AFS Travel Grants are awarded to Texas-based filmmakers to assist with the costs of participation in competitive film festivals around the world. At AFS, we understand that independent filmmakers often have minimal access to financial support during this key moment to share work with future stakeholders and develop relationships in the industry.
AFS grants funds on a discretionary basis for filmmakers premiering at major festivals. We offer these funds as traditional AFS Travel Grants if you plan to attend a festival with an in-person program.
AFS Travel Grant Guidelines
Texas-based filmmakers with proof of travel and an official acceptance letter to a festival on the AFS Travel Grant list are eligible to receive $500 for festivals in the US, Canada, and Mexico and/or $1000 for festivals outside of North America. Filmmakers can receive TWO travel grants during the life of their film not to exceed $1,500.
Projects accepted for student categories with the exception of the Student Academy Awards, do not qualify for the AFS travel grant.
The following events are eligible for the AFS Travel Grant:
- Academy Awards
- AFI Fest
- American Film Festival (Wrocław, Poland)
- Annecy International Animated Film Festival
- Atlanta Film Festival
- Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival
- Berlinale Talent Campus
- Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
- BFI London Film Festival
- Camden International Film Festival
- Cannes Film Festival (Short Film Corner is not eligible)
- Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival
- CPH: DOX
- Deauville American Film Festival
- Dubai International Film Festival
- Edinburgh International Film Festival
- Emmy Awards
- Frameline Film Festival
- Full Frame Doc Festival
- Galway Film Fleadh
- Gotham Awards
- Hamptons International Film Festival
- HollyShorts Film Festival
- Hong Kong International Film Festival
- Hot Docs
- Gotham Labs
- Independent Spirit Awards
- International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
- Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest (LAAPFF)
- Locarno Film Festival
- Melbourne International Film Festival
- MoMA’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
- Raindance Film Festival
- ReelAbilities 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 Film Festival
- True/False Film Festival
- Urbanworld Film Festival
- Vancouver Film Festival
- Venice Film Festival
- Visions du Réel
- Woodstock Film Festival
In developing this list, festivals and events were selected for the following criteria:
- Festivals must occur outside of Texas;
- Festivals are highly competitive;
- Festivals may lead to distribution, influential reviews, and/or industry connections for participating filmmakers.
Festivals and Events Not Listed
If a filmmaker has been invited to a festival or event not listed above, they can still apply for a Domestic or International Travel Grant. These applications will be reviewed by the AFS Filmmaker Advisory Committee and can be deemed eligible at the end of the fiscal year (August 31). Participants will be notified in October if they have been approved.
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.
Again, these grants are contingent on whether or not AFS has remaining funds in our Travel Grant Fund and are not guaranteed.
Why is AFS only interested in traveling filmmakers already accepted into major film festivals?
The goal of the travel grant is to support filmmakers during career leaps by helping to fund their travel to festivals and events that could significantly impact their film’s reach and career in general. AFS understands that filmmakers whose films are accepted into major film festivals are frequently low on funds 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?
Unfortunately, No. This grant program is designed specifically for directors from Texas to follow their films outside the state.
My film premiered at one of the “pre-approved list” festivals in 2019. I spent a fortune at the festival. Can I get the grant?
No. Filmmakers are encouraged to apply before the travel occurs as AFS cannot award travel grants outside the current fiscal year.
My film got into SXSW and I live in El Paso. Gas is expensive!
Sorry, even though TX is 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 is 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 if any of your materials are over 4MB in size, you may email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include TRAVEL GRANT in the subject line.