Gatekeeper QOTD: Josh Welsh (Film Independent)

FFT: So you have many grant programs that you give to independent filmmakers. What sort of things do you look for in a filmmaker before you decide to give them a grant?

JW: Great question. Each year we give out between $200 and $300 thousand dollars of cash grants to filmmakers and each one has a little bit different of criteria but as a general note, we tell filmmakers to have their script in the best possible shape. Sometimes film makers send in a rough draft where it’s not where they want it to be but they’re trying to meet the deadline so they send out work that’s not really ready to share. Get your scripts as absolutely strong as you can before you share it because it’s hard to get people to read it a second time. The other thing is, the more prepared the film maker can be, the more comfortable we are giving them a cash grant because at the end of the day, we are there to support them, but the film maker needs to thing entrepreneurially and convince us that they know what they’re doing and they’re going to put the money towards good use. There’s been many times where we get a strong script and we thing it’s great, but then you read the filmmaker’s plan and it’s just not thought out. That’s really frustrating because we want to get behind that script but they are not ready and we know they won’t succeed with their current plan so they don’t get the grant.

From From  Interview with Josh Welsh, Co-President of Film Independent —  Film Festival Today

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