Every week, IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit rounds up the latest opportunities that can help those looking to advance projects or get a career started in the film industry. The following grants, labs, fellowships, contests, and other nonprofit opportunities could be a great way to help kickstart your movie and TV dreams.
Flies Collective Film Grant
Flies Collective, a New York-based production company founded by filmmakers Daniel Patrick Carbone, Zachary Shedd, and Matthew Petock, announced the launch of the inaugural Flies Collective Film Grant. Open to both established filmmakers and emerging talent in the independent space, the 2017 Flies Collective Film Grant will provide funding that allows promising, original projects to start production.
In an interview with IndieWire, Carbone explained that after the members of the collective had a good run of making money in commercial work they wanted to give back to the independent film world by pumping $10,000 into a no-strings-attached grant opportunity to help more “formally experimental” works.
Submissions opened April 10. Narrative, documentary, and experimental films, both short and feature length, are eligible. Applicants must show a demonstrable need for funding that will allow production to start. In addition to financial support, the Grant will also offer a camera and lens equipment package to eligible projects. Carbone also left open the possibility that the collective would help mentor the winning filmmaker if that was desired. For more information, click here.
Sundance Institute, photo by Jonathan Hickerson
Nicholl Fellowships & Sundance Screenwriting Lab Deadlines
For aspiring screenwriters, two of the most important deadlines of the year are fast approaching.
The Academy’s Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition for writers who have not earned more than $25,000 writing fictional scripts for film or television. Five winners will receive a $35,000 fellowship. Beyond the money, Nicholls winners are closely monitored by Hollywood, while scripts that make it into the final rounds of the competition often become must-reads for talent agencies and development executives.
Deadline: April 18, 2016, 11:59 pm PT (Regular); May 2, 2016, 11:59 pm PT (Late). More information here.
The Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab is amazing opportunity for filmmakers to spend five intensive days in the mountains workshopping their script with top instructors and writers. More importantly, the writing lab is also the gateway for films to become part of the Sundance Institute, which means not only other lab opportunities, like the directors lab, but a continuum of support that extends beyond intensive workshop and includes year-round mentoring and advice that has guided dozens of top indies to the big screen.
Deadline: May 3, 6 pm PT for open submissions to the January Screenwriters Lab and International January Screenwriters Lab. The first step in the application process a brief bio, a cover letter, artistic statement, and a synopsis of your project, followed by uploading the first five pages of your screenplay. More information can be found here.
The Academy Launches Diversity Internship Program
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new initiative, Academy Gold, an industry-wide summer internship and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.
This initiative will give top film entertainment, technology, production services and digital media companies an opportunity to recruit and educate a nationwide pool of diverse talent. The Academy also will build an alumni database to track the professional development of Academy Gold participants and provide a resource to connect alumni with one another upon completing the program.
Companies including Deluxe, The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, FotoKem, FremantleMedia, HBO, IMAX, Lionsgate/Starz, Panavision, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., have already committed to the program. Each partner will sponsor up to three interns.
- The program starts June 15, 2017 – August 11, 2017.
- The application deadline is May 12.
- Internship hours are part-time (up to 28 hours per week and may vary based on project)
- Work will be project-driven, hands-on while providing you with more knowledge about and access to the motion picture industry.
- The summer internship program also includes educational brown bag lunches, studio tours and other growth oriented and fun activities related to student development and film.
TFI Latin American Fund
TFI Latin America Fund
With the Tribeca Film Festival starting next week, the Tribeca Film Institute has announced 17 new projects they will support through their TFI Latin America Fund. Started in 2010, the goal of the program is to help films from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America reach a larger audience. Support ranges from monetary grants, mentoring, workshops, and invitations to this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
In addition to offering hand-on mentoring, the program has given more than $700,000 in grants to 60 filmmakers from 15 Latin American countries over the last seven years. TFI will bring many of this year’s supported projects to take meetings at its annual market for filmmakers and members of industry during the Tribeca Film Festival.
You can learn more about the fund and the 17 films selected here.
AT&T Presents: Untold Stories
During the Tribeca Film Festival, five diverse filmmakers will compete for $1 million to put toward their next film in a unique initiative AT&T has created to bring greater diversity to the film world. Here’s how it will work:
On April 18 at a live-pitch event in NYC, the five filmmakers chosen by the Tribeca Film Institute (projects list below), will present their story ideas, budgets and film scripts to a Greenlight committee that includes: Fiona Carter (AT&T Chief Brand Officer), Jeffrey Wright (Actor), Anthony Mackie (Actor), Josh Deutsch (Chairman and CEO, Downtown Records), Lee Daniels (Film Producer), Len Amato (President, HBO Films) and Frida Torresblanco (Film Producer). The winning film will premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and will run across several of AT&T’s video platforms, including DirectTV NOW.
The four runner-ups will receive $10,000. A live stream of the pitch event will be streamed through Tribeca’s Facebook page and will begin at 9am. Below are the five projects and filmmakers competing for $1 million in funding.
“Forever, Even Longer”
Written and Directed by Andres Perez Duarte, Produced by Navid Khonsari and Vassiliki Khonsari
After the death of his estranged gay son, an elderly, small-town Mexican man must travel to the U.S. to meet his heartbroken granddaughter and his resentful son-in-law and confront his own prejudice. In this authentic drama that celebrates the laugh-at-life moments, Forever, Even Longer tells the universal story of intolerance and forgiveness—even after it seems too late.
“The Hand of God”
Written and Directed by Lissette Feliciano, Produced by Priscilla Anany
Elon Edson is the greatest footballer in the world. On the eve of receiving a lifetime achievement award, he recounts his belief in miracles which carried him from his mother’s death at the hands of terrorism through his perilous escape from Nigeria to Europe.
“I’m Not Down”
Written and Directed by A. Sayeeda Moreno, Produced by Derek Nguyen and Monique Gabriela Curnen
When a middle-aged, black punk-rock single dad is served an eviction notice by the greedy new landlord of his New York City tenement building, he has to fight for his way of life and save the livelihood of his family, the building’s tenants, and the character of a neighborhood.
Written and Directed by Faraday Okoro, Produced by Biyi Bandele and Oscar Hernandez-Topete
After being sent to Nigeria against his will, a stubborn Nigerian-American teenager joins forces with an internet scammer in order to return to the United States.
“The Short History of the Long Road”
Written and Directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy, Produced by Darren Dean and Kishori Rajan
Teenage Nola grew up living out of a van with her charismatic father, Clint — two nomads against the world. When Clint suddenly dies, Nola must confront the reality of life on the road alone. She’ll need to take the wheel for the first time and learn to own her grief, her past, and her new destination.