FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange.
- FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of digital storytellers. FWB filmmaking grants provide funding and support for independent filmmakers to share their stories. Funds are available for narrative, documentary, experimental, and new media projects in various stages of production.
Goals & Objectives
- to empower the next generation of digital storytellers
- to promote diverse communities and cultures
- to share unique perspectives and stories
- to support independent voices from around the world
- Applicants from any country are encouraged to apply.
- Applicants should be 18+ years old.
- Applicants should be proficient in relevant digital technologies.
- Applicants should be able to provide samples of their work.
- Applications and supporting materials must be produced in English.
- NOTE: Completed films may be in any language.
FWB is committed to diversity and equality.
- FWB provides equal consideration for all qualified candidates. FWB does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, military service, or other protected status.
Proposed projects should address one of the following themes:
- social justice
- women’s voices
- youth voices
- cultural exchange
- climate change
Proposed projects should be aligned with the following guidelines:
- demonstrated commitment to cultural diversity
- demonstrated commitment to cultural sustainability
- demonstrated commitment to empowerment
- adherence to the American Anthropological Association’s Code of Ethics
Proposed projects should meet the following requirements:
- 100% of funds dedicated to the film project (not to salaries or large equipment purchases)
- scheduled for completion within 365 days of application deadline
- subtitled in English
Grants are available for all of the following stages of production:
- Film Festival Applications
Grants are available for all of the following types of projects:
- Short Film Projects (6-40 minutes)
- Feature Film Projects (90+ minutes)
- New Media Projects (various)
Grants are available in the following amounts (Tier 1 – Tier 4):
- Development: $250, $500, $750, or $1000
- Production: $500, $1000, $2500, or $5000
- Post-production: $250, $500, $1000, or $2500
- Film Festival Applications: $100, $250, $500, or $750
FWB encourages both novice and experienced filmmakers from around the world to apply for grant funding. The application process is designed to showcase each respective project’s alignment with FWB’s mission as well as to outline the filmmaker’s goals, implementation strategy, outcomes, and expected impact.
All applicants complete an online application and submit a variety of supporting materials including a video essay. The video essay is an opportunity for applicants to introduce themselves, describe the project, and explain how it will be successfully completed.
How to Apply
- Prepare all supporting materials
- Submit an online application
- Upon successful submission of 1. the online application and 2. all supporting materials, the candidate’s application will then be forwarded to the relevant committee for initial review. The review process can take between 6-8 weeks from the application deadline depending on the application cycle and number of applications being processed.
- Unsuccessful applicants are generally notified of their application status within 8 weeks of the application deadline.
- Successful applicants generally receive formal offers about 2-3 months after the initial application deadline.
- Submit an updated CV/resume
- Submit a link to work samples, previous projects, or a portfolio
- Submit a 5-10 page treatment/outline of your proposed project
- Submit a reference letter from a mentor, community leader, employer, or teacher in support of your specific film project.
- Submit a 3-5 minute video essay outlining your background and proposed project. This video is intended to be creative and to showcase your personality and technical skills. It may be filmed on a DSLR, pocket camera, or other comparable camera but should include an edited combination of all of the following:
- the applicant speaking directly to camera
- voice over narration
- b-roll footage
- text elements
- Submit three short-answer essays responding to the following questions:
- How does your film project demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity? (1-2 pages)
- Why does this specific story need to be told and why are you the best person to tell it? (1-2 pages)
- How does your film project address your chosen theme? Include a minimum of x5 examples. (2+ pages)
- Submit an estimated budget for each of the following (x2 total):
- an estimated budget for the highest amount of funding available for your project’s stage (e.g. production: $5,000). This budget should clearly itemize all anticipated costs.
- an estimated budget for the lowest amount of funding available for your project’s stage (e.g. production: $500). This budget should clearly itemize all anticipated costs.
- There are three grant cycles throughout each year (Spring/Summer/Fall).
- Each cycle has its own unique application deadline:
- Spring: January 1st
- Summer: June 1st
- Fall: August 1st
- Completed online applications and supporting materials received by the corresponding deadline will be forwarded to the relevant selection committee for initial review. All grant cycles receive equal consideration.