2021 Shift Creative Fund FAQs

Everything you need to know about the 2021 Creative Fund. More questions? Email us at creativefund@shift.io.


When do applications open?

We will have four application windows in 2021:

- February 1st - February 28th (Winter)
- Spring Grant - TBD
- Summer Grant - TBD
- Fall Grant - TBD

What will I need to submit with my application?

Our Winter, Spring, and Fall grants will each require a short film script and pitch deck to be submitted along with your application. In addition we will ask for contact details, links to previous work, and other supplemental information.

Our Summer animation grant will require completed animation shorts to be submitted for prize consideration.

What kind of films are allowed to be submitted?

We are specifically offering funding for narrative short films, not documentary or feature-length projects. Our Winter, Spring, and Fall grants require scripts to be 15 pages or less. Our Summer animation grant requires film submissions be 10 minutes or less.

How do I know if my film fits the "theme"?

Each seasonal grant offering has a particular theme. This is meant to be a very loose classification, and should help you narrow the focus of your film without feeling like you need to start from scratch. Check out all four of our grant themes on the Creativity page to find the one that best suits your project.

What is the grant amount?

Our Winter grant offers awards of up to $4,000 each, our Spring grant offers awards of up to $3,500 each, our Summer animation grant offers two prizes of $2,000 each, and our Fall grant offers awards of up to $4,000 each.

How are the grant winners determined?

Applications are evaluated by a team of internal readers at the Shift Creative Fund, with the occasional assistance of a judging panel of industry leaders. A social voting period will open during each grant cycle to help us determine our finalists. The winner of the social vote will automatically be advanced to the Finals, with the other finalists being determined by our readers.

When are grants awarded?

We expect to award the winners for each seasonal grant 30-60 days after the application period closes. This will be dependent on the amount of applications received and the capacity of our readers.

Do winners get anything besides funding?

Yes! Our Winter, Spring, and Fall grants currently offer each winner a $500 rental certificate from Lensrental.com as well as a free license of Final Draft screenwriting software. We are working with partners and sponsors to continue adding in-kind prizes to the grant offering!

Who owns the film upon completion?

Filmmakers retain full rights to their films. We require certain credits be included in the final cut of the film to Shift and the Shift Creative Fund, along with a digital licence that allows Shift to showcase the film online after its run in any festival circuits.

Is there a specific time period in which the grant money must be used?

Filmmakers should plan to produce and edit their short film within 3-4 months of receiving grant financing.

Are there restrictions on who can apply?

While filmmakers may be based anywhere around the world, we are only able to pay grant funding into a U.S. based bank or financial institution. International filmmakers must have a U.S. based bank and/or U.S. based legal entity (LLC) to receive grant funding. We welcome filmmakers of any age, race, gender identity, or religious group.

Can students apply?

Yes. However, your film cannot be tied to a specific class or school project or receive school credit.

Do I need a team to apply?

Not necessarily. We want to make sure our filmmakers have a plan for success and will know how to bring their project to life if awarded a grant. Whether you always work with the same team or plan to build a new team from scratch to make your project happen, make sure you tell us about it in your application.

What kind of filmmmaker experience is required?

You must have at least some filmmaking experience before applying to the Shift Creative Fund. Whether you’ve made student films, music videos, web series, commercials, or feature-length films in the past, illustrate that you have the skills and previous experience to bring your film to life. All applicants will be asked to provide links to their previous work with their application.

What is Creative Fund's relationship with Shift?

Shift believes in supporting the creative process of all content creators. The Shift platform, along with our other products (Wiredrive, MediaSilo, and Screeners.com), gives creators the tools they need to spend more time creating and less time managing. The Shift Creative Fund is an extension of our philosophy that all people should have the opportunity to make their best creative work. It’s funded by Shift with the support of our grant sponsors.

Are adapted works, such as a short story, novel, or article adapted to film, allowed?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have all legal rights to any submitted film project. Adaptations with appropriate legal rights procured are more than welcome.

Can I submit more than one application?

We have limited our applications to one film per applicant per seasonal grant cycle. A filmmaker may submit an application to more than one 2021 offering (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall), but not more than one application in a single offering.