This guide contains information about international film funds and industry events to which you can submit your film project. Funds and markets in Europe or the USA, which require most producers to be from their respective countries, are not listed, nor are Arab national funds or industry platforms open for nationals only.
In addition to public and private film funds, some festivals have established markets and industry platforms that network and award different kinds of grants. The same is true for labs. These platforms and labs with a regional focus relevant to Arab countries are listed in this guide.
Only funds, markets, and labs accessible through an open call are in this guide. Film investors that do not have a call or provide specified information on their websites are not registered here, nor are labs asking for participation fees.
Submissions to funds are highly competitive. Most funds cannot support more than 3-4% of the applications received. In rare cases, 10% of submissions have a chance. An increase in projects does not necessarily mean an increase in money to realize them. Applications that are incomplete or don’t meet the requirements are usually declined.
Additionally, your application might also be declined if you are friends with the fund’s staff. Often applications are made too early, you might have a great idea, but it may be better to wait for the next application round if your project is not ripe enough to be understood by others, especially since resubmission is possible only in very rare and exceptional cases. On its website, the Sundance Documentary Fund states that it can support 40 to 60 documentaries annually – out of about 2.000 submissions. Put yourself in the shoes of those who have to read at least part of those applications: be clear, be ready, be to the point, and show that you know what you are doing and can make the film you are currently working on
Introduction to all the funds, markets, and labs:
The Fund’s /Market’s Name
Basic information about the fund. Most funds say in their objective what kind of films they are interested in. For example: “Strong artistic performance and cultural integrity are top priorities. A basic SØRFOND feature is to encourage productions dealing with freedom of expression to apply for grants.” or “The Atlas Workshops have been designed to assist emerging regional directors who are currently preparing their first, second, or third feature-length narrative or documentary films.” All information published here was collected from the funds’ websites, regulations, and other publications.
Genre and required minimum length of the projects eligible for this fund
Indicating the maximum funding that you can receive, however, applicants rarely receive these total amounts. To get an idea of realistic funding, look at the previous jury decisions. Note that money never comes for free, yet as not all funds write the conditions in the regulations, we highly recommend you always check the FAQ section, where you usually find valuable information.
This fund also funds
Lists additional funding available for other production stages and/or different funding programs the same fund might be offering.
This section gives you a quick overview of special requirements like the maximum age or the director's nationality, the copyrights a fund would ask for in return for their cash support, or the submission of film footage. Please be aware that conditions are often mentioned in the FAQ section, and some might appear only in the contract. If you heard about conditions that you do not find online, always ask at the respective institution before applying.
Anything important, helpful, crucial to know, or singular to this fund or market.
Detailed information and contact
The website of the fund/market with all the regulations, deadlines, and contacts and, if published: the names and email addresses of the people you need to contact at the very early stage.
Be aware that jury results of funds and awards are published. Take a careful look at the projects funded before to get a clearer idea about the fund; it might be beneficial to position yourself.
Who initiated the fund/market, and who is funding it? To help you understand what the fund’s interest or policy is. You might realize that you know somebody among the funders. Goethe Institute, for example, is one funder of the World Cinema Fund (WCF) of the Berlinale International Film Festival. You might be in touch with the Goethe Institute in your country/city for years, a contact that can be helpful to consult for the application at WCF, where you might not know anybody. Still, if you have questions and no personal references, write to the fund before applying.