The Ten Best Grants For Female Filmmakers

Let Your Ideas Move You Forward

By Shahrzad Dadgar 

When artists are frustrated by the ordinary obstacles in their career, they chose a new path, The Art of Doing Nothing. They keep themselves busy by daydreaming and expecting the professional industry to discover their talents.

Do not wait to be discovered, put yourself out in the open to be discovered.


Researching the right resources and finding the best matches for the needs is a part of the process of creating art as well. There are a lot of organizations which could be a great asset for artists to execute their projects.

Here are the 10 best grants for female filmmakers

Do you have a rough cut which has been put on the back burner because you can’t afford the color correction cost? Is there a big light bulb moment about creating a documentary about the difficulties through genders in your community? It’s time to get ready and hit the road. Organize your samples, write your own story, and follow your dreams.

1. Women in Film Finishing Fund

The Women in Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats, in all genres — narrative, documentary, animated and experimental. To apply for the Finishing Fund, the filmmaker must have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of application.

Uploading the rough cut is a requirement at the time of submission. Women in Film Finishing fund are welcome to receive international submissions as well. The student films and television/web pilots are not eligible to receive Finishing Funds for their projects. Film Finishing Fund grants are given out annually.

Total Prize Value Range: $25,000
Format: Short and long, Narrative, documentary, animated and experimental
Deadline: July 14
Website: 
https://womeninfilm.org/wif-film-finishing-fund



2. Filmmakers without Borders

FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of digital storytellers. FWB supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange.

Funds are available for narrative, documentary, experimental, and new media projects in various stages of production. The proposed projects should address at least one of the following themes; Social justice, women’s voices, youth voices, identity, cultural exchange, climate change. There are various types of grants which are found as development, production, post-production, and Film Festival Applications.

Total Prize Value: $5000
Format: Short Film Projects (6-40 minutes), Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Experimental, Feature Film Projects (90+ minutes), New Media Projects (various)
Deadline: January 1
Website: http://filmmakerswithoutborders.org/



3. WIDC Feature Film Award (FFA)

WIF-PDX is now accepting applications for the 2019 Women’s Vision Production Grant. This grant provides financial support ($5,000) to a current production with a project director identifying as female or non-binary, while fostering the applicant’s professional and personal development. Production crew must be comprised of at least 50% women or non-binary.

Total Prize Value Range: $5,000
Format: Feature Film
Deadline: August 15
Website: 
http://www.widc.ca/



4. The Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant

The NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Grant will support a woman second-time feature film director who is over 40 years of age in the production of a dramatic feature film with $7500. Grant funds may be used for pre-production, production or post-production.

Total Prize Value: $7500
Format: Feature Film
Deadline: August 2
Website: https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-ravenal-foundation-feature-film-grant/


5. The Nancy Malone Marketing & Promotion Grant

The New York Women in Film & Television Nancy Malone Marketing and Promotion (MAP) Grant will provide resources to help an emerging woman director get her film recognized and ready for distribution.
This grant will award $5,000 to a recently completed—or currently being completed—dramatic feature film directed by a woman. First-time, US-based dramatic feature filmmakers are eligible.

Films co-directed by a woman and a man are not eligible. The Nancy Malone MAP Grant may be used for festival entry fees, marketing materials, video duplication, publicists, promotion at the film’s opening, or other approved marketing and promotional expenses. The grantee will provide a marketing plan with proposed expenses for approval by NYWIFT. To be eligible, films must be completed or have locked picture.

Total Prize Value: $5000
Format: Feature
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-nancy-malone-marketing-promotion-grant/



6. In-kind Post Production Grants

New York Women in Film & Television is offering grants which will be awarded to help complete a work-in-progress. The grants of in-kind post-production services. Grants for an online session and/or a sound mix will be awarded to documentary films directed and produced by New York area-based women filmmakers. Films may be up to one and a half hours long. Grants for a color grading session will be awarded to dramatic features by women directors.

Prize Value Range: In-kind post-production service
Format: Documentary
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/in-kind-post-production-grants/



7. The Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant

The film completion grants for $7,500 will be awarded to a woman filmmaker for a film on physical or developmental disability issues. Directors and producers are eligible to apply. Films may be of any length or genre. The Grant will be awarded to help complete a work-in-progress. Films must have completed principal photography to be eligible.

Total Prize Value: $7500
Format: Any length or genre
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-loreen-arbus-disability-awareness-grant/


8. Hubert Bals Fund

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high-quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through its Hubert Bals Fund.

A Script and Project Development grant can be used for the further development of a script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant), but can also be used to present a project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals.

Total Prize Value: $11,200.
Format: feature
Deadline: August 1
Website: 
https://iffr.com/en/hbf-script-project-development-support



9. Foundation Alter Cine’

Every year, the Foundation awards a grant of 10,000 Canadian dollars and a few 5,000 Canadian dollars grants to some filmmakers to assist in the production of a documentary project. The grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation, as explained above.

Total Prize Value: $7,600
Format: Documentary
Deadline: August 15
Website: 
http://www.altercine.org/



10. National Endowment for the Humanities

Production Grants program supports the production and distribution of documentary film, television, radio, and podcast projects that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship and demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical.

Total Prize Value: $1 million
Format: Shorts under 30 minutes
Deadline: August 14
Website: 
https://www.neh.gov/grants/public/media-projects-production-grants


Shahrzad Dadgar is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer and was trained as an architect and engineer before pursuing a film career. As an artist, Shahrzad’s work focuses on promoting understanding of women’s empowerment, and women who have suffered from sexual issues. She has received the coveted Golden Gazzale from the Persian International Film Festival in Australia as well as “Best Inspirational Women in Film” award from the online Festigious Film Festival of Los Angeles, and more. Dadgar is now attending Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts in Florida on a Talent Scholarship Grant and continuing to make independent films.

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