material for purposes of education or entertainment.

Catapult Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Grants are accepted on a rolling basis. For filmmakers ready to shoot and edit for fundraising purposes. Up to $20,000.

LINK: https://catapultfilmfund.org

National Endowment for the Humanities

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

The Media Projects program supports the development, production, and distribution of radio, podcast, television, and long-form documentary film projects that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways.  All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship and demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical.  The approach to the subject matter must go beyond the mere presentation of factual information to explore its larger significance and stimulate reflection.  Media Projects offers two levels of funding: Development and Production.

LINK: https://www.neh.gov/program/media-projects

National Endowment for the Humanities (Short Documentary)

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Public Programs is currently accepting proposals for the Short Documentaries program. The purpose of the program is to support documentary films up to 30 minutes that engage audiences with humanities ideas in appealing ways. The program aims to extend the humanities to new audiences through the medium of short documentary films. Films must be grounded in humanities scholarship. The Short Documentaries program can support single films or a series of thematically-related short films addressing significant figures, events, or ideas. The proposed film(s) must be intended for regional or national distribution, via broadcast, festivals, and/or online distribution. The subject of the film(s) must be related to “A More Perfect Union”: NEH Special Initiative Advancing Civic Education and Commemorating the Nation’s 250th Anniversary.

LINK: https://www.neh.gov/grants/listing/short-documentaries

Cinereach Film Grant

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Philanthropic support of film projects that challenge the status quo is a touchstone of Cinereach’s mission. Each year Cinereach awards grants to feature-length film projects from across the world. Grants are awarded to support any stage of a film’s progression, with particular emphasis on earlier transformative moments.

LINK: https://cinereach.org

Film Independent

Resource of grants, labs, fellowships

Camera Division Grant, Directing Lab, EFILM Deluxe Feature Film Grant, Eposodic Lab, Fast Track, Film Independent Camera Grant, Fiscal Sponsorship, Producing Lab, Project Involve, Screenwriting Lab

LINK: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/applications/

Open Call

FUNDING TYPE: Funds

Open Call provides documentary funding and co-production support so you can complete your nonfiction work in progress, then air it on public television. Also has Diversity Development Fund, which gives producers of color up to $25,000 in research and development funding so you can develop your documentary for air on public television. Pre-production nonfiction projects only. They fund shorts and series as well. 

LINK: https://itvs.org

Ford Foundation

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Focus on underrepresented voices. 

LINK: https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/challenging-inequality/creativity-and-free-expression/

AMDOC Film Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

New projects and Works in progress. Up to $50,000 per year.

LINK: https://www.amdocfilmfest.com/filmfund

Pulse Doc Society Genesis Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Imaginative and innovative storytelling.

LINK: https://docsociety.org/genesis/

The Filmmaker Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Grants up to $75,000 from early stage funding, to production, to DCP. 

LINK: https://www.filmmakerfund.com/about

Outreach and Engagement Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

For climate change focused projects giving grants ranging from $15K to $25K.

LINK: http://www.thefledglingfund.org/documentary-fund/

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

For Canadian documentary projects and will award up to $20,000 grants.

LINK: http://www.hotdocs.ca/i/hot-docs-ted-rogers-fund

Tribeca Film Institute

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Grants of $10,000

LINK: https://www.tfiny.org/pages/tfi_documentary_rules

Derek Freese Documentary Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Provides up to $35,000 for feature length documentaries as a finishing fund

LINK: https://www.derekfreesefilm.org

Pare Lorentz Doc Fund

FUNDING TYPE: Fund

Up to $95,000 in funds. 2020 has a criminal justice focus, but the focus changes every year. LINK: https://www.documentary.org/parelorentz/application-guidelines

Creative Capital Award

FUNDING TYPE: Grant + Services

Up to $50,000 in direct funding and career services valued at $50,000

LINK: https://creative-capital.org

SCREENWRITING FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Writers labs, funds and programs to enhance those looking to write for film/television or to get screenwriting projects turned to film.

ScreenCraft Film Fund Grant Program

FUNDING TYPE: Grant

Supporting film projects with grants up to $30,000. Screenwriters can also submit scripts to be paired with a director for $30,000.

LINK: https://screencraft.org/fund/

Writers on the Verge

FUNDING TYPE: Screenwriter Lab/Services

Writers on the Verge is a program focused on polishing writers and readying them for a staff writer position on a television series. We are looking for writers who are “almost there” but need that final bit of preparation with their writing and personal presentation skills. We particularly encourage writers of diverse backgrounds to apply.

LINK: http://www.nbcunitips.com/writers-on-the-verge/

Nickelodeon Animation Writers Program

FUNDING TYPE: Writers Lab

Paid Writers Lab

LINK: https://www.nickanimation.com/writing-program