There is truly a reason I keep everything. Everything. I hold in my hands notes from a webinar hosted by Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming at Tribeca All Access last October. Now, I know, you’re thinking that was quite a while ago, but I know this information is as relevant as ever. Not just for those applying for TAA (2012 information is below), but for anyone in the process of applying for nonprofit grants. It can seem very intimidating at first since you really want the project funds and so does every other Joe and Jane out there. Organizations like Tribeca allot thousands of dollars specifically for independent filmmakers through programs like TAA and I hope this advice helps you get one step closer to completing your latest project.
- In your own bio, include past festivals and funding. Be sure it presents the strength of you as a filmmaker and the project. For crew bios, be as specific as possible. Include previous film grants, film titles and festival selections.
- The success of the project you’re submitting is gauged on your past work. Have you been able to execute this kind of film before and what was the outcome? Can you do it again?
- When it comes to selecting sample work: put best material/most challenging work forward.
- For documentaries: If you are in the research/development/post-production stage, select strong sample clips as opposed to a rough assembly of several hours footage and submit a realistic timeline and tight treatment.
Specifically for TAA:
- All they ask for is updates every 6-8 weeks (they don’t own the film) and credit (put that you were supported by TAA and organization logo)
- They do take films in post-production. If so, the track record/experience of the director is not such a high deciding factor.
- If you apply as a director with only a treatment for a feature film without any current funding, attached crew or talent and no previous films under your belt, TAA looks very closely at your bio and past work. They suggest you develop the treatment into a script and apply as a writer as they don’t focus so heavily on track record (aka film experience) for those applicants.
Tribeca All Access
2013 deadlines: September 5th, 2012 thru November 5th, 2012
“Tribeca All Access seeks feature-length narrative and documentary submissions from established and emerging filmmakers whose team includes a director or screenwriter from a community that is traditionally under-represented in the film industry. Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers will each receive a grant of $10,000 to use towards the development, production, post- production, or marketing of their film project”