Yes, there are available grants for black filmmakers. The production of films is not usually cheap, and people who don’t have the required finance might not consider going into the industry. To tackle financial challenges that can prevent most black filmmakers from engaging in the film industry. Some organizations dedicated funds that are committed to empowering those who are interested in the business.

Available Grants For Filmmakers in the United States

  1. National Black Programming Consortium

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is a United States-based non-profit foundation that is focused on creating opportunities for black filmmakers, and they have been consistent since 1979 till date. Note that NBPC reserves some degree of public television distribution rights for broadcasting through PBS in exchange for grant funding.

Requirements
  • The candidate would have to be in the following positions; the project’s producer or director, United States resident, and have at least three years of producing and directing experience.
  • An individual of color must be among the key personnels (producer, director, writer, or editor).
  • The presented material has to be a short (scripted or nonfiction) or broadcast-length documentary for distribution on public television.
  • The project should be finished within 36 months of being awarded.
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships

Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships is a form of grant designed for minority students who are aspiring to start a career in the creative industry. This program offers grants between $2,000 and $5,000 to cover the tuition of a student’s school of choice. Students who aspire to have a degree in film-related fields are also beneficiaries of the Worldstudio AIGA grants.

Requirements

To qualify for this grant, you must be a student who is majoring in a creative profession degree path.

How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant

The International Black Women’s Film Festival runs an annual grant funding opportunity known as the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant.

This grant awards funds for travel, accommodations, and admittance to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (FFDFF), as well as master classes in film and one-on-one training with filmmakers. The Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant is available to student filmmakers and professional independent filmmakers.

Requirements
  • Applicant must be a black female filmmaker
  • Must live in the United States
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. Black American Cinema Society

The Black American Cinema Society is based in Los Angeles, and the organizations run an annual competition for black filmmakers who are in either student or independent film. Black American Cinema Society awards six grants ranging from $250 to $3,000 and this is based on the entrant’s final rank in the contest. Submissions must be made in either 16 mm film or 3/4-inch video.

Requirements
  • Applicants must be either permanent residents or citizens of  the United States
  • The film submitted must have been produced in the States
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as statedthere.

  1. Austin Film Society (AFS)

If you are a location-based film producer and are looking for a grant opportunity, you should consider Austin Film Society (AFS).

This is a location-dependent organization that provides film funding grants. The Austin Film Society awards grants to emerging film and video artists in Texas every year. Since 1996, the AFS has awarded grants to 272 film and video projects, totaling $940,000 in cash, $92,000 in goods and services.

Requirements
  • It must be a one-location film
  • You must be a resident of Texas
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. The Shore Scripts Short Film Fund

The Shore Scripts Short Film Fund provides between $10,000 and $15,000 grant monies for the winners of its short film grant contest.

This provides an “opportunity for emerging filmmakers and screenwriters to have their short film financed and produced. The Shore Scripts Short Film Fund accepts animations, short scripts, and proof of concept shorts for TV pilots and features.

Requirements
  • The film entered must be a short film
  • An applicant may reside in any part of the world
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. The Sundance Documentary Fund

The Sundance Documentary Fund provides up to $20,000 for a documentary in development or  $50,000 for a documentary in production or post-production. According to the Sundance Institute, “proposals are evaluated on artful and innovative storytelling, originality, contemporary relevance, and potential to reach its audience.

Requirements

First-time directors are eligible for the grant, and no prior work is required.

How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an organization dedicated to social justice and provides grants through its JustFilms film grant contest. From 2011 to 2016, the Ford Foundation year has invested over $10 million in “documentary projects that addressed social issues and help to understand the past, explore the present and build the future.

The goal of The Ford Foundation is to expand the community of emerging and established filmmakers who lack funding and help them to realize their visions.

Requirements
  • The film entered must be a documentary film
  • An applicant may come from any part of the world
How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. The Black American Cinema Society

The Black American Cinema Society is a grant-issuing organization based in Los Angeles, California and it also provides annual grants for both students and black independent filmmakers. The society offers six grants ranging from $250 to $3,000, based on the entrant’s final rank in the contest.

Requirements

Applicant must be a student or black independent filmmaker.

How to Apply

You should fill out the application form on their website and upload the required documents as stated there.

  1. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The federal government of the United States in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Humanities makes grants available for all filmmakers in the United States.

The National Endowment for the Humanities “supports the development, production, and distribution of radio programs, podcasts, long-form documentary films, and documentary film series that engage audiences with humanities ideas in creative ways” according to its website.

The NEH offers Media Development Grants, which range from $40,000 to $75,000, and Media Production Grants, which range from $100,000 to $650,000.

Requirements

The film must be in the documentary film series

How to Apply
  • Review your application package
  • Register for a SAM number and have an account with Grants.gov
  • Complete your application process
  • Submit your application on Grants.gov