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Voices With Impact: Short Film Grant, Mental Health Experiences Within Indigenous, First Nations, and Native American Communities

Voices With Impact: Short Film Grant, Mental Health Experiences Within Indigenous, First Nations, and Native American Communities

Proposals now being accepted for $5,000 production grants for the creation of short films in the following content area:

Mental Health Experiences Within Indigenous, First Nations, and Native American Communities

Can include (but not limited to): discrimination, methods of healing and recovering, access to appropriate and relevant services, impacts of intergenerational trauma, and residential schools.

Five filmmakers will be selected and awarded $5,000 each to create an original short film (five minutes or less).

AWI’s judges will be evaluating proposals using the following criteria:

  • The power and importance of the message the film will aim to convey
  • The artistic and creative approach to telling the story
  • The accuracy of the depictions of mental health issues, stemming from credible research sources and lived experience stories
  • The consideration of filmmaking techniques and skill level
  • Identification/connection with the population within the subject matter (Indigenous, First Nations and Native American populations), and/or demonstrated cultural sensitivity and awareness around the topic
  • How well the story and film could connect with young people (ages 16-25)
  • How the film will reduce stigma around these populations and mental health issues
  • If the film could realistically be complete as a five-minute (or less) film (and not be overambitious / not need to be longer)
  • Evidence of ability to complete this project with a high level of professionalism

AWI will match the selected filmmakers with partner organizations and mental health professionals, and subject matter experts related to the content area for consultation and support, and AWI’s Program Directors will be available to support filmmakers as well.

To submit your proposal, please answer the following prompts and questions as briefly as possible (word counts are maximums; less is better), save as one PDF titled “LASTNAME – Voices With Impact Proposal – Indigenous MH”, and email to by October 31, 2018. Please also include a resume as a separate PDF, titled “LASTNAME – Voices With Impact Resume – Indigenous MH.”

  1. Name of primary filmmaker
  2. Email of primary filmmaker
  3. Phone of primary filmmaker
  4. Location of primary filmmaker (city, state, country)
  5. Names of any identified additional collaborators (director, director of photography, writer, producer, actors)
  6. Brief description and links (if available) of up to three relevant previous projects / work – (max. 150 words per projects)
  7. Brief summary / pitch of your film idea (max. 75 words)
  8. Project treatment: outline of story, plot, themes, filmmaking techniques (max. 500 words)
  9. Connection with content area – how voices of Indigenous / First Nations / Native American people will be included in the film, whether it’s through the identities of the filmmaker/filmmaking team, connection or affiliation with the population, or demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the population (max. 250 words)
  10. Production schedule from December 1, 2018 through March 1, 2019 (including any resources, locations, collaborations, etc.)
  11. A line-by-line budget for how the $5,000 grant would be used, including any additional funding and funding sources if relevant
  12. What community organizations or partners might you work/consult with during production, or which organizations would you like to be connected with? (max. 150 words)
  13. Why you, why this film, why now? (max. 250 words)

Proposals are due at 11:59pm PST on October 31, 2018. Filmmakers will be notified of their status during the month of November. The selected filmmakers will have the months of December 2018 through February 2019 to complete their films, with a progress update on January 15, 2019 and final films submitted by March 1, 2019. In June 2019, there will be a screening event featuring ten films: films around this specific content area as well as in the area of trauma related to sexual violence. Filmmakers will be invited to travel to California (travel expenses paid for filmmakers within North America) to attend the screening event.

Films will need to have the equivalent level of explicitness as an R-rated film or less, per the MPAA Rating System. Submissions that propose films including excessive nudity, pornography, excessive violence, and other content that would be considered X-rated or not acceptable for viewing on a college campus will not be considered.

Filmmakers will provide non-exclusive rights to AWI in order to show their films in AWI’s educational settings; filmmakers will maintain full rights and ownership of the films they create. All five films will also be eligible to be added to AWI’s OLIVE Film Collection; each film will go through AWI’s regular jury process to determine whether or not it will be added to OLIVE.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

About Voices With Impact

Art With Impact (AWI) firmly believes that art has a unique power to create lasting positive social change. With a mission to promote mental wellness by creating space for young people to learn and connect through art and media, AWI’s short film library and interactive workshops are resources for young people to share diverse stories and create dialogue about mental health.

AWI is pleased to launch “Voices With Impact” (VWI), a new short film production grant available to filmmakers worldwide. AWI’s current OLIVE Film Collection includes over 45

short films about a wide array of mental health topics created by diverse filmmakers from around the world. After five years of running an online, monthly competition, AWI has identified several important content areas where there has been a lack of submissions. To improve inclusivity and create opportunities for lesser-heard voices and stories to be in the forefront of the global conversation, VWI was created to support filmmakers in creating films on these topics.

The VWI judges who will be evaluating the proposals include professional filmmakers, mental health professionals, and subject matter experts. Bios can be found at:

Voices With Impact grants are generously supported by funds from the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, the McQueen Family Foundation and the California Institute for Contemporary Arts.

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