Project Involve


"If you don't see yourself in the culture, put yourself there because we need you."

Justin Simien, Project Involve Fellow

Film Independent is proud to be a leader in the fight to make the film industry more inclusive. For a quarter-century, our most vital and effective program serving to accomplish that goal is Project Involve, an intensive nine-month program supporting filmmakers from communities typically underrepresented in film and entertainment.

Each year, 30 emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds are given the opportunity to hone skills, form creative partnerships, create short films and gain industry access needed to succeed as working artists.

This robust program pairs participants with mentors at the top of their respective field, provides hands-on filmmaking experience from pre-production through premiere and much more. If you're passionate and focused with an original voice and commitment to collaboration, we encourage you to apply. Learn more below and...

Join us in celebrating 25 Years of Project Involve.

The Program

Running January through September, Project Involve offers career-changing opportunities and experiences.

Mentorship — Working industry professionals share knowledge and give guidance on craft and career.
Conversations — Ten master workshops offer insight on the art and business of filmmaking.
Short Films — Fellows are given resources to produce short films that debut at a special premiere event.
Events — Fellows attend Film Independent's signature education programs, screenings, networking events and more.
Fellowships — Fellows may be selected to receive cash grants from industry sponsors.

Learn more about Project Involve Fellowships.

Short Film Production

Project Involve Fellows develop and produce six original short films that premiere at the LA Film Festival.

January - February: Treatment selections, story development
March - April: Filmmaker teams formed, projects pitched
May: Pre-production
June - July: Principal photography
August - September: Post-production

Real, valuable filmmaking experience is at the heart of our program. Film Independent provides Fellows with script consultation and individualized mentorship with directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and production designers to support the development and production of their shorts.

Additionally, the shorts are offered a package that includes a cash production grant, equipment, casting and post production services. Filmmakers are encouraged to raise additional funds as needed.

Watch previously produced Project Involve Shorts.

Eligibility and Applications

Each year we support a new, inclusive group of filmmakers with unique visions and diverse perspectives.

Project Involve not only accepts writers and directors; we also invite producers, cinematographers, editors, animators, executives, programmers and critics from underrepresented communities to apply.

Strong consideration is given to those whose work samples and statements of interest demonstrate talent, responsibility and collaborative effort. Film Independent Membership is required to participate in Project Involve and Fellows must reside in Los Angeles for the duration of the program.

To view deadlines and apply, visit our applications page.

Our Fellows

Project Involve has proudly supported more than 800 filmmakers over 25 years.

Meet the 2019 class of Project Involve Fellows right here.

Past Fellows include Andrew Ahn (Spa Night), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Tina Mabry (Queen Sugar), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari), Justin Simien (Dear White People) and Kim Yutani (Sundance Head of Programming).

Our list of past speakers and mentors features Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Bradford Young (Pariah, Arrival), Christine Vachon (Carol, Boys Don’t Cry), Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), Nina Yang Bongiovi (Fruitvale Station), Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Rodrigo Prieto (Wolf of Wall Street).

To see more Fellows from prior years, visit our Talent Guide.

We're glad you're interested in Project Involve and invite you to apply today or make a donation as we celebrate 25 impactful years.

Project Involve Sponsors