Sponsored Films

What is a Fiscal Sponsorship?

AFS MAKE Members (and above) can submit their projects for fiscal sponsorship. If approved, If approved, the filmmaker can apply through AFS to government granting agencies and foundations that will only grant funds to non-profit organizations.  Fiscally sponsored projects can also solicit tax-deductible donations from private individuals and businesses. However, fiscal sponsorship is not appropriate for all projects, and in order to qualify, projects must be noncommercial in nature, and the filmmaker may not also raise funds by soliciting investors.

How do I donate to AFS Sponsored Projects?

Interested in donating to an AFS sponsored project? If you know which film you’d like to contribute to, you’re welcome to scroll through the films below – the list is in alphabetical order and easy to navigate. If you don’t have a specific project in mind but are still interested in supporting a local filmmaker, we encourage you to browse through the list. Click on each page for more information on the project and the filmmakers behind the vision.

For more information about the program and how to apply or donate, please contact our Filmmaker Support Team by emailing filmmakersupport@austinfilm.org.

A STRIKE AND AN UPRISING

An experimental documentary looking at the San Antonio pecan shellers’ strike of 1938 and the Jobs with Justice march led by Nacogdoches cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, and housekeepers in 1987.
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ACT OF GOD

Eventually, everyone realizes that self-sufficiency is a joke. It just happens a bit sooner to some people. ACT OF GOD
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BAGATELLE

BAGATELLE is a social satire art-house film in the vein of masterworks of Otar Iosseliani, Luis Buñuel, and Pierre Étaix, who are major influences.
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BECOMING LESLIE

BECOMING LESLIE is a hybrid documentary that reveals the inner and bizarre world of Albert Leslie Cochran, a rebellious, cross-dressing homeless man who became the most unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas.
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BRAIN IN PROGRESS

BRAIN IN PROGRESS is a docuseries directed and presented by Seema Mathur, an award-winning medical journalist and filmmaker. Never has
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BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM

Uncovers the story of the virtually invisible undocumented construction workers upon whose backs and hard labor the boom is built.
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CALL HER GANDA

Grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action when a local transgender woman is found dead in a motel room with a 19-year-old U.S. marine as the leading suspect.
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COME AND TAKE IT: THE JESSICA JIN STORY

COME AND TAKE IT: THE JESSICA JIN STORY captures the transformation of a young woman to leadership of America’s most inspired anti-gun violence movement called Cocks Not Glocks.
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DISBELIEVER

  DISBELIEVER explores the denaturing of American childhood and the unexpected consequences of immersing young minds in the virtual realm.
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DIRTY FEATHERS

With two homeless lovers’ journey as the through-line, DIRTY FEATHERS weaves in and out of an overwhelmed shelter and a
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DON’T YOU GO NOWHERE

A jazz dynamo belts his way through his weekly set until he makes an unexpected connection with an audience member
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EAST TEXAS COWBOYS

About the Project When most of us think of cowboys, we envision dramatic, open spaces of the West—rugged, weathered men
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EXIT STRATEGY: FROM SCARED TO SACRED

EXIT STRATEGY: FROM SCARED TO SACRED is a documentary exploring the death positive movement that encourages open dialogue about feelings surrounding death.
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FAILING FORWARD: ON THE ROAD TO SOCIAL IMPACT

This short documentary profiles a nonprofit organization using rigorous data collection and analysis to achieve meaningful changes in the lives of the people it serves.
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FOR THE RECORD

In a small Texas Panhandle town, which over the decades has lived through oil booms and busts, devastating wildfires, and
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GOOD NIGHT BLUES: THE DONN’S DEPOT STORY

A civil engineer and an Elvis-loving, piano-playing tire salesman transform an abandoned train depot & some derelict rail cars into an oasis of community, friendship & music.
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INQUIRER: GENE ROBERTS AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF NEWSPAPERS

INQUIRER tells the story of the legendary newspaper editor Gene Roberts, often called the best editor in the country at a time when newspapers had unprecedented resources and impact.
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HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS

An anxious, aging millennial Arab-American Austin transplant goes on a mission to find the platonic love of her life after realizing she’s never had one lasting female friend, but will have to figure out how to befriend herself first.
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KINDERLAND

KINDERLAND tells the story of two rival Jewish summer camps – one Communist, the other Socialist – founded in upstate
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LIVING SPRINGS

LIVING SPRINGS is an interactive documentary about Barton Springs, Austin’s most beloved natural resource.
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MR. JERRY

A vulnerable octogenarian is trapped inside his nursing home in Austin, Texas during an endless 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. Determined to
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NOTHING STAYS THE SAME: THE STORY OF THE SAXON PUB

A feature-length documentary that explores the challenges – and triumphs – faced by musicians and
music venues in a rapidly growing city as seen through the lens of Austin’s Saxon Pub.
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ON DYING OF DEMENTIA IN A CAPITALIST SYSTEM

Personal and political merge in a short animation documentary that takes an intimate look at both the business and the humanity of dying.
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RETURN TO SENDER

RETURN TO SENDER is a documentary film that explores the public policy and practical challenges of providing real world services to prisoners as they prepare for re-entry and reintegration into society.
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SHADY SHORES: THE TRAGEDY OF CLINTON LEE YOUNG

SHADY SHORES: THE TRAGEDY OF CLINTON LEE YOUNG will tell the whole inside story of the crimes for the first time, document the historic second trial and reveal the remarkable story of the Dutch woman who moved over 5,000 miles to become a Texas attorney to champion his case.

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SHARK COWBOYS

Four anglers of different age, gender, ethnicity and income prepare to compete in the world’s largest shark fishing tournament to win a $30,000 prize.
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SONG CONFESSIONAL

Song Confessional is a cinematic adaptation of the locally-made podcast created by Walker Lukens and Zac Catanzaro (and a collaboration
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SOUTHERN STORYTELLERS

SOUTHERN STORYTELLERS will take us deep into the American South, and into the communities of the region’s top writers –
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THE ACT OF READING

A retired high school English teacher is confronted by a former student who failed her class 15 years prior. He then involves her in a feature-length documentary about Moby-Dick and the science of reading.
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THE INCIDENT AT THE BELLWOOD SCHOOLHOUSE

Carl Beesley, my grandfather, accidentally shot and killed a 9-year-old boy during a school play. Eighty-years after my grandfather’s incident, my brother Tim accidentally shot and killed a man. The Incident at Bellwood Schoolhouse discoveries how these tragic events are connected.
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TURNING TEXAS

Turning Texas will tell the history of Latino voting in Texas and one women’s fight to ensure that Latino voices
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UNTITLED 19TH* NEWS DOCUMENTARY

The Untitled 19th* News Film documents the first years of a revolutionary news startup that is challenging the status quo
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SNAKE BOAT GAMES

In this celebratory story centered around an ancient royal sporting tradition of racing war boats, Sunil Kumar, who hails from a long line of prominent boat captains, strategically prepares to race his team for their village’s glory in the ancient tradition of “Vallam Kali”(meaning “Snake Boat Games”), keeping alive 400 years of rich regional cultural heritage.
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VINYL GENERATION

In 1980s Czechoslovakia an emerging generation took inspiration from alternative culture to create their own worldview, politics and eventually, a revolution.
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WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND follows Julian Moreno, the 89-year-old grandfather of filmmaker Iliana Sosa, on his monthly journey from Mexico
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WHEN WE WERE LIVE

WHEN WE WERE LIVE is a feature length documentary about the pioneers of Austin’s public access television in the 80’s and 90’s.
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