Project Involve

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The application deadline for the 2016 Project Involve cycle has passed.
We will begin accepting applications for the 2017 program next February.

What is Film Independent’s Project Involve?

Film Independent believes that our community is enriched when the stories told on film reflect the distinct vision of independent artists from every facet of our multi-cultural community. Project Involve is a free, intensive, nine-month annual program that offers 30 up-and-coming film professionals from under-represented communities the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, utilize free or low-cost production resources, and ultimately gain the industry access necessary to succeed as working artists.

Running from October through June, the Lab is comprised of:

  • Mentoring — Each Fellow is paired with a notable professional in the same field, e.g. screenwriters with screenwriters. Mentors share knowledge, contacts and experience, giving young filmmakers invaluable guidance.
  • Masters Workshops — Ten Masters Workshops with top professionals off insights and information on the art and business of filmmaking.
  • Short Film Production — Fellows are given the resources and opportunity to gain hands-on practical experience. Fellows team up to produce at least six 10 minute shorts during the program, which are screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
  • Educational and Networking Events — Opportunities to learn from and connect with working artists and key professionals include the LA Film Fest and the Film Independent Forum, an annual event that brings together roughly 80 filmmakers and executives for a series of enlightening panel discussions.

Past Industry Mentors include Ava DuVernay (Selma), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street), Bonnie Arnold (How to Train Your Dragon), and Jeffrey Ford (The Avengers).


Sony Diversity Fellowship

The Sony Diversity Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to an outstanding filmmaker in Project Involve.

Sony Executive Track Fellowship

The candidate selected for the Project Involve Sony Executive Track Fellowship will become a Project Involve Fellow and will receive a position with Sony Pictures Entertainment, including on the job training in the studio’s production and development departments.

Who Can Apply?

Project Involve accepts applications from any rising film professional who is able to demonstrate some proficiency and experience in their given discipline or focus.

  • Filmmakers: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Screenwriting
  • Industry Executives: Acquisitions/Distribution, Creative/Development, Film Programming

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration:

  • A Statement of Interest explaining your interest in Project Involve
  • A professional resume
  • A biography
  • A non-refundable application fee of $45 for Film Independent Members; $65 for non-Members

Please note the additional application materials required for each area of focus.

  • Screenwriters: A) One completed, feature-length script; B) one treatment for a feature-length script idea (max. 5 pages)
  • Directors: A) One work sample (completed feature or short film) via DVD or online link; B) one treatment for a feature-length script idea (max. 5 pages)
  • Producers: A) One work sample (completed feature or short film) via DVD or online link; B) one treatment for a feature-length script idea, not required to be written by you, the producer (max. 5 pages)
  • Editors: A) One work sample (completed feature, short film or music video) via DVD or online link
  • Cinematographers: A) One work sample (completed feature, short film or music video) via DVD or online link
  • Industry Executives: A) Your Statement of Interest must address what makes you the perfect candidate for this job track and what excites you about this area of filmmaking, plus a summary of your relevant professional experience (education/internships/applicable work in the industry); B) two letters of professional recommendation

Selection Criteria

Project Involve seeks filmmakers with original voices and unique visions who can help fulfill our mission to increase diversity within the film industry. Additionally, strong consideration is given to those whose work samples and statements of interest demonstrate talent, passion, focus, responsibility and a strong commitment to collaboration.

The Fine Print

Beyond the application fee, there is no cost or tuition to participate in any of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs.

Film Independent membership is not required when applying to Artist Development Labs; however, all participants accepted into the labs are required to join Film Independent at the standard annual membership rate of $95.

Project Involve accepts applications from filmmakers all over the world. However, those applicants who are invited to participate in the program should plan to be in Los Angeles for its nine-month duration, and are expected to attend all sessions in person. Film Independent is unable to subsidize any travel, lodging and/or visa expenses for any participants attending from outside of Los Angeles.

For more information, please email: