Reach Film Fellowship
These resources are meant to assist filmmakers making and distributing short films. Our lists are by no means exhaustive, and some resources listed may become out of date. These pages will continue to evolve over time. We welcome your suggestions and corrections.
Funding & Training
Please see the resource lists in our Grants & Awards section for more funding ideas.
The Alter-Ciné Foundation - “Offers a yearly grant to young film and video makers from Africa, Asia and Latin America to direct a documentary film on the theme of rights and freedoms, including social and economic rights, women’s rights, the right to culture and artistic creation. The Foundation particularly supports documentary films that dare to go against the tide, that take the side of the defenceless and question common assumptions by giving a voice to the voiceless, enriching our understanding of the world and helping us reflect on the possibility of changing the world from a perspective of peace, justice, equality and respect for differences.”
The American Pavillion Student Program at Cannes – Provides an educational and fun experience for aspiring filmmakers, film students or recent graduates that offers immersive insight about the entertainment industry. It also offers intensive programs based in Venice and LA.
Art With Impact - San Francisco-based non-profit Art With Impact connects people to global issues through art and media. It offers artists an opportunity to collaborate and communicate with other artists through the New Works Projects program and runs the “New Works Contest,” a $1,000 grant for films dealing with the Israeli/Palestinian relationship.
Berkshire International Film Festival: The Next Great Filmmaker Award – This annual competition is designed to encourage and support short filmmakers. Filmmakers can apply by submitting to the the film festival (submissions open in October). The short films are placed online for a public vote and the winner receives $5,000.
Center for Asian American Media Fellowship Program - “Furthering CAAM’s work to nurture Asian American media professionals and advance the field of Asian American media, the first annual CAAM Fellowship Program will connect young, talented individuals with leading professionals in the field. The CAAM Fellowship Program is unique in its field-wide approach seeking to develop the talents and skills of a range of media professions including filmmakers, actors, exhibition specialists and film critics. Participating fellows will have access to the leading Asian American talent in film and television. Each fellowship will be individually tailored to best fit the needs of the fellows and advisors.”
Chesterfield Writers Film Project – The Writer’s Film Project (WFP) offers fiction, theater, and film writers the opportunity to begin a career in screenwriting.
Cine Awards – Awards for excellence in the production of film, television, video and new media work by professionals and students alike to recognize and foster the highest quality of non-theatrical film and video production.
Cinestory Awards – CineStory is a non-profit educational association dedicated to providing new screenwriters with opportunities to work with committed industry professionals on a personal basis in order to raise the level of their craft and the marketability of their projects.
The Doha Institute (DFI) – DFI is an international organization committed to building a sustainable film industry in Qatar by providing various resources. DFI runs a series of intensive screenwriting and directing labs as well as instructional discussions and classes. They also annually provide grants over two cycles for filmmakers from Middle Eastern and North African countries. The Spring application typically opens in late December and the Fall application in early June. In addition, co-production proposals for larger scale MENA projects and international projects are accepted on a rolling basis.
DCTV – Professional Youth Media Training – Open to middle and high school students from the NYC area. PRO-TV provides positive creative outlets for young people to address the issues affecting their lives and their communities. Students are paired with top teaching artists who guide them through a rich curriculum of media arts training using state-of-the-art equipment.
Duke Center for Documentary Studies Summer Video Workshop – An 8 day intensive program where participants are paired with nationally known guest instructors to shoot, edit,and screen a documentary short.
Filmanthropy Scholarship Competition (Philanthropy Project) – awards 12 scholarships to student filmmakers at top film programs who make films about philanthropic projects.
Film Independent Labs – Created to help the next generation of independent film writers, directors, and producers develop current projects, and meet film professionals who can help advance their careers. Programs are offered for screenwriters, directors and producers.
Focus Features Africa First - awards $10,000 to five rising African filmmakers for pre-production, production or post-production of their 5-to-25 minute short films. The film must be produced in continental Africa and contribute to the development of the local film industry. Filmmakers are also given opportunities to network and attend workshops with the Focus Features African First Advisory Board. Applicants must be at least 18 and must have resided in Africa for a minimum of 2 years at any point before applying.
Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant (in Partnership with the Full Frame Film Festival) – Awards first time documentary makers and film students with access to films at the Full Frame Film Festival, where they can participate in master classes and be mentored by experienced filmmakers.
Human Rights Watch Youth Producing Change (in Partnership with Adobe) – Youth Producing Change is designed for young filmmakers (19 and under) to develop projects about human rights. The program aims to empower audiences with the knowledge that the efforts of young people can make a real difference.
