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Lightbox: Illuminating Opportunity — March 2023

Original publish date: March 7, 2023

Spring is a time for rebirth, and if your project needs a new lease on life, we’ve got good news. Help is out there! There is no shortage of programs geared toward getting independent projects like yours in front of cameras. So, this month, we’re focusing our lens on some of the helpful initiatives floating around the industry. 

1. Creative Capital: Wild Futures 

This program includes a $50k grant as well as mentorship, advisory services, and community-building opportunities. These grants are open to citizens, permanent residents, and O-1 visa holders of the United States, supporting a belief in the creation of groundbreaking art through an open-call process. Creative Capital will consider all kinds of projects—experimental films, short films, documentaries, features, and so on—so long as they are “socially engaging and sustainable.” 

Deadlines:  Opens March 1, 2023; closes March 31, 2023 

On the web: https://creative-capital.org/; https://creative-capital.org/events/2024-wild-futures-grant-info-session/ 

2. Film Independent: Fast Track 

This program accepts up to 10 fiction or nonfiction features in varying levels of development or pre-production, so long as they have a producer-director team attached. Film Independent: Fast Track will put these pairs in front of different studio executives, financiers, agents, managers, distributors, grant writers, and production companies, offering a chance at making a significant impact. The program’s previous partners include Fox Searchlight, Netflix, Sony, Plan B, and Participant Media. 

Deadlines:  Opens March 9, 2023; closes June 7, 2023 

On the web: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/artist-development/fast-track/ 

3. From the Heart Productions: Roy W. Dean Spring Grant Awards 

Want to win $3,500 cash or over $3,000 in services? This is your shot. The Roy W. Dean Spring Grant Awards accepts independent features, documentaries, web series, and shorts. To be considered, budgets must be under $500K. Projects must be “unique and make a contribution to society that, without [this grant’s] help, might not otherwise get made.” This four-decade-running program was informally started by Roy W. Dean at Studio Film and Tape (a film supplier). 

Deadlines:  Closes March 31, 2023 

On the web: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/roy-w-dean-film-grants-and-awards/ 

4. Telluride Horror Show 

This is an opportunity for genre films to steal the spotlight. If your project touches the worlds of horror, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, science fiction, or dark comedy, Telluride Horror Show is an opportunity to participate in networking events and social gatherings—all imbued with local flair. Screenings for this event sell out quite regularly, and it is a proven stomping ground for genre distributors.   

Deadlines:  Early bird deadline is March 15, 2023; regular deadline is June 30, 2023 

On the web: https://filmfreeway.com/TellurideHorrorShow 

5. The Gotham: Project Market — U.S. Features in Post 

If you’re a filmmaker or creator with a narrative feature in development, production, or post-production, this project market can give you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with industry executives who are actively looking for fresh material to finance or distribute.

The “U.S. Features in Post” opportunity opening in late March will support up to 10 projects in different stages of post-production, creating opportunities for selected participants to meet with industry vets. Additionally, filmmakers will be invited to participate in special pitching and feedback sessions.

Taking place at the Brooklyn Navy Yard between September 16 and 22, 2023, this week-long event joins independent creators with the critical industry resources they need to advance their work and careers.

Deadlines: “U.S. Features in Post” submissions open in late March 

On the web: https://thegotham.org/gotham-week/project-market/us-features/post/ 

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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