How To Apply For Film Grants

Filmmaking is expensive, and often times no matter how brilliant a project is, there are just no funds to make it happen. This is where grants can come in, and many different organizations offer grants for feature-length films, short films and documentary films. It’s important to understand how to apply for these grants correctly to maximize your chances of winning one.

Have Samples Ready

Most organizations will want to see samples of your work before determining whether to provide you with a grant or not. This might include clips of past projects, stills, and reels that showcase your specific artistic style. This is typically so the board of directors can determine whether your artistic style will mesh well with their expectations of a finished project they’ve helped with financially.

Write a Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose should be included with your grant application and materials. This statement of purpose will describe why you feel the film should be created, what kinds of themes will be featured within the film, and why it will be interesting or moving to an audience. You can also include information on why you were inspired to create the film. This statement of purpose should be short and to the point - one page or less.

Include a Production Budget

Most organizations offering grants will want to see your production budget, so it’s essential that you have an organized and easy-to-read budget. You should include any of the budget that has already been used if you’ve started the project, as well as money you have remaining and any services or items that have been donated to your project. You should clearly show how much money is needed to finish the project completely.

Include a Synopsis

You should include a synopsis of your project so the committee is easily able to determine what the project is about, including the purpose of the project - to educate, highlight a topic, provide entertainment, et cetera - and any other relevant information you think is necessary. The synopsis shouldn’t be more than 5 pages, and should convey the importance of the film or the message you’re trying to get across.

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The Application

Fill out the application provided by the organization offering the grant. It’s essential that you read through the requirements completely so you can provide everything needed; requirements differ from organization to organization. You should make sure you’ve filled out everything on the application. It’s a good idea to get a friend to look everything over to make sure you haven’t missed anything or made an error. You should include a copy of the script with the application so the committee can look it over if they want to.

Before filling anything out, make sure you know the deadline for the application so you can get the grant and additional materials in on time. Send the application and additional materials in the way the organization requests - through email or snail mail. Following directions specifically can often mean the difference between funding your project with grant money and missing out.

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