AFS Grant Applications

The 2020 AFS Grant for Short Films is now open.

Navigate to the drop down menu below to find the application instructions, application form, downloads, and sample applications from previous years. Please note the following deadlines:

The deadline to apply for the 2020 AFS Grant Thursday, October 8, 2020.

The 2020 AFS Grant for Feature Films is now closed.

AFS Travel Grant applications are open year-round with the application linked to in the dropdown page below.

AFS Grant

In order to apply for the AFS Travel Grant, please click here.

There is no approval process for the grant. Instead, filmmakers whose projects are accepted to these prestigious festivals & events will be automatically eligible for the travel grant:

Academy Awards
AFI Docs
AFI Fest
American Film Festival (Wrocław, Poland)
Annecy International Animated Film Festival
Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)
Berlinale Talent Campus
BFI London
Cannes Film Festival (Film must be accepted in the Official Competition or Critics Week) *Short Film Corner is not eligible
Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival
Deauville American Film Festival
Edinburgh Film Festival
Emmy Awards
FIND Screenwriters/Directors Lab
Frameline Film Festival
Full Frame Doc Festival
Galway Film Fleadh
Gotham Awards
Hamptons International Film Festival
Hot Docs
IFP No Borders
IFP Filmmaker Labs
Independent Spirit Awards
International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
Locarno Film Festival
Los Angeles Film FestivalMoMA’s Documentary Fortnight
New Directors/New Films
New Orleans Film Festival
New York Film Festival
New York Latino Film Festival
Palm Springs Short Film Festival
Rotterdam Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Sheffield Doc/Fest
Slamdance Film Festival
Student Academy Awards
Sundance Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
Thessaloniki Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto Inside Out Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Tribeca All-Access
Tribeca Film Festival
True/False Film Festival
Urbanworld Film Festival
Vancouver Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
Visions du Réel
Woodstock Film Festival

In developing these lists, festivals and events were selected for the following criteria:

  • Must occur outside of Texas
  • Are highly competitive
  • Have significant prestige in the film industry
  • May lead to distribution, influential reviews, industry connections, etc. for participating filmmakers
  • Generally don’t cover the costs of travel and accommodations for participating filmmakers

Other Festivals and Events

If a filmmaker has a project invited to a festival or event not on the above lists, they can still apply for a travel grant, but they will only be eligible for after-the-fact reimbursement at the end of the fiscal year (Aug. 31) if any Travel Grant funds are still available.

In addition to the regular requirements for application, the filmmaker will also need to provide a short profile of the festival or event, highlighting its prestige or importance to the film industry, especially if it is a niche event (ie. a horror festival, a gay & lesbian festival, etc.).

If there are Travel Grant funds left over at the end of the fiscal year, a subcommittee of Austin Film Society board members and local film professionals will review the applications to decide whether or not to provide reimbursement for any of these applications and whether or not that festival or event will be put on the “approved list” for the next fiscal year.

No consideration will be given to festivals or events that are non-competitive in nature, like the Cannes and AFM markets, or that aren’t primarily focused on film and video.

These grants are intended to help offset costs for filmmakers traveling outside the state, so Texas festivals & events will also not be given consideration.


Why is AFS only interested in traveling filmmakers who are already accepted into major film festivals?

The goal of the travel grant is to help filmmakers towards career leaps by supporting their travel to festivals and events that could make a significant impact on their film’s reach and their career in general. Even those filmmakers who get their films into major film festivals are frequently broke since they’ve spent all their money just finishing their film. The AFS Travel Grant aims to assist Texas filmmakers during this critical moment.

What if I have a film shot in Texas, written by a Texan, produced by a Texan, but directed by someone who lives in New Orleans? Can I apply?

No, sorry, this grant program is designed to help directors from Texas follow their films outside the state.

My film premiered at one of those festivals on the “pre-approved list” in 2015. I spent a fortune at the festival. Can I get the grant?

Filmmakers are encouraged to apply for travel grants before the travel occurs. Unfortunately, we are unable to award travel grants outside of the current fiscal year.

My film got into SXSW and I live in El Paso. Gas is expensive!

Sorry, even though we have a huge state, this program is designed to help filmmakers show their work outside the borders of Texas.

The festival I got into is flying me out and putting me up. Can I still get a travel grant?

Yes. If the festival on the “pre-approved” list, it’s likely that travel expenses are perhaps only partially covered by the festival, as the support given by the festival was one of the factors in developing the list.

Is it possible to email in the additional documentation rather than mail it?

Yes. If you cannot upload all of your materials or any of your materials are over 4mb in size, you may email them to

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