AFS Announces Call for Entries for the 2022 AFS Grant for Short Films

(Still from Tay Mansmann’s short film OBSCURA, a 2021 AFS Grant for Short Films recipient)

Cecilia Conti

Austin Film Society Announces Call for Entries for the 2022 AFS Grant For Short Films- Now Open 

Applications Open Today, Deadline to Apply September 16th, 2022

August 3, 2022, AUSTIN, TX –The Austin Film Society announces applications are open for the 2022 AFS Grant for Short Films, awards will be given to short film projects, 40 minutes or under, in any phase of production. The opening date for submissions is today, August 3rd and the deadline is Friday, September 16th. Recipients will be announced in December. Applications and submission guidelines can be found on the AFS website.

Over $2.2 million in cash grants and more than $400k in-kind goods and services has been granted to 425+ Texas filmmakers, creating life-changing opportunities for artists traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. A vital resource for Texas independent filmmakers from diverse backgrounds since it’s inception in 1996, the AFS Grant is intended to support career leaps for emerging to mid-career artists. This summer AFS will be giving out grants for short films in any phase of production (pre-production, production, and post). This AFS Grant cycle also includes the Harrison McClure Endowed Film Fund, which is geared towards full-time undergraduate students enrolled in a Texas college or university making short films.

Some of Austin Film Society’s most successful program alumni over the years received grants for short form work. Short films can often be a springboard to feature-length projects and are an excellent platform for filmmakers to practice their craft and define their voice. Filmmakers Kat Candler (former showrunner of O Network’s Queen Sugar, Hellion, 13 Reasons Why), David Lowery (The Green Knight, Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story), Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas (Skip Day, Director’s Fortnight Winners) and Annie Silverstein (Bull, Cannes 2019 and SXSW 2020) were all awarded AFS Grants for short work prior to completing their breakout feature films.

At this year’s SXSW 2022, two AFS-supported filmmakers received top awards for their short films—Spencer Cook and Parker Smith (ACT OF GOD, Winner, Audience Award) and Katherine Propper (BIRDS, Special Jury Recognition, Texas Shorts). Amy Bench’s AFS Grant funded film MORE THAN I REMEMBER also premiered at SXSW, and went on to be awarded Best Animated Short at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

AFS is dedicated to funding artistic voices from diverse backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the film industry, and intends for the grant program to actively work against the structural racism and sexism in the screen industries. In 2021, female and non-binary identifying filmmakers made up 83% of AFS Grant recipients, and 78% of the recipients identified with a community of color.

The AFS Grant is administered with two application periods and deadlines. Open today, the fall grant application cycle is for short films, 40 minutes or under in length. The spring grant application cycle is for documentary and narrative feature-length film projects (over 40 minutes) in any phase of production, or feature length films in development. The 2022 spring application cycle—the AFS Grant for Feature Films—is now closed, and recipients will be announced this September.

Applicants for the short film cycle can apply for cash support for any phase of production, or in-kind production rentals support in the form of a multi-day camera package rental from MPS Camera and Lighting Austin. Filmmakers applying for the AFS Grant for Short Films must apply online at by Friday, September 16th by 6 p.m. CST. The recipients will be announced in December.

AFS Grant program staff will offer a series of live info sessions via Zoom again this year to share tips, answer frequently asked questions, and provide guidance for applicants. More information and registration details can be found here. The first of these workshops takes place on August 10.

The AFS Grant is generously supported by grant partners Oak Cliff Film Festival, Ley Line Entertainment, Kat Candler, MPS Camera and Lighting, and Stuck On On, in addition to the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

About Austin Film Society
Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.