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Grants and Awards

Each year, Film Independent awards a number of grants and fellowships to help filmmakers with their current projects, as well as to recognize them for past accomplishments. Since 1995, we have given out over $1,425,000 in cash grants and in-kind services to our Fellows.

Alfred P. Sloan Grants

Each year, Film Independent awards two grants that are funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: the Sloan Producers Grant which provides $25,000 in development funds to a Producing Lab Fellow developing a narrative film with a scientific, mathematical, and/or technological theme; and the Sloan Fast Track Grant, which provides $15,000 to one film in the Fast Track program that also fulfills the Sloan Foundation’s mission. Learn more about the Sloan Foundation on its website.

Canon Filmmaker Award Program

The Canon Filmmaker Award Program is a program for Film Independent Fellows, alumni of the Los Angeles Film Festival, and Spirit Awards Nominees and Winners. Film Independent will select qualified filmmakers on a quarterly basis who will be loaned Canon camera packages for their production. These packages will be reserved for filmmakers who are preparing to shoot feature length narrative or documentary films, or in special cases, short films.

The Award includes a camera package of one (1) Canon Cinema EOS package loaned to assist the winning filmmaker with a qualifying feature.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • 2014 Third Quarter Award Application Deadline: April 7, 2014

Spirit Awards Grants

Every year at the Spirit Awards, Film Independent gives out three Filmmaker Grants. The recipients of these awards become Film Independent Fellows and receive unrestricted cash grants of $25,000. The awards are by nomination only.

  • Someone to Watch Award: recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
  • Truer Than Fiction Award: is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant attention.
  • Piaget Producers Award: honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality independent films.

In-Kind Production Grants

Each year, Film Independent awards a number of in-kind production grants to qualified Film Independent Fellows who are filmmakers in production on a feature film. They include:

Arri Feature Film Grant: A selected Film Independent Alumnus will be awarded an ARRI Alexa package for a narrative feature film production.

Dolby: Film Independent will award up to $10,000 in digital cinema mastering services by Dolby to a short or feature. Film Independent will also give out $4,500 in screening room rental use and three Dolby festival licenses valued at $2,000 each. 2012 Dolby DCP Recipients: Cherien Dabis, May in the Summer and Shrihari Sathe, It Felt Like Love.

Panavision: A selected Fellow will be loaned a Panavision camera package for feature film production.

Wildfire Post-Production Sound Grant: a complimentary Sound Mix provided by Wildfire Post-Production Studios on a feature film project. 2012 Recipient: Sebastian Dungan, Afternoon Delight.

Color Space Grant: a complimentary color correction grant given to a feature film project. 2012 Recipient: William Saunders, Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound.

New Hat: complimentary color correction on a feature film. 2011 recipient: Nicholas Bruckman, Valley of Saints.

Hollywood Rentals: complimentary production services awarded to California Solo, produced by Mynette Louie (2010) and awarded to Sharat Raju (2007).


Through donor-named fellowships, Film Independent supports our Fellows with cash grants.

Fox HBCU Media Alliance Fellowship in Project Involve: $10,000 awarded to a Project Involve Fellow. The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Nekisa Cooper for her film Bolo.

Millennium Fast Track Fellowship: $10,000 awarded to a narrative feature in the Fast Track Program. The 2013 Fellowship was awarded to Third Girl from the Left, produced by Vincent Harris and Amy Hobby. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to Lee, produced by Angela Lee and Mollye Asher.

Sony Diversity Fellowship: $10,000 awarded to a Project Involve Fellow. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to Mason Richards.

LMU SFTV Fellowship: $10,000 awarded to a Loyola Marymount graduate in the Screenwriting Lab. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to Jenniffer Castillo for her screenplay Undocumented.

Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship: $10,000 awarded to a Film Independent Fellow. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to Katie Fairfax-Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall for their film Call Me Kuchu (Documentary Lab). The 2013 fellowship was awarded to Melissa Haizlip for her film Mr. Soul (Project Involve).

Giorgio Armani Directing Fellowship: $10,000 awarded to a Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, directed by Grace Lee.

LG Cinema 3D Fellowship: a $10,000 production grant awarded to a current Project Involve Fellow. The 2012 fellowship was awarded to Mosquita y Mari, directed by Aurora Guerrero.

Elle/Garnier Fellowship: celebrates the accomplishments of a Directing Lab Fellow with a $10,000 grant. The fellowship was awarded to A Small Act, directed by Jennifer Arnold (2010) and Operation June Black, directed by Bridget Bedard (2009).

Elizabeth Peña Fellowship: provides a $10,000 production grant to a Latino filmmaker who has participated in Project Involve. The fellowship was awarded to La Muneca Fea, directed by George Reyes (2010).

HBO Documentary Fellowship: a $10,000 award to a documentary filmmaker participating in Fast Track. The fellowship was awarded to Better This World, co-directors Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway (2009).

Sponsor a Grant

Donors have the opportunity to directly support individual FIND Fellows by establishing a Donor Named Fellowship – providing filmmaker grants and education to exceptional artists.

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