In the United States, there are many film grants that require residency in a specific state or region. Others require a certain ethnicity or membership in the sponsoring institution to become eligible.
There are also major U.S. grant-giving agencies that offer film grants to any eligible American production coming from any part of the country and those that are available to international productions.
Student filmmakers may also read about: Film Scholarships and Grants for Student Filmmakers in the United States
National Endowment for the Arts Access to Artistic Excellence Program
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506; 202-682-5742
The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency supporting artistic projects in the United States, provides American filmmakers the opportunity to fund their films through the Access to Artistic Excellence Program under the agency’s Media Arts category. It supports a broad spectrum of activities in the field of media arts including film, video, audio, and other forms of digital and web-based media.
The agency supports film projects by providing funds to the production, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of artistic works. Apart from funding productions from a variety of genres including narrative, documentary, experimental, and animation, the National Endowment for the Arts also offers funding for film-related events and activities such as workshops, residencies, festivals, and conferences involving media artists, critics, and the general public.
The Global Film Initiative Film Production Grant
145 Ninth St. #105, San Francisco, CA 94103; 415-934-9500
The Global Film Initiative (GFI) Film Production Grant is open for submissions twice a year, during summer and winter. This grant allows a filmmaker to complete film production work through additional funding. It can also subsidize post-production cost including laboratory and sound production fees and access to modern editing systems. Aiming for cross-cultural understanding and development of world cinema and for the American audience to see the rich cultural lessons foreign films have to offer, this program promotes works from filmmakers in developing countries.
The funds become available after the Initiative’s evaluation of an applicant’s completed screenplay and early film-footage. The grant may also include a pre-sale option for exclusive U.S. distribution of the grantee’s completed film. Filmmakers can submit more than one film for consideration per granting cycle.
Grant applications are available for filmmakers in the following regions: Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia (excluding Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan) and Oceania (excluding New Zealand and Australia).