Jerome Foundation : Film, Video and Digital Production Grants


Offered every two years, this program provides production grants of up to $30,000 to early career film, video and digital production directors who reside in Minnesota or the five boroughs of New York City and who work in the experimental, narrative, animation or documentary genres.

This program provides grants to individual filmmakers to support specific projects, both short and full-length, for production and select post-production expenses (not pre-production, or marketing, distribution, or festival fees). The awards of up to $30,000 do not require matching funds.

The program does not fund retroactively: only costs incurred after the grant is awarded and a grant contract is signed will be supported.

Learn more about the past Film, Video and Digital Production grantees in Minnesota and New York City.



Please read these requirements carefully. The application will not be considered if the applicant does not fit the eligibility requirements. If there are questions or doubts regarding eligibility, please contact Foundation staff and we will advise: we do not want any artist to spend time on an application that is rejected due to issues of eligibility.

Who is eligible to apply?

This program supports early career film directors who have in the past and will in the proposed project generate new work. Generative filmmakers are those who generate new works and claim creative “authorship” and creative control in the creation of new work, and whose primary practice is centered in creating new work in animation, documentary, experimental, and narrative film, video and digital production.

The Foundation understands that, especially at an early stage, artists may do more than direct: they may also act, design, write, edit and/or produce. Artists who perform multiple functions are eligible if these functions also include directing. This program is not open to film producers, editors, designers, etc., unless they also meet the basic history of directing criteria and are applying for a project that they will direct.

Early career directors show significant potential; have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment; and are recognized as early career artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, and arts administrators. Applicants whose filmography is entirely self-distributed and who have no additional support through grants, public screenings produced or sponsored by others and/or competitive prizes are generally uncompetitive. See the FAQ for more detail.


Applications are only accepted from individuals or co-directing teams applying jointly. Applications may not be submitted by fiscal sponsors, production companies, LLCs, or other organizations.

  • If applying as an individual, applicants must have sole directing credit on at least two non-student film/video/digital production projects. Projects done as part of a co-directing team will not count towards eligibility and may not be used as work samples unless applying as a co-directing team (see below). Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements listed in the table below.
  • If applying as a co-directing team, applicants must have credits on at least two, non-student film/video/digital production projects that they have already co-directed together. Projects completed individually or co-directed with anyone other than the co-directing partner for the application do not count towards the two minimum credits to meet eligibility and may not be used as work samples.

All individual applicants or all members of a co-directing team must meet all eligibility requirements listed below.

Residency Status

✓  is a resident of the state of Minnesota or New York City as demonstrated by having filed two most recent federal taxes as a resident of Minnesota and/or New York City, and will file in those same areas next year

✓  have either a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

✗  has not been not a resident of either the state of Minnesota or New York City as demonstrated by not having fil two most recent federal taxes as a resident of Minnesota and/or New York City, and will not file in those same areas next year

✗  does not have either a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Student Status

✓  are not participating in any degree-granting programs (K-12, undergraduate, graduate) in any field at the time of application

✓  will not enter degree programs during the grant period

✗  applicants who are or will be students enrolled in degree-granting programs

»  applicants who are enrolled in PhD programs should discuss options with staff

Body of Work

✓  has directed two completed film/video/digital production projects

✗  these projects cannot have been in production and/or post-production while the applicant was enrolled as a student

✗  these projects cannot have been music videos, commercial or industrial work

✗  is a first-time or second-time filmmaker and does not have at least two completed projects that were made entirely in production and/or post-production in non-student years

Career Stage

✓  are in the early stages of their creative development and:

»  show significant potential

»  have some evidence of professional achievement but not a substantial record of accomplishment

»  are recognized as early career filmmakers by other filmmakers, curators, producers, etc.

✗  would be identified as “mid-career” or established in any arts discipline, including but not limited to film/video/digital production

✗  are engaged in filmmaking as a hobby or avocational pastime

Creative Control

✓  must assume the role of director with ultimate artistic/creative control of:

✓  two completed past projects

✓  the project for which support is requested

✗  producers, editors, crew, cast and screenwriters who are not in ultimate creative control of the project

Other Status

✗  previous Jerome grantees (in either the film, video and digital production or Travel and Study programs) who have not completed final grant reports

✗  costs already supported through other Jerome-funded programs are not eligible for support in this program

What projects are eligible?

Types of Work

Eligible works include new film, video and digital production work in the genres of animation, documentary, experimental, and narrative. The Foundation has no preferences for subject matter or genre (i.e., documentary over narrative or animation).

Applicants are expected to demonstrate an ability to complete the proposed project. Depending on the subject matter, this may require the applicant to demonstrate an understanding of the subject and an ability to handle the material appropriately. In reviewing documentary proposals, panelists are interested in the degree to which relationships with the film subjects/content has been or will be developed.

Ineligible works include installations, new media, gamers or interactive work. This type of work is supported in other Foundation programs and is not eligible for this program. Commercial, industrial, music videos, informational, or student work all fall outside of Foundation priorities and are not eligible in any Foundation program.

Jerome Foundation considers music videos to be industrial or commercial work; they are therefore not eligible for support, cannot be considered as work samples or to establish eligibility. Music videos, industrial work and/or commercial work submitted as work samples will be removed from the application and will not be reviewed by the panel.

Project Stage: Production and Select Post-Production

Funds may be used for:

✓ Production, including:

»  Shooting

»  Rights

»  Location fees

»  Equipment

»  Materials

»  Travel

»  Staffing (creative, technical or otherwise)

✓ Select post-production expenses, including:

»  Editing

»  Transfers

»  Scoring/sound mix

»  CGI/titling

»  Special effects

»  Color correction

Funds may not be used for:

✗ Marketing

✗ Creation of trailers

✗ Distribution costs

✗ Festival fees

✗ Pre-production costs, including:

»  Research

»  Professional development

These types of activities are supported through the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships—not through this program.


Funds may only be used for expenses incurred after the grant is awarded and the grant contract is signed.

Film projects that are or will be in post-production at the time awards are made are eligible but are a lower priority.

Grantees must accept all grant funds within 18 months and use all funds within 30 months of the date of the grant letter (issued in September 2019).

Projects that are still in early pre-production planning and that may not begin shooting for at least 24 months are encouraged to not to apply until more work on the project has been completed. This program does not offer second grants to support projects previously funded within the Film, Video and Digital Production Grant program.


Project Budget

Films of any financial scale are eligible. Because the award may not be able to cover the entire costs of production even for those films with budgets of less than $30,000, we ask applicants to identify additional secured and/or potential sources of income for the project in the application.


The Foundation’s highest priority in this program is to support projects by filmmakers who demonstrate strong artistic merit.



DEADLINE: May 1, 2019


To find out more information and apply, visit:




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