"If you don't see yourself in the culture, put yourself there - because we need you."
Justin Simien, Project Involve Fellow
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.
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Running from January through September, 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 offer 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 LA Film Festival.
- Educational and Networking Events: Opportunities to learn from and connect with working artists and key professionals include the LA Film Festival 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 Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station, Dope); Ava DuVernay (Selma); Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight); Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines); Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12); Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler, The Bourne Legacy); Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse, Fantastic Four); Reed Morano, ASC (Meadowland, Vinyl); Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants); Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street); Justin Simien (Dear White People); Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry) and Bradford Young, ASC (A Most Violent Year, Selma).
For more information on the application deadline please visit our applications page.
- A pass to the Film Independent Forum
- A pass to the Film Independent Directors Close-Up
- A pass to the LA Film Festival
- Inclusion in the Film Independent Talent Guide
- Year-round support from Film Independent
Amazon Studios Film Fellowship
The Amazon Studios Film Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to a visionary filmmaker in Project Involve.
Focus Features Lili Elbe Fellowship
The Focus Features Lili Elbe Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to a transgender filmmaker in Project Involve.
The FOX | HBCU Media Alliance Fox Film Fellowship
The Fox Film Fellowship awards a $10,000 grant to a FOX | HBCU Media Alliance (FHMA) member in Project Involve.
LAIKA Animation Fellowship
The LAIKA Animation Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to an animator in Project Involve.
LMU SFTV Project Involve Fellowship
Alumni of Loyola Marymount University who apply to Project Involve can ask to be considered for the LMU Project Involve Fellowship. The fellowship includes a $10,000 cash grant, as well as inclusion in Project Involve. To be eligible for this fellowship, applicants must be alumni of Loyola Marymount University.
Participant Media Fellowship
The Participant Media Fellowship endows an exceptional filmmaker in Project Involve with a $10,000 grant.
Sony Diversity Fellowship
The Sony Diversity Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to an outstanding filmmaker in Project Involve.
Sony Pictures Executive Trainee Fellowship
The Sony Pictures Executive Trainee Fellowship awards a one-year, full-time paid rotation at Sony Pictures Entertainment to a Project Involve Fellow aspiring to be an industry executive.
View more Grants, Fellowships and Awards on our Grants & Awards page.
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
- A work sample
- A professional resume
- A professional biography
The online application includes additional materials required for each area of focus:
- Screenwriters: A) One completed, feature-length or pilot script; B) One completed script for a short film
- Directors: One work sample (completed feature film, short film, pilot or web series) via online link (preferred) or DVD
- Producers: One work sample (completed feature film, short film, pilot or web series) via online link (preferred) or DVD
- Editors: A) One work sample (completed feature film, short film, pilot, web series or music video) via online link (preferred) or DVD
- Cinematographers: A) One work sample (completed feature film, short film, pilot, web series or music video) via online link (preferred) or DVD
- Industry Executives: 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)
- FREE for Filmmaker Pro Members (limited to one waived fee per Membership year)
- $45 for Film Independent Members
- $65 for non-Members
Project Involve seeks filmmakers with original voices and unique visions that 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 must reside 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: [email protected].
Header image credit: Charles W. Murphy