Imaginar Producers Residency
A nine-month residency designed to advance the careers of Latinx producers
The Film Independent Imaginar Producers Residency is a new program created to support Latinx Producers, made possible by The Walt Disney Company and Searchlight Pictures, in collaboration with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). The Residency will support three Latinx Producers during a nine-month period.
Each Fellow will receive a $50,000 grant to financially assist the continued development of their projects. Throughout the year, Fellows will receive mentorship and feedback from seasoned industry professionals, and access to creative working facilities. In addition to project-specific support, the producers will receive access and guidance that will further their professional careers.
Producers must apply with a slate of two to three scripted projects, at least one of which must be a live-action feature film. The other(s) can include one live-action episodic series or one nonfiction feature film project. Projects in the slate should embody the Film Independent and Searchlight Pictures spirit, as they will be shared with Searchlight Pictures for consideration.
We are looking for unique stories akin to Andrew Ahn’s Fire Island and Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland that push the boundaries of narrative storytelling and cinematic language, and carry the potential to engage audiences. Projects that reflect applicants’ cultural heritage are welcome, but not required.
Applications will open on November 1st, 2022, and close at 11:59 pm PT on December 1, 2022. Fellows will be selected in early 2023 and the nine-month program will commence in the spring.
For more information on application deadlines, please visit our applications page.
Who Can Apply?
Qualified applicants will be Latinx producers working primarily in fiction with compelling past work and current projects. Applicants must have produced at least two live-action short films or one live-action feature film project.
Producing pairs/partners must apply to the program as individuals, with each producer submitting a separate application. There is no penalty if both producers apply with the same projects, though personal statements and career goals may differ and should be written separately. Please note, there is a possibility that only one individual from a producing pair may be selected to participate. More details in the FAQ section below.
How to Apply
Applicants will be required to complete an online application, which will include essay questions about the applicant and individual projects. This includes but is not limited to:
- Producer bio and goals (500-word limit)
- IMDb link
- Resume (two-page limit)
- Artistic statement (500-word limit); tell us about yourself and how your background and previous professional experience make you uniquely suited to participate in the program
- Career goals (500-word limit); include short-term and long-term professional and creative goals, and explain why now is the best time for you to be supported through this nine-month program
- Latinx background (500-word limit); tell us about your Latinx heritage and how it informs your storytelling
- Intersectional background (500-word limit); with the understanding that identity is intersectional and may reflect many dimensions of diversity, in addition to your Latinx heritage, tell us if you come from an underrepresented background and/or have a diverse perspective
Project Information – two to three projects in development, including the creative materials below. Projects can include optioned material.
- Synopsis (500-word limit)
- Business comps for project
- Project status and history; state whether the project includes optioned material
- Key personnel; list names and bios (if applicable) for any additional creative or partner attachments to your project including writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, cast, financiers/funders and/or distribution partners
- Project goals; describe your goals for this particular project, in terms of audience outreach and engagement, potential partners and distribution
- Budget/Finance plan; provide the projected budget and fundraising sources
- Script (if applicable)
- Lookbook (if applicable)
- Directing sample (if applicable); if a director is attached, include a link to their work on previous projects
Submission and Release Agreement
- If applying with a script, look book or any other creative materials, all applicants must sign and submit the Submission and Release Agreement provided to each applicant after submitting the application to be considered for the Film Independent Imaginar Producers Residency Program. Please note, you must complete this agreement separately for each piece of creative material. Please collate the separate agreements into one PDF.
- Provide links and passwords to previous live-action work; explain why you chose to produce the project and what you learned throughout the process.
- Where can I find the application? During the open application period, the application can be accessed here.
- I’ve executive produced projects, does that make me eligible? Executive producing, co-producing or associate producing does not make you eligible for this program. You must have received Producer and/or “Produced By” credit on two live-action short films or one live-action feature film to qualify.
- Can I keep my job and participate in the program at the same time? Yes, however you must participate in all required activities – no exceptions. These include, but are not limited to, orientation and project/career development sessions. Sessions may be held in-person or online.
- Can I submit a treatment? Only one project may be a treatment or a piece of optioned material.
- How can I use the grant funding? Grant funds are unrestricted and can be applied toward anything.
- Can I mail or email my application, including submission materials? No, applications must be completed online.
- Can I apply if I am outside the United States? No, applicants must be physically present in the United States.
- I am in the United States on a work visa. Can I apply? Participation is contingent upon your unrestricted right to work lawfully in the United States throughout the duration of the program.
- Will Film Independent sponsor work visas for participants? No, Film Independent will not sponsor work visas.
- What makes an applicant ineligible? You are ineligible to apply if you have received one Producer and/or “Produced By” credit on feature film produced by a studio.
- Is there a first look attached to this program? Yes, if you are selected for the program, Searchlight Pictures (“Searchlight”) and/or its parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies (collectively, “Disney”) will have a “Right of First Negotiation and First Refusal” to license, finance, produce, distribute and/or exploit any audiovisual project developed in connection with the program, and/or any elements thereof and all underlying rights and/or all rights in, to and/or arising from any of the foregoing (the “Picture(s)”) throughout the universe (or, at Disney’s sole election, only certain territories), in perpetuity, in any and all media known or unknown (or, at Disney’s sole election, only in certain media), and by any means and/or device known or unknown and all other material, of any kind and nature pertaining or referring to the Picture (“Applicable Rights”). Disney’s Right of First Negotiation and First Refusal, to which all program participants are subject, is further described in the online application.
- Can I make edits to my submission ahead of the deadline? Yes, prior to the deadline contact email@example.com to make edits to your application.
The application fee is $25.
The Fine Print
Beyond the application fee, there is no cost or tuition to participate in any of Film Independent’s Artist Development programs.
Applicants will be notified three to four weeks prior to the start of the program, and interviews will take place in January 2023.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
To learn more about Film Independent Fellows and their projects, visit our Talent Guide.