Sponsored Films

What is a Fiscal Sponsorship?

AFS MAKE Members (and above) can submit their projects for fiscal sponsorship. 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.

23RD STREET MURAL EXPERIENCE

The 23rd Street Mural was painted 50 years ago on the side of the UT Co-op. It was Austin’s very first mural and public display of art. The people and places in the Austintatious Mural were a reflection of the cultural scene of Austin in 1973. And oh, do they have a story to tell.
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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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DEATH OF A PARROT

A short comedy thriller about a tumultuous day in the life of an aspiring cult leader.
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ASHES OF THE MOUNTAIN

At the brink of death, a young man confronts his mortality and discovers the meaning of life during a treacherous journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
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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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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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BREAKING SILENCE

A portrait of a Deaf activist and his formerly incarcerated daughter, who build new bonds through their experiences in the criminal justice system.
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BREAKING THE NEWS

BREAKING THE NEWS documents the first years of a revolutionary news startup that is challenging the status quo of the
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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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CHILD OF WOE

On the brink of graduation, an arrogant student’s career plans are upended and he is
forced to spend a stifling summer navigating relationships, pressures and desires he
didn’t know existed.
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CRYING LAUGHING: THE STORY OF THE ONION

From the filmmakers behind Winnebago Man and Chop & Steele comes a feature length comedy documentary about the trials and tribulations of America’s finest news source, THE ONION.
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ALL ILLUSIONS MUST BE BROKEN

  ALL ILLUSIONS MUST BE BROKEN explores the denaturing of American childhood and the unexpected consequences of immersing young minds
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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 feature documentary exploring the death positive movement, a philosophy that encourages open dialogue about feelings surrounding death.
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FATAL WATERS

With no federal oversight and few regulations, low-head dams drown dozens of people annually in the United States. This feature documentary highlights life of former Marine, Rodney
Buentello, who drowned in 2016 saving two teens at a low head dam in Texas, and showcases volunteers working for greater dam safety.
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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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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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HUNTSVILLE

A father and son renegotiate their roles on the day of the father’s prison release.
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IT’S IN THE VOICES

IT’S IN THE VOICES is a short documentary that explores the origins of the nationally-recognized Washington County Oral History Program. Mississippi historian Clint Bagley revisits his 1975 interview that sparked the program; a conversation with an elderly school teacher named Daisy Greene.

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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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LEADS

In this semi-improvised sibling-rivalry comedy-drama, an acting professor who very nearly but never quite “made it” in her own career
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LIMINAL SPACE

Liminal Space exposes the healing potential of pregnancy, and explores the intersection of maternal health and Traumatic Brain Injury research, where emerging neuroscience and the phenomenal power of pregnancy converge.
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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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NEWBIES

Two broken strangers wrestling with identity meet on the subway just after midnight. A poignant journey through the past few hours of their night reveals how they got here, and what broke them.
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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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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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TONKAWA: THEY ALL STAY TOGETHER

With its fiercely unique culture, the Tonkawa tribe who dominated much of Texas before being pushed to the brink of extinction, have overcome much to grow their numbers. Those who remain today strive to rediscover who they are as a tribe, while preserving their language, culture, and way of life.
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TEXAS, USA

TEXAS, USA explores what it takes to build a new, hopeful vision for democracy against enormous odds. This is an underdog story, told through the lives of candidates and organizers in Texas during the 2022 election who tell an unexpected story of persistence, community, and progress in an unlikely place.

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TUFF ENUFF: THE STORY OF THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS

This ain’t your regular documentary…it’s a quirky and strange as the town these Fabulous Thunderbirds corralled into the huge megalopolis music center we know today.
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TUSHURAI: THOSE WHO STAY

Every fall, the only road to Tusheti in the Caucasus Mountains closes for 7 months. Irakli, an 82-year-old mountain doctor, makes house calls on horseback to his dwindling ancestral population that chooses to stay.
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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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WHERE THE TREES BEAR MEAT

WHERE THE TREES BEAR MEAT tells a parallel story of two families of gauchos and talks about the vulnerability of human life in the immensity of nature.
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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS