AFS Announces New Grants to Encourage Diversity in Filmmaking

$130,000 Available to Emerging Texas Filmmakers

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 2, 2018) Austin Film Society (AFS) announces the inaugural New Texas Voices Grant, a cash grant of $10,000 and industry mentorship, for first-time filmmakers of color traditionally underrepresented in independent film, and the new North Texas Pioneer Film Grant of $30,000 for emerging filmmakers who reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with an emphasis on underrepresented perspectives.

WHO: Austin Film Society
WHAT: AFS Announces New Grants to Encourage Diversity in Filmmaking
CONTACT: Christine Lee, and Meghan Malone,

These two grants continue AFS’s commitment to diversity and equity—ongoing values of the organization and its annual AFS Grant, which provides cash and in-kind support to emerging filmmakers in Texas. This year, $130,000 in cash grants will be awarded, the highest amount of cash support in the grant’s 22-year history, which in total has awarded $1.77 million in cash and $300,000 in goods and services to Texas filmmakers since 1996.

Texas-based filmmakers can apply for up to $15,000 to fund projects at all stages of production. AFS Travel grants are also available to fund expenses for filmmakers to present their work at competitive national and international festivals. Additionally, grant sponsors and partners offer a range of budget-relieving services and cash, given as a part of the AFS Grant program. Filmmakers must apply online at by June 4, 2018. The recipients will be announced in early September.

Recent successes of the AFS Grant include the Academy Award shortlisted documentary TOWER, about the 1966 University of Texas tower shooting, directed by Keith Maitland; the 2018 Sundance selection NEVER GOIN’ BACK, directed by Augustine Frizzell, who was subsequently named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch and who will direct and co-executive produce the HBO pilot Euphoria; the short documentary THE RABBIT HUNT, directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan, which won best short documentary at New York’s Cinema Eye Honors and top jury awards at SXSW and the San Francisco Film Festival; and last year’s Independent Spirit Award-nominated feature film, NAKOM by Kelly Daniela Norris and T.W. Pittman.

Since 1996, the AFS Grant has supported the early works of filmmakers who have gone on to significant careers in film, often representing the first source of funding these filmmakers receive. Alumni include David and Nathan Zellner, whose 2018 Sundance premiere film DAMSEL, starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, will be released in theaters this summer; Andrew Bujalski, whose most recent film SUPPORT THE GIRLS, starring Regina Hall, premiered at SXSW and will also be released by Magnolia Pictures this summer; Athina Tsangari, director of globally acclaimed features CHEVALIER (Locarno, New York Film Festival) and ATTENBERG (Venice, Toronto, Sundance Film Festivals); David Lowery, director of last year’s critically acclaimed and award-winning A GHOST STORY and Disney’s PETE’S DRAGON; Jeff Nichols, director of Academy Award-nominated feature LOVING; and Independent Spirit Award-winner Margaret Brown (THE ORDER OF MYTHS, THE GREAT INVISIBLE).

AFS offers resources to help filmmakers throughout the application process, including informational workshops across the state: April 14 (Austin, Venue: Austin Public); April 17 (Dallas, Venue: Texas Theatre); April 22 (Houston, Venue: Aurora Picture Show); May 24 (Austin, Venue: Austin Public). An extensive FAQ, grant instructions, and more information on the workshops can be found at

Download high-res film stills and posters.


New Texas Voices Grant – New for 2018
Affirming its ongoing commitment to support diverse voices and grow new talent, AFS is offering $10,000 as the New Texas Voices Grant to filmmakers who identify with a community of color traditionally underrepresented in independent film. This new grant will be accompanied by specialized mentorship for the awarded filmmakers. Filmmakers wishing to be considered must have a first feature film in early to mid-production and must provide racial data in the application. All other regular eligibility and application requirements for the AFS Grant must be met.  

North Texas Pioneer Film Grant – New for 2018
AFS has partnered with Oak Cliff Film Festival (Dallas), Sailor Bear film collective and Tim Headington’s Tango Entertainment to offer $30,000 in cash grants to emerging filmmakers residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and surrounding region. Three grants of $10,000 each will be awarded for the production/post-production of feature-length films (40 minutes or greater). The grant aims to fund emerging filmmakers with first or second feature films and filmmakers with backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in independent film. Filmmakers wishing to be considered for this fund must provide proof of residency in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and surrounding region. All other regular eligibility and application requirements for the AFS Grant must be met.

The Harrison McClure Endowed Film Fund
The Harrison McClure Endowed Film Fund of $2,500 supports an undergraduate student making a film that will complete a course or degree requirement. Students eligible to receive the grant must be rising juniors or seniors and must be enrolled as full-time students in a four-year college or university located in Texas. The selected film must agree to include a credit or thanks to the “Harrison McClure Endowed Film Fund” in addition to the crediting requirements of the AFS Grant. Additionally, the selected filmmaker is required to supply a copy of the finished film to the Endowment donors and the parents of Harrison McClure, a promising Texas film student whose life and passion for filmmaking are memorialized by this fund.

Additionally, this year’s grant sponsors and partners offer applicants a range of budget-relieving services and cash for every phase of production. These sponsored awards are given as a part of the AFS Grant program.

Kodak offers $5,000 in-kind for 16mm or 35mm film stock.

The MPS Camera and Lighting Austin Production Services Grant awards up to $10,000 worth of services, which can include cameras, lenses, lighting/grip/electric equipment, and more.  

Austin post-production house Stuck On On awards one theatrical digital cinema package (DCP) for two different features.

The AFS Grant is generously supported by: Amazon Studios, Warbach Lighting and Design, Stuck On On, Art Works, City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

About the Austin Film Society

Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, the Austin Film Society’s mission is to empower our community to make, watch, and love creative media. AFS curates and screens hundreds of repertory, international, and art house films annually at the AFS Cinema; delivers financial support to Texas filmmakers through the AFS Grant; operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, and Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse media makers to train and collaborate. Through its award-winning after school classes, intern training, and the Ed Lowry Student Film program, AFS encourages media and film literacy and provides a place for youth of all backgrounds to learn the craft of filmmaking and gain access to tools for media production. By hosting premieres, special events, 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. To learn more about the AFS Cinema or about Austin Film Society’s mission visit: and follow @AustinFilm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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