A list of winter 2019 grants for filmmakers you should know about

There is no glass ceiling for filmmakers. There is always something that can be improved and polished, something to be added for a better dramatic effect and someone more professional hired to perform the duties. All these add-ons require money that is frequently an issue for independent filmmakers. Well, if you’re monitoring the art world daily then you might have spotted a big number of institutions offering grants and funding for the young and aspiring filmmakers. Together with the executives and producers from Red Rock Entertainment Ltd we combined a list of the remaining winter grants that can make your film better. The grants here are divided into scholarships for short films, feature films, narratives, and grants for screenwriters. Read on and start applying for your film’s sake!


Filmmakers Without Borders

Deadline: 1 January

This is a non-profit organization that supports independent filmmakers from around the world. It offers grants and other funding initiatives for shorts as well as narratives, documentaries films, and new media projects. However, they have a focus on empowerment, social justice, and cultural exchange.

Moving Image Grant Funds LEF Foundation

Deadline: 14 January

If you are one of the independent documentary filmmakers, the LEF Foundation can help you turn your project into reality. The grant is applied to all stages of film production: from the risky pre-production to the post-production finishing touches. Whether you lack a couple of hundreds or a lump sum, a total of $4 million can cover any need.

Panavision New Filmmaker Program

Deadline: 8 January

Panavision program was created for helping students and beginning filmmakers achieve their dreams. At little to no charge, they offer camera packages to independent filmmakers as well as film schools and training programs.

The Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant Program

Deadline: 17 February

This is production only grant for individual film and video artists. It applies not only to shorts but also to the documentary, experimental, narrative, and animation production projects.


Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant & Fellowship

Deadline: 10 February

The Program supports independent filmmakers with the development of the screenplay over the past 30 years. Their focus is on the scientific and technological projects that are popularizing science in the masses. According to Gary Collins from Red Rock Entertainment, even the fact of getting funds from the Sundance/Sloan Commissioning Grant & Fellowship is already a great sign of respect and acceptance in the film world.

Visions Sud Est Fund

Deadline: 27 February

This fund supports filmmakers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. They give money for the production and also guarantee distribution deals for the winners in Switzerland. It’s a great opportunity to make your project see the world!


Doha Film Institute Grants Programme

Deadline: January 10–22

Qatar applicants can get the grant at almost all times while for international submissions, the deadline is stated below. The Doha Institute is seeking new cinematic voices. It funds any stage of film production yet it depends on whether you are a MENA or non-MENA applicant.

SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grant

Deadline: February 6–20

If your project is focused on social issues and you want to tackle a meaningful and creative project, then apply for the grant from the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films. The grants can be as high as $25,000 for post-production and up to $75,000 for production stages.

Sundance Feature Film Creative Producing Fellowship and Lab

Deadline: February 12

Only five applicants can receive this grant. The committee chooses emerging producers having their projects in pre-production to attend the lab, the Creative Producing Summit, and also the Sundance Film Festival. Besides that, the winners receive $10,000 and yearlong mentorship.

Screen Australia’s Feature Film Production Program

Deadline: February 22

This is a government film agency that offers major funds for low-budget independent narratives as well as features, documentaries, and large format programs. They can cover up to 65% of the total film budget. However, to apply for the program, you need to be an Australian reflecting on the unique characteristics of Australian identity.


Nickelodeon Writing Program

Deadline: January 2–31

This is not just a payment for the script development but an opportunity for the promising writers to get their hands on writing for Nickelodeon and start their writing career. This is a paid program lasting for a year or half a year.

Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition

Deadline: January 7

The winner of this competition gets $10,000 and genre winners get $500 a pop. The advantage of this competition is that the committee includes not only critics or other writers but also producers, agents, and managers who evaluate the script from different perspectives. The winners also get an opportunity to sign a contract and get the script into the actual film development.

ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship

Deadline: January 31-February 28

This year, as usual, the ScreenCraft offers a Screenwriting Fellowship for talented writers. The winners will have fully covered trip to Hollywood and three months of priceless one-on-one consultations with the ScreenCraft mentors and staff. Moreover, the program also provides meetings with lit agents and a special trip to Los Angeles for introductions and meetings with the key entertainment executives, producers and representatives.

SFFILM/Westridge Screenwriting Grant

Deadline: opens February 6–20

This is another fund from SFFILM which aims at giving an opportunity for the writers to finish or polish their scripts till the end of the program. So the winner gets $20,000 to $25,000 prize money as well as an opportunity to get a ready-to-sell draft of the screenplay at the end of the program.