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FILMMAKING
GRANTS

FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange.

Overview

Description

  • FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of digital storytellers. FWB filmmaking grants provide funding and support for independent filmmakers to share their stories. Funds are available for narrative, documentary, experimental, and new media projects in various stages of production.

Goals & Objectives

  • to empower the next generation of digital storytellers
  • to promote diverse communities and cultures
  • to share unique perspectives and stories
  • to support independent voices from around the world

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants from any country are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants should be 18+ years old.
  • Applicants should be proficient in relevant digital technologies.
  • Applicants should be able to provide samples of their work.
  • Applications and supporting materials must be produced in English.
    • NOTE: Completed films may be in any language.

FWB is committed to diversity and equality.

  • FWB provides equal consideration for all qualified candidates. FWB does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, military service, or other protected status.

Guidelines

Proposed projects should address one of the following themes:

  • social justice
  • women’s voices
  • youth voices
  • identity
  • cultural exchange
  • climate change

Proposed projects should be aligned with the following guidelines:

Proposed projects should meet the following requirements:

  • 100% of funds dedicated to the film project (not to salaries or large equipment purchases)
  • scheduled for completion within 365 days of application deadline
  • subtitled in English

Types of Grants

Grants are available for all of the following stages of production:

  • Development
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Film Festival Applications

Grants are available for all of the following types of projects:

  • Short Film Projects (6-40 minutes)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary
    • Animation
    • Experimental

  • Feature Film Projects (90+ minutes)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary

  • New Media Projects (various)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary
    • Experimental

Funding & Support

Grants are available in the following amounts:

  • Development: $250, $500, or $1000
  • Production: $500, $1000, $2500, or $5000
  • Post-production: $250, $500, $1000, or $2500
  • Film Festival Applications: $100, $250, or $500

Additional Funding

Want to teach film in Africa, Asia, or Latin America? Learn More

HOW TO APPLY

FWB encourages both novice and experienced filmmakers from around the world to apply for grant funding. The application process is designed to showcase each respective project’s alignment with FWB’s mission as well as to outline the filmmaker’s goals, implementation strategy, outcomes, and expected impact.

All applicants complete an online application and submit a variety of supporting materials including a video essay. The video essay is an opportunity for applicants to introduce themselves, describe the project, and explain how it will be successfully completed.

Application Process

How to Apply

  1. Prepare all supporting materials
  2. Submit an online application

Interviews

  • After an application has been successfully reviewed, qualified candidates are then invited to telephone/skype interviews with various members of FWB. Each interview focuses on a different aspect of the proposed project. 

Timeline

  • Upon successful submission of 1. the online application and 2. all supporting materials, the candidate’s application will then be forwarded to the relevant committee for initial review. The review process can take between 2 – 6 weeks from the application deadline depending on the application cycle and number of applications being processed. After initial review, successful applicants are then contacted to arrange a series of telephone/skype interviews with various members of FWB.
  • Unsuccessful applicants are generally notified of their application status within 6 weeks of the application deadline.
  • Successful applicants generally receive formal offers about 1-2 months after the initial application deadline.

Supporting Materials

Supporting Materials

  • Submit an updated CV/resume
  • Submit a link to work samples, previous projects, or a portfolio
  • Submit a 5-10 page treatment/outline of your proposed project
  • Submit a reference letter from a mentor, community leader, employer, or teacher in support of your specific film project.
  • Submit a 3-5 minute video essay outlining your background and proposed project. This video is intended to be creative and to showcase your personality and technical skills. It may be filmed on a DSLR, pocket camera, or other comparable camera but should include an edited combination of all of the following:
    1. the applicant speaking directly to camera
    2. voice over narration
    3. photos
    4. b-roll footage
    5. text elements
  • Submit three short-answer essays responding to the following questions:
    1. How does your film project demonstrate a commitment  to cultural diversity? (1-2 pages)
    2. Why does this specific story need to be told and why are you the best person to tell it? (1-2 pages)
    3. How does your film project address your chosen theme? Include a minimum of x5 examples. (2+ pages)
  • Submit an estimated budget for each of the following (x2 total):
    • an estimated budget for the highest amount of funding available for your project’s stage (e.g. production: $5,000). This budget should clearly itemize all anticipated costs. 
    • an estimated budget for the lowest amount of funding available for your project’s stage (e.g. development: $250). This budget should clearly itemize all anticipated costs. 

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadlines

  • There are three grant cycles throughout each year (Spring/Summer/Fall).
  • Each cycle has its own unique application deadline:
    • Spring: January 1st
    • Summer: June 1st
    • Fall: August 1st
  • Completed online applications and supporting materials received by the corresponding deadline will be forwarded to the relevant selection committee for initial review. All grant cycles receive equal consideration.

Submit your grant application and share your story Apply Today

FAQs

General Questions

What are FWB Filmmaking Grants?
  • FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of digital storytellers. FWB filmmaking grants provide funding and support for independent filmmakers to share their stories. Funds are available for narrative, documentary, experimental, and new media projects in various stages of production.
What types of projects are eligible for grant funding?
  • Short Film Projects (6-40 minutes)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary
    • Animation
    • Experimental
  • Feature Film Projects (90+ minutes)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary
  • New Media Projects (various)
    • Narrative
    • Documentary
    • Experimental
For which stages of production are grants available?
  • Development
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Film Festival Applications
What grant amounts are available in each stage of production?
  • Development: $250, $500, or $1000
  • Production: $500, $1000, $2500, or $5000
  • Post-production: $250, $500, $1000, or $2500
  • Film Festival Applications: $100, $250, or $500

Application Process

Who should apply?
  • FWB encourages novice and experienced filmmakers from any country to apply.
When are the application deadlines?
  • There are three application cycles throughout each year. Applicants may find more detailed information above.
I’m not from the U.S., can I still apply?
  • Yes, FWB accepts grant applications from citizens of any country.
I missed the grant application deadline, can I still apply?
  • Applicants who are unable to submit their grant application and supporting materials by a particular deadline will be considered during the next application cycle.
When will I receive a decision?
  • Upon successful submission of 1. the online application and 2. all supporting materials, the candidate’s application will then be forwarded to the relevant committee for initial review. The review process can take between 2 – 6 weeks from the respective application deadlines depending on the application cycle and number of applications being processed. After initial review, successful applicants are then contacted to arrange a series of telephone/skype interviews with various members of FWB.
  • Unsuccessful applicants are generally notified of their application status within 6 weeks of the relevant application deadline.
  • Successful applicants generally receive final offers about 2-3 months after the relevant application deadline.
Can I apply to more than one grant?
  • Yes, applicants are welcome to apply to be considered for more than one grant (e.g. stage, theme, and/or project category). However, you will need to submit a separate application for each specific grant. Applicants should pay special attention to the short answer essays and ensure that they submit project-specific rationales.