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Lightbox: Illuminating Opportunity — December 2022

Original publish date: December 6, 2022

Good news, independent filmmakers! When faced with the daunting task of producing your masterpiece without a studio bankroll, you may have more options than you think. There are many top-tier grants, labs, fellowships, festivals, markets, and programs that can help move your project toward the finish line.

This month, we shine a spotlight on a short-form fellowship, a grant for Native Americans, a screenwriting contest, and more. Dive in and learn how you can get those cameras rolling a bit faster.

1. Asian TV Forum & Market

ATF is Asia’s premier marketplace for content creators in the entertainment industry. The three-day event runs from December 7 through December 9, welcoming creators in the region to pitch their ideas to financiers and distributors. There are also several networking events and panel discussions covering a range of informative topics.

2019’s ATF event drew over one thousand buyers from 60 countries to the market, resulting in over $300 million in completed deals. For attendees, a standard event pass includes access to in-person events and extended digital events through February of 2023. 

2. FilmarketHub: Feature Film Screenwriting Contest

Looking to connect your English-language feature script with important industry leaders? That’s exactly what FilmarketHub aims to do, providing one winner with $5,000 and a chance to pitch their script to leading production companies. If you’re interested, act now! The final deadline for submissions is on December 14.

3. Vision Maker Media: Creative Shorts Fellowship

If you have a unique and compelling short film proposal about Native American or Native Alaskan culture, you can request up to $25,000 in production funds from this Vision Maker Media fellowship. Your proposal can span any genre or medium, including narratives, documentaries, and animation.

Before applying, filmmakers must find their own mentor. Someone interested in mentoring a Native filmmaker may also submit a proposal. Acceptable topics for your submission include things like Native culture, environmental justice, and Native empowerment. The submission deadline is December 31, 2022. 

4. Pop Culture Collab: Major Grants

This noteworthy grant is focused on effecting social change through media initiatives, organizations, and companies, providing $50 to $100K over one year or up to $200K over two years. To submit, you’ll need a proposal that outlines the ways in which your organization and projects will cause continued cultural changes using equitable leadership and partnership.

Major grants will be written for selections across five categories, including “Artists Advancing Culture Change,” “Building the Pop Culture for Social Change Field,” “Culture Change Research,” “Movement-Led Pop Culture Narrative Strategies,” and “Innovations in Mass Audience Activation.” A word to the wise: prioritized projects will be those focused on intersectional issues, including gender justice, LGBTQIA+ equity, democracy, and so on. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis


Please note that film festivals and markets are chosen based on Dear Producer’s annual study, which asks distributors from where they acquire films, how many films they distribute in a year, and other factors.


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