Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation: Grants for Film

OVERVIEW:  Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supports artistic work created by, presented to, and engaged with its geographic region.

IP TAKE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation seeks to bring artistic expression to its region. However, that artistic work can come from all around the world. This includes supporting the travel, accommodations, and appearance fees for filmmakers to share their work with the region.

PROFILE: Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, or MAAF, is a vigorous funder of the arts and supporter of creators who live and work all over the United States and the abroad. The foundation seeks to develop “partnerships and programs that reinforce artists’ capacity to create and present work and advance access to and participation in the arts.” MAAF provides grants to a wide range of artists and organizations.

For the foundation’s purposes, the Mid-Atlantic region consists of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. However, it also supports the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF) funds film and filmmakers through its On Screen/In Person program, which provides funds for films to be screened and for the filmmakers behind those films to engage with the audience. Grant seekers can sign up for the newsletter here.

There are two application aspects of this program. Filmmakers apply for their film to be screened. Filmmakers can reside anywhere in the U.S., but they must not be students at any education level. Their film can be a documentary, fictional narrative, animation, or experimental, but it must be between 45 minutes and 120 minutes in running time. Films must be complete, not more than three years old, and cannot yet have distribution. Interestingly, MAAF provides no commentary whatsoever in terms of what it seeks in a film's quality; like any festival submission process, filmmakers know that their films must be really good, but that "really good" is also tremendously subjective.

What differentiates MAAF, and makes this a funding opportunity, is that it pays filmmakers to show their product ($400 per screening), and covers filmmaker's travel, accommodations, and daily expenses during their Mid Atlantic two-week tour of presenting the film and engaging in pre- or post-screening Q&As.

Where in the Mid Atlantic filmmakers will travel to showcase their work is also a competitive process; presenting organizations apply for the right to showcase the films.

Touring seasons are 1 1/2 years long (with each film making a two week trip), and the application cycles for this program are timed with this unusual calendar. MAAF profiles its films on tour, and also keeps a blog about the touring experience.

This is not a grant program where filmmakers will receive a lot of cash, but they will receive cash, plus expenses paid, which can be a rarity in the world of showcasing independent film.

To access the database of past grantees, click here.

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