The Academy’s 2021 FilmWatch and FilmCraft grants programs are currently on hold for this year due to budget adjustments resulting from the ongoing COVID pandemic. We look forward to resuming these programs in the near future.
The Academy Grants program directly supports the overall mission of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.
The program also supports the Academy’s commitment to diversity in the industry. Diversity encompasses artists as well as audiences; the cultural and geographic communities to which they belong; their age, gender, race, ethnicity, disabilities, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Academy seeks to fund proven and rising institutions that open pathways for storytellers from a wide range of backgrounds, and especially those from underserved communities.
Through the Grants program, the Academy seeks to:
- Promote diversity
- Bridge the opportunity divide
- Attract and engage broad new audiences for theatrical motion pictures
- Provide a platform for underrepresented artists, the full range of film genres, and a variety of viewpoints and approaches
- Encourage filmmaking as a vocation
- Illuminate less visible aspects of filmmaking and the film industry through scholarly research, presentations and discussions
We direct our support toward organizations, programs and projects that are aligned with these principles.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate Academy grant proposals (as appropriate):
- Common Purpose: We are interested in proposals that align with both the Academy’s mission and the Grants program’s six guiding principles. We will consider how well the proposal carries these goals into various academic, cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic communities. We fund thoughtful, innovative programs that meet clear objectives.
- Community Impact: We will evaluate and consider how the project or program creates an authentic, inclusive environment that enables a diversity of voices to be heard. The proposal should demonstrate or illustrate how this will be achieved, how success will be measured, and the ways in which the project or program can make a positive difference in the lives of those involved as well as the greater motion picture community. Potential areas of impact include access for economically disadvantaged, media-deprived, or otherwise underserved communities; the diversity of participants, especially women and people of color; the diversity of audiences; community involvement; overall attendance; press coverage; and the extent to which the Academy grant can help attract additional funding.
- Cultural Impact: We will evaluate and consider the benefits of the project or program over time. Potential areas of impact include initiating or sustaining meaningful dialogues; increasing awareness of specific subjects or issues; documenting significant events in motion picture history; and other similarly important, lasting contributions.
- Organizational Strength: This includes the organization’s history, leadership, business acumen, and standing within the community; its partnerships with other for-profit and/or nonprofit entities; and the extent to which it shares resources and expertise with other organizations in its field.
- Scope: This addresses whether the program is scalable and/or sustainable beyond the parameters of the Academy’s funding.
- Budget: We will examine the program budget narrative and consider its level of detail. We will also consider the ratio of the requested grant to funding from other sources and the overall program budget.
WHAT ACADEMY GRANTS DO NOT FUND
- Administrative, overhead or permanent staffing expenses
- Parties, receptions, luncheons, tribute dinners or similar events; hospitality suites and services
- More than 50 percent of a program’s cost (some exceptions for small programs)
- The development, production or completion of films, except in training or classroom settings
- Programs focusing on television or nontheatrical media
- The screening of works produced specifically for television, or events or programs that focus on works produced for television
- Programs at any one institution for more than three consecutive years
- Programs centered on the screening of any particular new film
- Competitions or awards programs
- Individuals (other than scholars) or for-profit companies or organizations
- Programs targeting children less than 12 years of age
- Activities related to the completion of a doctoral dissertation or any other endeavor for academic advancement
Grant Funding Areas
The Academy currently provides funding in three areas:
FilmWatch grants support curated screening programs at North America-based film festivals, film societies and other film-related organizations. Targeted programs include those that create culturally diverse viewing experiences, promote motion pictures as an art form, provide a platform for underrepresented artists, and cultivate new and dedicated audiences for theatrical film. Grants typically range from $5,000 to $20,000.
FilmCraft grants support high-quality educational programs that identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds. Targeted programs include those that encourage an appreciation of film as both a vocation and an art form, and those that provide direct, hands-on opportunities for participants to gain the filmmaking skills they need to tell their stories. Grants typically range from $5,000 to $20,000.
Academy Film Scholars
Academy Film Scholars grants are awarded to previously published individuals who are pursuing significant new works of film scholarship. These grants fund research as well as academic and scholarly projects that elevate both filmmaking and film scholarship. Projects must address cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures. Those examining elements of the film industry that have been underrepresented in the canon of film scholarship will be given priority. Two $25,000 grants are awarded each year.