Skip to main content

Academy Names 2016–17 FilmCraft and FilmWatch Grant Recipients


The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today 37 recipients of its FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants programs.  FilmCraft grants support high-quality educational programs that identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds.  FilmWatch grants support curated screening programs at North America-based film festivals, film societies and other film related organizations.  A total of $500,000 was awarded in these two categories for the 2016–17 grants year.

The grant amounts, institutions and targeted programs are as follows:

FilmCraft Grants


American Film Institute – AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women

Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) – AMIA Online Education Program

New Orleans Film Society – Emerging Voices Mentorship Program


The Ghetto Film School, Inc. – The Fellows Program advanced teen filmmaking course

Streetlights – Streetlights Production Training Program

Sundance Institute – 2016 Native Filmmakers Lab


California Institute of the Arts – CalArts School of Film/Video Visiting Artist Program

Camden International Film Festival – 2016 Points North Documentary Forum & Artist Education Program

Film Independent – Film Independent Documentary Lab

FilmAid International – FilmAid's Girls, Cameras, Action Video Storytelling Project with Syrian refugee girls in Jordan

Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) – Independent Filmmaker Labs and Screen Forward

Inner-City Filmmakers – Inner-City Filmmakers Arts Education, Pre-professional Training, Career Counseling and Jobs Placement Program

International Documentary Association (IDA) – Doc U traveling educational and cultural series

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking – Reel Works Filmmaking Workshops and Workforce Development Initiatives

Southern Documentary Fund – SDF Filmmakers Convening


The ACME Network – ACME Network on-line learning program

The Flaherty/International Film Seminars – The 62nd Robert Flaherty Film Seminar “Encounters with the Real”

Kartemquin Educational Films – Diverse Voices in Documentary workshops and development program


Center for Documentary Studies – School of Doc intensive summer program for teens


The California State Summer School for the Arts – Guest Artists for Film and Animation 2016

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – Talent Lab intensive artistic development program

FilmWatch Grants


Chicago Latino Film Festival – 33rd Chicago Latino Film Festival free outreach and educational programs

Seattle International Film Festival – African Pictures program


Chicago International Film Festival – 20th Anniversary Black Perspectives program

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival – Black Cinema: Under the Skin screening series


Telluride Film Festival – City Lights Project high school student immersion program


Frameline, San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival – In Whose Image? LGBTQ Storytelling 1977– Today screening series and panel discussions

Mill Valley Film Festival – Mind the Gap: Changemakers, advancing women filmmakers program


CAAMFest – Spotlight, Retrospective and Out of the Vaults programs

Milwaukee Film Festival – Black Lens film showcase

New York International Children’s Film Festival – Girls’ Point of View (POV) program

San Francisco Silent Film Festival – Amazing Tales from the Archives, Variations on a Theme, and Silent Era Diversity educational programs

UCLA Film & Television Archive – UCLA Film & Television Archive Academy Series: WHAT A DIFFERENCE: WOMEN AND FILM IN THE 1970s and 1980s


Cucalorus Film Festival – Vanguard program celebrating American female directors and producers

George Eastman House – Silent Cinema Tuesdays

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival – Women Behind the Lens: Diverse Perspectives


Tallgrass Film Association – Emerging Programmer Apprenticeship

In addition, the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program has partnered with Sundance Institute for the organization’s June Screenwriters Lab, a five-day writer's workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers, in an environment that encourages innovation, creative risk-taking and original storytelling.  With a $20,000 grant from the Academy, the Institute will be able to fund two spots for writers from underrepresented groups.

The Academy Grants program, relaunched in October 2015, provides financial support to qualifying film festivals, educational institutions and film scholars and supports the Academy’s overall mission: to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.