Film Scholarships

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Can You Get A Scholarship for Film?

Some film scholarships are based on your creative work and help pay for a film studies degree. Eligible applicants often need to submit a short film they directed. There may be other criteria for eligibility too. Things such as financial need, minority status and/or grade point average.

For this type of scholarship, the provider may specify the format and length of your film. But the applicant usually selects the genre. Popular film categories include:

  • Animation
  • Alternative/Experimental
  • Documentary
  • Narrative

You typically submit a completed application and sample of work. Scholarship providers may want to see the film itself. Second, the professional quality of each part of the film. For example, the script, dialogue, direction, cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and scoring affect your scholarship eligibility.

Scholarships for Film Makers Interested in Television

If you are a fan of the Emmy Awards, there are scholarships for film makers in the TV industry. Many providers want to support aspiring TV journalists.

One such provider is the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. NATAS offers a few scholarships for students interested in the television industry. There are awards for students in Chicago, the Upper Midwest, San Francisco, and the Northwest.

Video Contests

Other film scholarship opportunities are more like contests. They may be open to anyone who sends in a short video on a certain topic. These may not look at your grades, or financial need, only your message and how you convey it.

One example is the Pursuit Scholarship. Applicants submit a 5 minute video to enter for a chance to win $500 or $1,000. There are many more video contests and you can apply to more than one at a time.

Grants for Film Makers

A film grant may be perfect if you need to complete a film for a college capstone. Like a scholarship, a grant is money you receive and typically do not have to repay (assuming you meet the conditions).

If you are pursuing a degree in film or media, a grant might offset production costs. But it may not pay your tuition. Still, putting your film in the running might land you a few thousand dollars.

To apply, you usually need to submit a proposal. This means figuring out your story line. Plus, your budget for things like editing, filming and location.

Why Consider Film Scholarships?

If your goal is to produce a motion picture or TV show, a film scholarship could help pay for a college degree. As a result, film degrees might prepare you with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers. You might choose to work as a producer, director, video or film editor for example.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2020, film and video editors earn a median pay of $61,900 in the motion picture and video industries. Job prospects are positive, but the field is competitive. Recent estimates point to 18% more job openings by 2029.

Working as a producer or director, you might earn about median pay of $76,400 in 2020 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job outlook is on the rise by 10% as streaming services and reality TV continue to lure viewers.

As exciting as it sounds, to get a film career off the ground takes money. At last check, the cost of pursuing a degree in film, cinema and video studies at a public in state college is $8,091. Add the cost of film production and the numbers climb.

Luckily, there are many film scholarships to help you pay for college. Or, fund creative projects that make use of your talents and help you build a portfolio. Your college may set scholarships aside for film majors. So, make sure when you apply to check them out.

List of Film Scholarships

Lights, camera, action! These film scholarships might help you parlay your film-making talents into money for college. Some are video contests and others entail a project that is larger in scope. Apply to the ones that match your goals. We have 79 awards worth $585K.

ConnectHER Film Festival

Through ConnectHER Film Festival, students use film and media to tell stories that bring awareness to critical issues facing women and girls locally and globally, and activate audiences to do something about it!
Award Amount

Total: $70000

Awards: 14


Deadline: June 15, 2023

NATAS Southeast Regional Scholarship

The NATAS Southeast Scholarship program is available for students in Georgia and the Southeast as an investment in the future of the television industry.
Award Amount

Total: $5000

Awards: 1


Deadline: April 28

IP Video Contest

This video contest is open to students ages 16 and older who are residents of the United States, the District of Columbia, or U.S. territories and possessions. Students must submit an original video on a topic relating to the importance of the patent system. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $5000

Awards: 3


Deadline: April 30

NATAS Upper Midwest Chapter Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. high school seniors who are residents of the Upper Midwest area, including Minnesota, North or South Dakota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa. Students must pursue a career in broadcasting, television or electronic media and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Award Amount

Total: $1500

Awards: 1


Deadline: January 31

Scripted Film Lab

The SmashCut Film Lab gives filmmaking, screenwriting, producing experience and opportunity to work alongside like-minded creatives. Seasoned professionals and screenwriters will provide guidance in developing, writing, filming and editing. The Scripted Film Lab is a $10,000 grant to write, shoot and edit your film.
Award Amount

Total: $10000

Awards: 10


Deadline: March 12

Jim McKay and Mike Wallace Memorial Scholarship

This award is for graduating U.S. high school seniors who intend to major in a communications-related degree at a four-year college or university. Applicants must hold a 2.5 GPA or higher and be legal residents of the United States. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $10000

Awards: 2


Deadline: March 15

NATAS-PSW Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. undergraduate students who are residents of the Pacific Southwest region and are majoring in a television-related discipline.
Award Amount

Total: $35000

Awards: 7


Deadline: March 31

BSU Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

The Letterman scholarship is available for rising juniors and seniors at Ball State University who are majoring or minoring in telecommunications. Students must submit a creative telecommunications project. A $10,000 award is given to the winner. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $6111

Awards: 3


Deadline: April 10

King Family Foundation Scholarship

The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation is offering a scholarship to college juniors and seniors who are majoring in television or film. Applications are available on the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation website between Sept. 1 and April 1. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $7000

Awards: 14


Deadline: April 15

Express to De-Stress Video Contest

The Express to De-Stress Video Contest is available for students in the Bay Area who are between the ages of 12 and 18. Applicants must currently be enrolled in the 7th through 12 grade. $300 for first place, $200 for second, and three third place awards of $100. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total: $175

Awards: 6


Deadline: July 31