Black filmmakers historically have been underrepresented in the industry, but a number of grant opportunities exist that are designed to improve work opportunities and exposure for these directors and producers. These grant opportunities take the form of scholarship funding for college tuition, project funding expenses or stipends to attend master classes in film. Grant opportunities are best for either students or independent filmmakers
National Black Programming Consortium
The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is an American non-profit foundation focused on developing opportunities for black filmmakers since 1979. Film projects nearing the completion stage may be eligible to receive discretionary funding from the NBPC. Eligible projects must meet technical standards published by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and be related to either the African American or African Diaspora experience. In exchange for grant funding, NBPC reserves some level of public television distribution rights for broadcasting through PBS.
Black American Cinema Society
The Black American Cinema Society, stationed in Los Angeles, runs an annual competition for black filmmakers either involved in student film or independent film. This society offers six grants ranging from $250 to $3,000 based on the entrant's final rank in the contest. Submissions must be made in either 16 mm film or 3/4-inch video. Eligible applicants must be either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, and the film entered must have been made entirely in the U.S.
Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant
The International Black Women's Film Festival runs an annual grant funding opportunity known as the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. This grant award funds travel, accommodations and admittance to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, as well as master classes in film and one-on-one training with experienced filmmakers. Eligible applicants must live in the United States and must not have received significant recognition for her work. Eligible projects must be completed within one year of the award announcement. The Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant is available to student filmmakers and professional independent filmmakers.
Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships
Minority students seeking to enter a creative profession may benefit from the Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship opportunity, which awards from $2,000 to $5,000 for tuition to a student's school of choice. Along with film, Worldstudio AIGA grants offer tuition funding for students pursuing a degree in art direction for advertising, fine arts, motion graphics and photography. Students must be majoring in a creative profession degree path to be eligible for this scholarship. Previous scholarship recipients seeking funding for additional years of schooling may reapply for more grant funding.