Information About Independent Film Grants

Independent films are films that are created outside of major film production studios. A great independent film could potentially become one of the world’s favorite films - just look at the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Blair Witch Project, Lost in Translation and Clerks. Obtaining financial support can really provide filmmakers with an opportunity to showcase their film to the world.

Cinereach Grants

Cinereach provides grants for both emerging and established filmmakers. Grants are available from $5,000 to $50,000 for feature and documentary films in any stage of production. Cinereach features The Reach Film Fellowship for filmmakers who have just finished film studies programs and are producing socially relevant short films. This fellowship includes a $5,000 grant, production support, mentorships, workshops, career coaching and exposure in the film industry. Individuals can learn more by visiting cinereach.org.

Ford Foundation Media, Arts and Culture Grants

The Ford Foundation provides grants that support public broadcasting and independent production of film, video and radio programming. The program is most interested in projects that are related to the media and that analyze the media’s effect on society. Individuals who are interested will need to send in a letter of inquiry to determine whether the foundation is interested and able to assist the filmmaker. More information is available at fordfound.org.

The Chicago Underground Film Fund

The Chicago Underground Film Fund supports filmmakers that push boundaries and defy commercial expectations. They pay special attention to projects that transcend the mainstream of independent filmmaking. Grants range from $500 to $2,000 and are specifically for post-production or works that are already in progress. Individuals can learn more by visiting cuff.org.

Creative Capital

Creative Capital provides grants to filmmakers for projects that involve experimental work. They like to see filmmakers who think outside the box. The grants are given every other year and the amount is typically up to $20,000. Individuals who want to learn more can visit creative-capital.org.

The Open Meadows Foundation

The Open Meadows Foundation provides grants to filmmakers who have limited financial access. They’re most interested in films that empower women and girls and address the cultural and ethnic diversity of society, as well as those that are created for the purpose of seeing social change where it’s needed. Grants up to $2,000 are available for projects of this type. More information is available at openmeadows.org.

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John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Grants are available from this foundation that support independent and documentary films that offer a unique view of the world or culture, expand the availability of high quality content and feature global security and sustainability topics. More information is available at macfound.org.

There are many different foundations and grants that support independent filmmakers and movies. While many are interested in films that showcase society’s problems and human rights issues, others are available for individuals who highlight topic matters in a way that is different from what has been done in the past. There may be a lot of research involved, but it’s worth it to find a grant that supports your project in the different stages of development.

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