IDA-David L. Wolper Student Documentary Achievement Award – Presented annually to recognize exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and to bring greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field.
The Indie Film Clinic – The Indie Film Clinic provides free legal services to qualifying New York filmmakers producing independent, documentary, and student films. All clients of the Clinic are represented free of charge on a range of legal issues critical to any production, including: copyright research, registrations, and assignments; guild registrations; drafting and negotiating writer’s agreements, employment agreements, and intellectual property licenses; location agreements and permits; depiction releases; and more.
Institute of Humane Studies Production Internships – A 10 week production internship program offered to film students and recent graduates. Positions available in feature film, documentary film, TV and screenwriting.
Maine Media Workshop Documentary Film School – Course offered to new filmmakers, film school students and graduates that explores the historical, social, and cultural background, production requirements and technology for independent documentary filmmaking.
Massify and Killer Want You – Massify and Killer Films (Boys Don’t Cry, Kids, Far From Heaven ) have joined forces to create a provocative and humorous short film developed entirely through the Massify production network. They are accepting open applications for pitches from filmmakers, due May 14th, 2009. At the forefront of cutting-edge independent cinema, Killer is looking to tell an outsider’s story, the kind you don’t normally hear about. But this project really belongs to you, because you’re going to make it happen – from the concept, through production, cast, crew, and post – everything will be done by members of the Massify community.
MoxieDocs Co-Production Award – Provides grant for all phases of production for films that create public awareness through profound non-fiction stories.
P.O.V.’s Diverse Voices Project – Provides co-production funding to emerging filmmakers and the opportunity for access to national primetime television audiences.
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting – Offers grant to emerging authors writing for film or television.
Pangea Day – Filmmaker Retreat; Grant & Awards – “In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it’s easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that — to help people see themselves in others — through the power of film. The first-ever Pangea Day took place on May 10, 2008. Watch the one hour highlights or the full four-hour show. Locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro were linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire event was broadcast — in seven languages — to millions via the internet, television, and mobile phones.” Filmmakers included in the Pangea Day screenings are eligible to participate in the retreat and have the chance to win a development grant from Participant towards a feature film in progress.
Regional Emmy Awards – 2008/9 Mentor Renee Bishop recommended that RFF Fellows submit their films for regional Emmy Awards. She recommends visiting this site to see submission guidelines for each region.
Searle Film Fellowship at Reason.tv – year-long, full-time program that gives aspiring video journalists the opportunity to create substantive, original content. Responsibilities depend on experience and could range from research assistance to video editing to producing independent pieces. Fellows will also participate in training in production techniques appropriate to their skill level. Fellowships are full-time, salaried positions with benefits. Applicants at any level of experience will be considered. Deadlines are in December, the contact is Amy Pelletier at [email protected]
Solaris Entertainment Finishing Fund – Solaris created a “Finishing Fund” to support emerging independent filmmakers who seek the financial and technical resources necessary to complete their films.
Student Academy Awards – An annual national competition conducted by the Academy and the Academy Foundation that give awards and cash grants for film students with outstanding work in each of the four categories: Animation, Documentary, Narrative and Alternative.
Sundance Documentary Fund – Supports worldwide documentary films that focus on current human rights issues, freedom of expression, social justice, civil liberties, and exploring critical issues of our time. Grants provided to projects that are in the early research or pre-production stage and works-in-progress grants are provided to projects in the production/post-production stage. First time filmmakers may apply.
Sundance Creative Producing Initiative - Program conceived to develop and support the next generation of American independent producers. Candidates must have produced at least one short or feature-length narrative or documentary film (no more than 2 narrative features total), and have a legally-optioned scripted narrative project in hand.
Terra Firma Emerging Writers Program – Provides new writers a door into Hollywood by helping them learn from industry professionals, the fundamentals of storytelling, the process of script development, and the business of selling a screenplay.
Tribeca Youth Film Fellowship – A program that allows young filmmakers to exchange ideas, explore the possibilities of cinema, and develop their own visions and voices through film.
Working Films: The Content + Intent Documentary Institute – Offered to documentary filmmakers and film students with works-in-progress that brilliantly expand the understanding of the “American story.” The program focus on the development of outreach plans for the selected films.
WorldFest – Houston International Film Festival – Is a cash award program for independent films in all categories including student films, shorts, features, documentaries, experimental films, and others. The 10 winners present their work at the Houston International Film Festival.