Updates to the grant program

Producing an independent, low-budget film is difficult to accomplish in the best of circumstances, and the events of this past year have made it even harder. With smaller film productions still struggling to get off the ground and dealing with added stresses of on-set safety, higher budgets, and creative constraints, we have decided to adapt our SHIFT Creative Fund grant program to meet these changing needs. 

Filmmaker FAQs

Four opportunities for funding in 2021

Throughout the 2021 year we will be holding quarterly competitions for a variety of short form film projects and awarding cash grants and prizes to filmmakers every three months. We believe that supporting a larger number of smaller projects throughout the year will be a better service to our independent film community than awarding just one or two large grant prizes. We want to keep our creative community engaged, keep them creating, and provide financial opportunities to more filmmakers to get them through the tough year ahead! 

Grant Timeline

FEBRUARY 1st - FEBRUARY 28th application window

Theme: COMMUNITY
Exploring themes of connection, family, friendship, and love. The things that bring us together, even if we can’t always be together. In recognition of Black History Month, one of our two grant winning films will be a story about community from a Black filmmaker.

Application must include a script (15 pages or less) and a pitch deck

Two winners will each receive:
- Up to $4,000 grant for production
- Camera rental from Blackmagic Design
- Access to DaVinci Resolve for post-production
- $500 rental from Lensrentals.com 
- Final Draft 11 screenwriting software license

MAY 1st - MAY 31st application window 

Theme: PRIDE
Pride can mean so many things — pride of your accomplishments, pride of your family or community, or pride of yourself! These films should explore any form of pride that speaks to you, and stories that enlighten and empower your audience to find their own pride. In recognition of Pride Month (June), one of our two grant winning films will be a story from an LGBTQ+ filmmaker.

Application must include a script (15 pages or less) and a pitch deck

Two winners will each receive:
- $3,500 grant for production
- $500 rental from Lensrentals.com 
- FinalDraft software license

AUGUST 1st - AUGUST 31st submission window

Theme: ANIMATION  
Computer generated, hand-drawn, stop motion, and everything in between -- it’s time to celebrate animation! Submit your completed short films that show off the magic, wonder, and imagination of animation.

Filmmakers must submit completed animated shorts, 10 minutes or less

Three winners will each receive:
- $2,000 cash prize

NOVEMBER 1st - NOVEMBER 30th application window

Theme: MYSTERY
Twists and turns, deception and deceit, you never know what you’re going to get when mystery is on the table. We’re looking for stories with a secret, an unanswered question, or simply a dark and intriguing plotline for our end-of-year offering. 

Application must include a script (15 pages or less) and a pitch deck

Two winners will each receive:
- $4,000 grant for production
- $500 rental from Lensrentals.com 
- FinalDraft software license