Film Independent: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW: Film Independent offers grants to creative, independent filmmakers whose work represents diversity and "uniqueness of vision.”

IP TAKE: Grant seekers should expect competition from well-known, and perhaps, provocative filmmakers for funding from Film Independent. Grant seekers should familiarize themselves with past grantees to better understand if their work is a good match for this funder. 

PROFILE: In 1981, Gregory Nava and a small group of like-minded directors, writers, and producers met regularly to discuss resources available to independent filmmakers. From these meetings, Independent Future Project/West emerged and became Film Independent. Film Independent “champion[s] creative independence in visual storytelling,” and supports work that embodies “diversity, innovation, and uniqueness of vision.” The organization funds a variety of grant programs directed to established filmmakers, newer filmmakers, and producers.

The Spirit Awards offers grants to filmmakers, producers, and filmmakers that have not yet received widespread industry recognition. Spirit Awards are unrestricted cash grants of $25,000. Learn more about current and past Spirit Award winners here. It appears awardees must be nominated for the Spirit Award.

Film Independent has also partnered with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to offer the Alfred P. Sloan grant. The program seeks to encourage filmmakers to tell more realistic and accurate stories about science, technology, scientists, and engineers. Grants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 are available.

The group also offers several fellowships that include $10,000 grants as well as other benefits such as the inclusion in Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab.


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