Film Scholarships

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Can You Get A Scholarship for Film?

Some film scholarships are academic and help pay for a film studies degree. 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

Winning entries often reflect the merits of two things. One, the film itself when viewed as a whole. Second, the professional quality of each part. Things such as script, dialogue, direction, cinematography, lighting, acting, editing and scoring.

Scholarships for Film Makers Interested in Television If you more a fan of the Emmys than the Oscars, there are scholarships too. 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 like this and you might 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 get and 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, it helps to have a college degree. A film studies degree might ready 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.

Film and video editors earn an average of $61,450 in the motion picture and video industries. Job prospects are positive, but the field is competitive. Recent estimates point to 14% more job openings by 2028.

Working as a producer or director, you might earn about $71,680 per year. Demand is on-the-rise by 5% 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. But there are many other providers to source too.

Top Upcoming Film Scholarships

Lights, camera, action! These top 11 film scholarships might help you parlay your filmmaking 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.

Student Academy Awards

The Student Academy Awards (SAA) recognizes and honors student filmmakers who show their excellence in the creation of motion pictures. By awarding these outstanding achievements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences strives to support and inspire emerging filmmakers and to foster growth and education in the art and science of motion pictures. Awards are given in 5 categories: Narrative, Animation, Alternative/Experimental, and Documentary.

Total: $5000 Awards:  10
Deadline:  June 1

Film Grant Scholarships

The Film Grant Scholarships is available to US undergraduate and graduate level students to help support thesis film projects.

Total: $30000 Awards:  5
Deadline:  August 31

Scripted Film Lab

The SmashCut Film Lab (formerly known as Liberty Lab for Film) is an advanced program. It is for those who have filmmaking, screenwriting, producing experience and want an opportunity to work alongside like-minded creatives. You’ll have the guidance of seasoned professionals like Daniel Knauf, (executive producer, NBC’s The Blacklist) screenwriters Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu, Cold), Paul Guay (Liar Liar), David H. Steinberg (American Pie 2) and Courtney Balaker (Little Pink House) in developing, wr...

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.

Total: $10000 Awards:  2
Deadline:  March 15

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.

Total: $10000 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.

Total: $3500 Awards:  14
Deadline:  April 15

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.

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 orginal video on a topic relating to the importance of the patent system.

Total: $5000 Awards:  3
Deadline:  April 30

NATAS San Francisco/Northern California Peter J. Marino Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. college sophomores or juniors who attend a college or university in one of the following areas: Northern California (Visalia to the Oregon border); Hawaii; or Reno, Nevada. Students must pursue a career in media production.

Total: $2000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 31

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.

Total: $300 Awards:  5
Deadline:  July 31

NATAS Lone Star Scholarship

This award is available to Texas students who are majoring in radio, television, film, or broadcast journalism. The applicant must be a college sophomore, junior or senior with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $10000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  October 15

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.

Total: $2000 Awards:  6
Deadline:  January 31