Austin Film Society to Receive $30,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

Brady Dyer, Communications Manager

May 17, 2019

AFS has announced that it is one of the 45 Texas organizations to receive an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA approved more than $80 million in grants as part of their second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is a grant of $30,000 to AFS to support its filmmaker workshops and artist intensive programs to help emerging filmmakers further refine their craft and storytelling. Art Works is the NEA’s principal grant program. For this round of grantmaking, the agency received 1,592 Art Works applications and will award 977 grants in this category.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “Organizations such as the Austin Film Society are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

The NEA Art Works grant will go towards AFS filmmaker support workshops and intensive programs including The Artist Intensive, for narrative feature filmmakers, and Doc Intensive, for documentary feature filmmakers. Over the past few years, AFS has had the honor of hosting incredible mentors for burgeoning filmmakers Jonathan Demme, Catherine Hardwicke, Charles Burnett, So Yong Kim, Elizabeth Avéllan, Jay Van Hoy, Ginger Sledge and Sarah Green among them. 

The Artist Intensive is a workshop for up-and-coming narrative feature writer/directors in the development phase of an upcoming project. The program was designed to support the creative process of the participating writer/directors before they go into production. Program alumni include Annie Silverstein’s BULL (premiered on May 15 in Cannes Un Certain Regard competition), Augustine Frizzell’s NEVER GOIN’ BACK (Independent Spirit Award-nominated) and Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund’s BARRACUDA (SXSW 2017). 

The Doc Intensive was started in 2018 and supports documentary filmmakers in production, post-production and development. In its first year, the program supported Ben Masters with his feature documentary, THE RIVER AND THE WALL.

“The Doc Intensive Program really helped us to whittle down our story in THE RIVER AND THE WALL, gave us invaluable insight into what sections of the film were and weren’t working, and allowed us to consult with people who know the editing process,” said Masters. The documentary went on to win an award at SXSW and have a successful theatrical release around the country this spring.  

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit



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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