Basic Intro to Film Funding and Cinereach Programs
Basic Intro to Film Fundraising
Prepared by Reva Goldberg of
for the Brooklyn Arts Council and Scene: Brooklyn
Big Picture Strategy
Will I dedicate years?
Will I ask and keep asking?
Am I committed to my film‟s life cycle?
Can I wait for funding? Can I start now?
Is my project in fundable “phases”?
Understand the landscape, peers
Worst and best case scenario budgets
Assess assets ($, time, equipment, skills)?
…Big Picture (contin.)
Donors & Grants*:
Some foundations require it
Allows tax deduction for your donors
Online tools for accepting c.c. donations
Some fiscal sponsors have these
Crowd-funding sites have them
Grants and donations are income
Establish a DBA “Doing Business As” for your film work or your film
Open a business checking account
Get an accountant who knows artist/film
Only pay taxes on income above $400 that you don‟t spend
Fill out sales tax exemption paperwork for artists (with the state)
Donated funds don‟t mix with equity
Lawyer, business plan, investor deals
*The focus of this slideshow is on donors and grants, not equity.
Seeking Donations & Grants
Plans and Tools
Update them all as you go:
Crew, footage, cash flow, cuts, pitch materials, etc.
Lists (& contact info):
Individuals who care (close friends, crew, mom)
Like-minded Networks, Orgs (local/national)
Festivals, deadlines deadlines
Who to reach? How? What to ask for?
Community incentives, useful content, frequent (but not too frequent)
…Seeking Donations & Grants
Who wants my film?
When, how, where? Free? Fee?
How will people know?
(tailor to audience, address feedback):
log line, proj. description, dir. statement, script/treatment, team
bios, social context, audience, distribution
Budget (income and expense)
Secured and Potential Funding Sources
Imagery, Art (evocative or representative, high quality)
Sample footage (trailer, scenes, eventually rough cut)
Web presence (web site, social nets, video site, crowdsource sites)
Different funders want different things. Where does your film fit:
• Socially relevant subject matter? Niche audience? Hard to qualify?
• Creative approach: i.e.Art or advocacy? Fiction or non? Historical or
current? Topic or narrative?
• Length: Short or Feature?
• Level of experience (Student? Emerging? Established?)
• Project phase (Development? Production? Post?
• Budget level: Micro? Low? Medium? Large?
• Shooting Location? (USA? Foreign country? Multiple countries?)
Earlier = Harder
It‟s hard for an inexperienced filmmaker to
gain funder confidence during the earlier
stages of a project.
As a project nears completion, the playing
field becomes more even.
If you are inexperienced, you may have to
„go it alone‟ during the early stages.
& Funder Confidence
Early Production Emerging
Late Production Unknown
0 20 40 60 80
NOTE: These are not real „stats‟. Chart illustrates general concept, not hard fact.
Tips for Grant Hunting
only a handful,highly competitive
a bonus, not a certainty
out-dated links are everywhere!
Grantor resource lists,mailing lists:Cinereach, NYFA,Creative Capital
Subscribe/Join: IFP, DCTV, D-Word, WMM, etc., Shooting People, etc.
Read:Independent Magazine, Documentary Magazine, Filmmaker, blogs
Individuals, small amounts from large numbers
People who love you,their friends
Ideas: Shaking the Money Tree; Fans, Friends and Followers, your peers
Topic or audience specific
Advocates,campaigns who need media
Orgs or brands that reach your audience
Vital stories, artfully told.
Fiction or Nonfiction
Next deadline: December 1 Next deadline: July 12
Cinereach Grants Program Snapshot
Emerging and established filmmakers
Projects in research and development, production, post production
Two annual Letters of Inquiry (LOI)
June 1, Dec. 1
600 – 1,000 LOIs per cycle
Full proposals requested from 10% - 12% of applicants
10-15 grants awarded
$5k - $50k (most are $10k - $25k)
$250,000 total per cycle
6-month and 1-year progress reports are expected
How to Apply:
Priorities and Guidelines:
Reach Film Fellowship Snapshot
Early Career Filmmakers who
have a short film in “development”
have completed at least one short film
are committed to a filmmaking career
are in or near NYC from August – April
Apply in mid-July (July 12, 2010 deadline)
Fellows announced by mid August
Expected applicant pool between 50 – 150
$5k Grant (plus other benefits and matching)
Mentorship from an experienced, indie filmmaker
Advising sessions every month to help with professional and creative development
Staff support from Cinereach
Industry exposure, screening opportunities
How to Apply: