3 Challenges for Getting Filmmaking Grants

Filmmaking grants are one way to fund the production of a film. Organizations award grants to projects that fit the requirements and criteria set by the organization's awarding committee. Grants are not paid back. However, the applicant or recipient of the grant is responsible and accountable in how the funds will be used in line with the proposal submitted to the awarding committee. The following are three challenges involved with applying for grants.

1. Determining What the Organization Wants

There are numerous organizations that offer film grants. Each has its own set of criteria used to judge applicants for the grant. Film grants are awarded to projects that have a social relevance or are educational in nature. Issues must be current, relevant and compelling enough for the organization to fund. Projects that are created for entertainment are less likely to be awarded with a grant, as these are considered as commercial and can be funded by other means. When applying to numerous organizations, customize the application and proposal to fit the objectives of the organization.

2. Detailing the Budget

A larger project requires a bigger grant. The larger the amount being requested, the more detailed the proposal must be to show where the money is going. Filmmakers must prove that the crew assembled for the film is seasoned with a proven track record of accomplishments in the field.

3. Creating the Proposal

The proposal must be less than three pages long--short, but clear in expressing the objectives and goals of the project. Filmmakers must state the issue being documented and how the filmmaker’s approach is unique in addressing these issues. They must be truthful and only commit to what can be done with the budget and amount of time given. Projects that are guaranteed to be shown on documentary channels and mentored by established professionals are more favorable.