OVERVIEW: The Tribeca Film Institute offers a number of funding opportunities for both narrative and documentary films at various stages of production. They also take very good care of their alumni and make additional grants available for those that have gone through some of their programs, so getting your foot in the door can definitely pay considerable dividends.
IP TAKE: Tribeca is all about keeping the filmmakers they support close, so membership and participation in their programs count for a lot. They even offer help with marketing, pitching, and audience development in some cases, so their backing can be a force multiplier.
PROFILE: The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) makes nearly $1 million in independent filmmaking grants every year in the areas of Narrative, Documentary and New Media productions. Tribeca is just as widely respected and prestigious as Sundance and offers just a few more grant opportunities to filmmakers of all ages. Certain types of films are eligible for certain types of grants, but not all of them are eligible for every grant. Here's the breakdown:
TFI Latin American Media Arts Fund - Supports innovative film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America whose works reflect their diverse cultures in the documentary or mixed media form. Grants are for up to $12,000, and support projects that are in production or post-production.
TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund – Grants range from between $10,000 and $75,000 for narrative films with scientific, mathematic or technological themes.
Tribeca All Access – Grants through this program support feature-length scripted and documentary projects by directors, producers or writers from communities that are underrepresented in the film industry.
Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund – Feature length documentaries that are currently in production or post production qualify for this $10,000 to $25,000 award. Films eligible for this award must address and humanize pressing social issues.
TFI Documentary Fund – Non-fiction documentary films that are in the advanced stages of development, in production or in post-production qualify for this grant, which ranges from $25,000 to $50,000.
TFI New Media Fund – This fund grants awards from $50,000 to $100,000 to projects in various media platforms outside of traditional film, including works in video games, mobile applications, social networks and interactive websites.
TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Prize - This grant, of up to $18,000, provides support for graduate students (pursuing master's degrees) making short-form documentaries about athletic communities or organizations using sports to make the world a better place. Applicants must be enrolled at one of a specific number of universities; however, TFI will consider adding schools to the list.
The Resilient Communities Project - The project provides support for "a film beginning early in the creative process and help promote social action through digital and education initiatives."
Tribeca also offers different alumni grants, available for projects which have already participated in Tribeca All Access, or for new projects from program alumni. These grants target needs such as assistance in project completion and help with pitches, to marketing, branding, and audience development.
- Anna Ponder, Executive Director
- Molly O'Keefe, Director, Scripted Programs
- José Rodriguez, Director, Documentary Programs