10 Film grants for African Filmmakers That You Can Apply For Today
Many African filmmakers, upcoming and established, have great stories to tell; stories with the potential to make amazing films and a wide audience worldwide. However, more often than not, most of these filmmakers are limited by funds, to help get their stories to production or even screen them across the world. This is where the film grants below come in. And what’s good is that they are interested in helping African filmmakers, with beautiful and life-changing stories, to be able to do this.
If you are interested in seeking a film grant or know a filmmaker in need of funding (for production, screening or film promotion), have a look at the list below.
- Sundance Documentary Film Fund
The Sundance Institute supports non-fiction filmmakers year-round. The fund seeks to provide funding for projects that display artful film language, effective storytelling, originality and feasibility, contemporary cultural relevance, and potential to reach and connect with its intended audience. Different grants are offered depending on the production stage of a film. For projects that are still in development and pre-production, a grant of up to $20,000 is offered, for projects in production or post-production, a grant of up to $50,000 is offered and to help films with audience engagement, a grant of up to $20,000 is offered. International filmmakers are eligible for this grant. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Deadline: Runs All Year Round
- The BRITDOC Bertha Journalism Fund
This fund seeks to help international filmmakers with funds for their feature documentaries. It solely provides funding for documentaries with a journalistic nature that bring unreported and important issues to attention. The grant’s goal is to fight for social justice without compromise, through the documentaries that are funded. BRITDOC organizers say they “are looking for films that break the important stories of our time, expose injustice, and bring attention to unreported issues and cameras to regions previously unseen”. If you are a filmmaker interested in telling stories of this nature, you should apply for this grant. The grant opens twice a year and funds range between 5,000 to 50,000 Pounds.
Deadline: 14th April
- Art Moves Africa
Art Moves Africa or AMA describes itself as ‘the Mobility Fund of Artists & Cultural Operators within Africa. The organization seeks to fund artists and cultural operators living and working in Africa who are seeking to establish partnerships, to participate in festivals, biennials, artist residencies, productions, touring, workshops and professional development meetings. It only funds artists seeking to travel across countries in Africa. Travelling within the same country or outside Africa is not funded by this grant.
Deadline: 24th April
- Movies That Matter
This grant does not support film production. Instead, it helps movies that look at human rights to screen around the world. To get this grant, you must have an already finished film whose story revolves around the issue of human rights. This grant is open to international filmmakers, especially from countries that have limited resources and freedom of press. With this grant, your film will be promoted worldwide and screened in human rights film festivals as well as mobile cinema projects. This grant has two selections, with deadlines in April and September. Selected movies are announced two months after the application deadline. Additionally, a movie is allowed to apply for funding twice, with a new application each time. The first time, the movie is given 100% while the second time it is given 75% of the total project costs.
Deadline: 15th April
- Miller/ Packan Documentary Film Fund
The Miller/ Packan Film Fund offers grants to international filmmakers for feature-length films that are non-fiction and address social issues. The documentaries must ‘Educate, Inspire and Enrich’ for them to be eligible for this funding. The fund supports filmmaking in advanced development (up to $10,000), and production and post-production stages (up to $25,000). This grant does not fund distribution, publicity or marketing stages of the film. The grant is offered twice a year, with deadlines in May and November.
Deadline: 15th May
- Filmmakers Without Borders
The Filmmakers Without Borders organization supports independent filmmakers across the world. It supports them by offering grants and other funding initiatives. Eligible projects include, experimental projects, new media projects that align with themes of empowerment, cultural exchange and social justice, documentary films and narrative films. These are supported in various stages of production like development, production, post-production and film festival applications. The theme of your film can be any of the following; social justice, women’s voices, youth voices, identity, cultural exchange or climate change. There are 3 grants cycles per year.
Deadline: 1st June, 1st January and 1st August
Derived from the cinematic term, ‘Point of View’, POV is television’s longest running showcase for independent non-fiction films. It premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year. POV does not provide funding for the production of your film. Instead, it offers a platform for your film to be watched by millions of viewers across the world, free of charge. This platform is open to both US and international independent filmmakers whose films are non-fiction.
Deadline: 23rd June
- Hubert Bals Fund
The Hubert Bals Fund is intended for talented and innovative filmmakers from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe. The fund targets remarkable or urgent films on the road to completion. It offers funding for various stages of a film’s production; early on for script and project development or later on for production. Although the fund looks closely at the financial aspects of a project, the decisive factors to grant support remain the content and artistic value.
Deadline: 1st August
- Hot Docs: Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund
This is a $1,000,000 million documentary fund whose aim is to enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their own stories. It seeks to bring forth a new generation of the African documentary community and grow the existing community of African documentary filmmaker. The fund provides both early film development grants ($3,000 to $10,000 CAD) and production grants ($5,000 to $40,000 CAD). In addition to the grant, selected filmmakers receive peer-to-peer mentorship among other things. This fund is open to filmmakers who are citizens and residents of Africa and are also working and living in Africa.
Deadline: 1st August
- ScreenCraft Film Fund
The ScreenCraft Film Fund offers production grants to talented filmmakers for narrative features, short films, TV pilot series scripts and documentaries that display originality, vision and exceptional potential. This grant is open to all international filmmakers and offers two production grants per year. The grants range from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the scale and merit of each project. Selected filmmakers also benefit from a program that includes creative development from the ScreenCraft team and production guidance and resources from Bondit Media Capital and Buffalo 8 Productions (partners).
Deadline: 30th June