Unchained Resources: Cinereach Grants

Do you have a great idea for a feature film, but you’re only in the development stage? Then you should really look into Cinereach’s grant and awards program. Their website states:

Cinereach is a not-for-profit film production company and foundation that champions vital stories, artfully told. Created and led by young philanthropists, entrepreneurs and filmmakers, Cinereach empowers fiction and nonfiction filmmakers from all over the world through Grants & Awards, The Reach Film Fellowship, an internal Productions department, and through partnerships with the Sundance Institute and other organizations. Since 2006, Cinereach has disbursed close to $5 million in grant funds to more than 100 projects at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry and vital subject matter.

That sounds like my kind of production company. It’s one of the rare non-profit’s I’ve seen willing to help films in the early stages of it’s develop (it also funds films in production and post production). Cinereach produced Beasts of the Southern Wild and helped fund six other films that were at Sundance this year, including: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Compliance, I Am Not A Hipster, Keep the Lights On, and The Queen of Versailles. After the jump is a lot more information about the grants. The deadline is September 4th, so get cracking!

Grants & Awards

Grant Priorities & Guidelines


Cinereach supports feature-length nonfiction and fiction films that are at the intersection of engaging storytelling, visual artistry, and vital subject matter.

Grant amounts can range from $5,000 – $50,000 per project and can be awarded to support any stage of production, including development, production and post-production. Within each cycle, between five and fifteen projects are typically selected to receive support.

Funding Priorities

Through cinematic artistry and storytelling, Cinereach-supported films:

  • Favor story over message, character over agenda, and complexity over duality
  • Explore emergent topics, themes or ideas
  • Possess an independent spirit
  • Depict underrepresented perspectives
  • Resonate across international boundaries
  • Spark dialogue
  • Challenge preconception and bias
  • Champion humanity and hope


In addition to making grants, Cinereach seeks to form lasting and meaningful relationships with the talented, dedicated, and creative people we support. We invite a continuing dialogue, maintain an open-door policy, and help to rally a community in which our grantee films and filmmakers can flourish.

Eligibility Restrictions

Cinereach is not currently accepting applications that seek funding for:

  • Distribution, outreach or engagement activities
  • Transmedia or web-based storytelling
  • Films under 70 minutes in length
  • Organizational support or multi-year grants

Cinereach does not grant to capital or endowment campaigns or provide individual scholarships for study or travel.

For answers to common eligibility questions, please visit our FAQ page.

Review Process

Cinereach’s Letter of Inquiry process allows us to review a large number and variety of applications submitted through an open call. This enables us to determine whether projects are closely aligned with our granting priorities and guidelines. After reviewing all submitted LOIs, Cinereach invites a selection of applicants to submit a Full Proposal with more project information and materials. After reviewing all Full Proposals, Cinereach’s Grants Committee meets to make final selections and assign award amounts.


Unfortunately, due to the large volume of submissions we receive, Cinereach is unable to provide individualized feedback to applicants.

Grantee Expectations

If a project is selected to receive a grant, an award letter will be issued detailing specific expectations. In brief, the grantee will be required to submit interim and final reports explaining how the funds were used and describing progress made. The grantee also agrees to credit Cinereach’s support and provide completed project materials, as outlined in the grant agreement.

Charitable Status

In order to receive support from Cinereach, a prospective grantee must be tax-exempt under United States Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) or be fiscally sponsored by a certified US-based 501(c)(3) organization. Please visit the Resources page for more information about fiscal sponsorship for filmmakers.

Conflicts of Interest Statement

Cinereach does not make grants to projects in which a Cinereach Board or staff member, or a family member of a Cinereach Board or staff member, has a direct or indirect financial interest resulting from current or potential financial investment or support, salary income, or the providing of goods or services.

Discrimination Policy

Cinereach does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, or national origin.

Visit http://www.cinereach.org/grants/how-to-apply1 to learn how to apply.

Source: cinereach.org

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